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  • Writer's pictureRoger DaSilva

The (Hu)man in the Arena

So, many of you don't know this (because I didn't tell anyone except my Mom, who would have killed me if I didn't) but I appeared on CNBC's Fast Money October 9th. You can watch the video here:

Was I nervous? Of course I was! I was doing something I had never done before, appearing with people I have watched and respected for years and having a heavy dose of imposter syndrome. EVERYONE on the set was so positive, encouraging and friendly - from the staff to the producers to the vets that appear on your screen every weekday night at 5pm (even @GuyAdami - especially him!). So it came time for me to appear on air, I took a breath, composed myself and...sucked.

Now I am my own worst critic and am very hard on myself - I realize that - but I wasn't happy because it just wasn't me on screen. My personality didn't shine through and that's really all that I wanted. If I messed up or stumbled (which I did) but I was just myself, I would be so pleased.

After the ordeal was over, I thanked everyone and walked home to my apartment (and yes I spoke to my Mom on the way, who told me I was "great". You need that pick me up right after you feel like you bombed on national TV). I got home, showed my kids my segment and my 6 year old told me "Daddy, I loved watching you on TV. You were so good!" and honestly, that's what family is all about and I felt so grateful for having them. When you fail or don't live up to your own (unreasonably high) standards, at least you have them to support you. I am really lucky to have that around me and I hope that others who try really hard things do as well.

Startup CFO on CNBC
Do I look nervous AF? Yup!

One thing that I thought about walking home was that at least I tried, and the Teddy Roosevelt speech popped into my head (updated for our times) and put it all into perspective:

"The credit belongs to the (hu)man who is actually in the arena...who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends (them)self in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if (s)he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his(her) place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

I am glad that I did it. Now did I fail? No not at all. I am better for having gone through this experience and I will do it again (if they ask me to!). But I promise that if I do, I will be myself.

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