On the drive home from Northwest Chevrolet, I started to read an incredibly important share by my long time friend, godmother of my kids and current advisor (soon to be board member) for WiL. Crystal and I’ve been texting a bit more than usual this past week, but her most recent forward was on a similar parallel to WheniLeave.com without her knowing it. She shared a piece by The Atlantic titled “School Wasn’t So Great Before COVID, Either.”
For years, the piece explains education has failed to transform. It’s been stuck in the 1960s, possibly in an even older mindset here in 2020. The premise of the article is that education hasn’t adapted and COVID is just shedding light on the antiquated nature of the most critical field in society — for our future. Part of the reason why I’m doing my podcast, “EduK8” is this thesis. While I’ve realized that we don’t need to constantly change, this one discipline does need to update itself to keep up with current trends and standards facing society. I question leaders (I call “disrupters”) on this subject we neglect every day here in the west on the show.
Which brings me to the situation we face regularly. Some people think WheniLeave.com is scary. It forces people to think about the grim reality that life is not perpetual. It stops people “dead” in their feet. For some, it feels morbid and it’s a topic that everyone will shy away from, if possible. When I share posts on my Facebook account about “happy things,” I will receive dozens of likes. When I talk about WheniLeave, you hear crickets and the virtual room goes silent.
When I ponder more deeply as to why WheniLeave doesn’t resonate with some people, it suffers from the same dilemma education has and the incredibly dogmatic personalities we have in life — even our closest friends and family: we know there’s a problem, but we don’t do anything about it.
We need a pandemic to show us education hasn’t progressed even slightly in close to ½ a century.
We need a death that hits home to help us realize we need WheniLeave.com
Despite friends of WiL sharing some of their deepest sufferings and risk their social equity like entrepreneur Jen Hong:
One of my favorite entrepreneurs, Brandon Na, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for his platform that’s dedicated to a cause dear & close to my heart. Anyone who’s ever lost someone close knows what it’s like to scroll through their facebook pages, old emails, texts, etc. just to remember & relive the memories with that person. WheniLeave allows you to create & store future messages to your loved ones in case the worst, the unexpected happens. It enables your loved ones to stay connected to your life captured in your digital footprint.
It’s uneasy and uncomfortable to talk about death. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life is terrifyingly unpredictable. So I admire WheniLeave’s mission to help us better prepare for & process these very human losses and emotions. If you want to contribute to this cause or simply want to invest in an inspiring product, check out the campaign: https://lnkd.in/gfZ5TMQ.
Brandon is one of the most well-rounded, driven, and innovative leaders I’ve ever met. I recommend you follow him and his journey as anyone will learn a great deal from him even during a short conversation.
Or Yunee Ham divulging personal tragedy even her closest friends possibly learned for the first time from her first ever post on LinkedIn:
Yes, life is terribly unpredictable, unfortunately. I didn’t expect my mother to pass away at a such young age of 43, and I lost my grandfather during this pandemic. I wish they had a chance to create memories and store messages for the loved ones; I really do. And that’s why I admire and support WheniLeave’s mission. Thank you Brandon Na for starting this inspiring journey & product for everyone.
You can check out his campaign and contribute & support here🔻🔻
And Charles Pensig facing death straight in the face through his mom’s battle with breast cancer:
My mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer at the beginning of 2019. She’s lived at least 1.5 years at the time of this writing. Here are some of the most important practical lessons I’ve learned from the experience.
Recommendations for the Sick and their Caretakers
1. You have to project manage your own health program. The American healthcare system is a monolith and a labyrinth. Even if you have the resources to afford and wherewithal to access world class treatment, it’s entirely on you to figure out what to do next and who needs to do it. You can’t rely on any person in a hospital to do the work for you — they’re too busy.
2. If you have cancer, go to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas immediately. The difference between #10 and #1 in the US is the difference between the pros and the minor leagues, from an organizational and administrative standpoint. The doctor’s everywhere I’ve been are world class and heroes. Some are more distracted than others due to the organizational burden thrust on them by weak administrations (though some can also be disorganized 😉 )
3. Get the family member’s finances straight immediately. If you don’t, their assets go to Probate and I’ve been unanimously told they’re a f****** b**** and take a long time to deal with through the courts. This means naming yourself jointly as a beneficiary on bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, and real estate. Name backup beneficiaries just in case something happens to you. You’re even able to name spouses and kids that don’t yet exist. Put a Will together asap. Rocketlawyer.com is fine — just get the job done. …..
Recommendations for the Perfectly Healthy
1. Plan for your own death by making your will. I’m 35 years old and have *personally* known 6 people under the age of 35 who have passed to diseases, car accidents, and sporting accidents — a couple as early as 16 and 18 years old. All you have to do is assign your physical and digital assets to people you trust. RocketLawyer.com makes this easy and costs < $100. If you want something more thorough, ask around for an “estate lawyer.” Pricing on this is $2–5k. Digital assets are tougher — get a paid 1Password or LastPass account and give a couple of people your “emergency kit” so they can take control of your emails, files, and social media accounts when you pass.
2. Consider planning for the messages you want to leave for your loved ones who survive you. A friend and father of two is kicking up a service to help people with this very goal: https://www.indiegogo.com/
projects/whenileave-com- safeguard-life-s-treasured- moments#/.
I didn’t expect this outpour that’s had even more fuel to our social fire:
Like the extreme improvements we need for education, we also need WheniLeave.com. We need a platform that allows us to constantly tell our kids, our husbands, our wives, our mothers and our fathers and the many others we come in contact with in life and have meaningful experiences or even a single conversation that we enjoyed that time with them. We need a platform to tell people who’ve wronged us that their actions have a greater chance to damage the souls of others. We need a platform to constantly refine those thoughts we’ve failed to share, but are now able to share on the die we leave.
People want to spend time thinking about death today when they have all the moments they have to live. And I love that and want to support that. So, does WiL. WheniLeave is about making sure you have things prepared “just in case” and in turn helps you live every remaining moment to its fullest.
Until we get the funding to build a larger and stronger team, I’ll continue to beg, struggle and find alternative ways to feed society’s needs.
I’ll do it with WiL and I’ll do it with education. I simply ask your help in helping me make both of these happen sooner by asking your friends, asking other people who have larger bank accounts and the many people out there who need WiL to support us. People need it. I know they do. They’ve been telling it to me for years.
One final point before I continue to fight for WiL. I tripped over a Podcast by Andy Raskin interviewing Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo, who was #11 at Salesforce. Tzuo said something striking in the dialogue that I will use moving forward.
The need for WheniLeave.com is here just like it was for Zuora. It simply took years for Tzuo to show it to the VCs and the rest of the world. Eventually, they WiL. Just like they WiL with WheniLeave.com
Crystal not only shared the amazing piece about education, but she also shared with me another amazing set of thoughts from a book she bought for me today: The Hidden Habits of Genius. In the Introduction, there were several profound words that resonated. They were:
A genius sees something in this world that is hidden from us.
Geniuses hit things you can’t see. (or something like that)
People don’t know you want until you show it to them.
While I know I’m not a genius. I think Crystal is.