Fight versus flight

With ultimate frisbee I go headfirst, try to do everything to stop the disc or catch the disc, with American football I was the last man in the defence (the safety) and the the first man to clear the path for the running back (tight end).

In business I fight 👊 when I try to create new things out of nothing.

  • In 2007 creating a solely based online serie—Netflix original style— funded with product placement when social media and online personal branding was not even invented.
  • In 2008 with creating one of the first coworking communities Lev Kaupas here in the Netherlands.
  • With SellanApp creating the first worldwide reverse crowdfunding auction, where the more money was raised the more likely a project was chosen, funded and made.
  • With Wildcard creating the first professional online to offline app, which stimulates meeting people offline again, because in current times we need IRL conversations that challenge our thinking.

These ideas and companies come from an endless series of decisions and small steps to fight 👊, to obsess over control, to take responsibility.

Dare I said it, I have always been a fighter!

Only when I’m not…

Six months ago I chose a split second flight ✈️ over fight 👊 and I still reap the caveats of that decision. I learned the hard way that that flight meant in having so much more problems and limitations down the road, than to fight and solve it on the spot.

I’m not going to bore you with the details, since I’ve told this story of my split second flight ✈️—which ended up in a motorcycle accident—way too often. The accident made a huge negative impression on me, and that gets me thinking, because I want to try positively transform it into a learning experience.

Converting negative emotions into positive ones is considered a fighters trade 👊

I fight 👊 the negativity and choose to do something with it: to take responsibility, to see things from another perspective to look forward instead of backwards.

Other people involved in a situation are not by any chance accountable for your choices. They can be at fault by causing a situation, but you are sole responsible for your decision, for what you do with after something happens.

‘Fight 👊 of flight ✈️ ‘ is a defence mechanism protecting you from direct danger. On the short term, within a split second situation it causes a direct stress and fear. On the long term it basically does the same, but there are more sleepless nights involved.

Your senses tighten and your internal workings are pressured where there’s a fight or flight decision to be made. The art is recognising them and being aware that something happens where you can take control.

It can be a situation in traffic, a heated discussion with family, but also a business decision which surfaces.

I personally learned to recognise these situations by taking a breath. It really sounds like a cliché, but taking a breath—which my Apple Watch prompts me to do every 3 hours—works great to become more aware and mindful, anywhere I am.

Take a breath often, and you’ll become more aware of situations in general

The first time I heard about taking a breath was at primary school (basisschool) when some form of repression happened. Because I was (still am) such an aggressively-stubborn-repellent-to-injustice boy my parents and teachers always told me take count to ten and take a breath.


If you don’t make the decision

When I was half way of my 3 years working on SellanApp, I had choice to fight 👊 or flight ✈️. To take control and change the product and model, or to leave the company I helped found. In this situation I did neither…

That means either I did not know I had a choice, or I did not want to make the choice. Not making a decision ends up postponing the problem, it puts essential thoughts on a sidetrack.

When you ignore the call for a decision it leads to not taking responsibility, it moves the responsibility or decision to some other situation or other person.

Indecision leads to flight. ✈️

Fight 👊 when you believe you are right

With Wildcard we’re in this situation that I believe I’m right, people and business need this. I’m fighting more than 60 hours a week to make this happen. So when is it time for flight ✈️?

And does this hypothetical flight ✈️ feel like failure? Is failure good or bad? We definitely tried. Is it the right timing for the idea overall?

The questions of fight 👊 or flight ✈️ often possesses me, and sometimes it’s in a split second, sometimes it’s over 3 years.

Life is not as black and white, but the decisions you make are very much.

The conversations you have with people around you shape you, the breathes you take make you aware of the situations, let me know if you’re in this situation and let me listen to you!