…It was way past the midnight. About the time when every idea seems like a great idea.

We were just a bunch of friends having fun when the thought hit us. Let’s start a business together!

We acted on it. The year was 2006.

Few years later it turned out to be a stupid move… but it could not be undone.

That’s how we started a business called Prove in a world that would soon plunge into the financial crisis.

At the wake of the unfolding I ended up as the CEO of my company by accident. It wasn’t an easy job to first fire my friends.

Years later, when I slowly learned to read the financial numbers, I discovered that Prove was only two weeks away from bankruptcy. And it wasn’t the only thing diving steep. I was a total mess too. I managed to destroy both my marriage and another company we had started soon after Prove.

For me, it was the eclipse of both personal and business life. Not my proudest moments. I was spiraling towards a total destruction.

The wakeup call came on one Thursday at 3:57pm. I got a text from the father of a friend. It was only three words, but everything around stopped. ”He’s dead”.

Not long before the friend had confessed that he was an alcoholic. He took a decent shot at recovering but in the end could not bear the pain of his past. He took his own life.

I cried in the car for hours. The darkest moment of my decade. But I guess it was the only way.

…The next morning I woke up to see myself in the mirror. The friend and I had been on the same path, he had just been way ahead of me. Although my I’m not an alcoholic there was much overlay on many addictions that I suffered.

One night, when I yet again was trying to escape the adversities on social media, Youtube suggested me something. It was titled ”This video will change your life.”

I usually ignored such non-sense, but now the timing was perfect. I laughed and clicked myself through. What could I lose?

It started with a Jim Rohn quote that pierced my conscious mind.

Life and business are like the seasons. You cannot change the seasons but you can change yourself.

First I got angry and then the thought started to sink in. It started to dawn on me that maybe the bankruptcies of my life were not the cause to my internal turmoil, but the symptom of it.

…Maybe I was not the victim but the root cause of it all.

I had been resisting the seasons and sacrificing all my energy in a losing battle. Slowly this idea about seasons started to set me free. Then on just a random morning I woke up and felt like I could breathe again, something that I had not been able to do in a long time. Acceptance is a bliss.

I jotted the distinction down on my journal pages.

Seasons don’t ask for your consent, they just come and go as they have always done. Trying to change the seasons only depletes you, the only thing changeable is yourself.

It was late 2014. I had wasted half of the decade fighting a force of nature. But now I experienced a shift in the tectonic plates of my thought. The results were profound.

Before I was a sceptic, doubting everything. I lied to myself and everyone else that I was just good at critical thinking, while it was just an excuse not to change myself.

Lucky for me, the wake up call came, and I was ready to listen.

So, the last half of the decade I spent in deep study on how to develop the self.

”Success is a few simple disciplines practiced every day” became my mantra as I started to implement new rituals around reading, planning, time management, retrospecting, journaling, moving, eating and sleeping. I got a personal coach and started investing both time and money in recrafting myself.

Now, looking back at the journey, I must admit that the adversity were also the root of biggest opportunity. It’s just as Douglas Malloch puts it in his epic poem.

Good timber does not grow with ease; The stronger wind, the stronger trees

The lesson stays the same in all areas of life. The skillset that you must build to survive winters of life and business will also help you thrive when the season turns favorable again!

Since the turning point half a decade ago, Prove has made over 800.000€ in profits and my personal life is in peaceful balance again.

…But seasons work their magic yet again. Seasons don’t ask for your consent.

It’s as if the famous Game of Thrones saying was made manifest.

Winter is coming.

So came the COVID-19 and so will the adversities follow once more.

The chokehold that the virus has taken on every nation is unparallelled. Global economy will dive deep as businesses start to fall the longer the quarantines hold.

Just recently I saw an estimate that the unemployment rate in United States could even rise to 30% by the end of the year. At the same time 60% of americans have a financial buffer of $400 or less.

Yes, the specific numbers can and should be debated… but the point remains. With this trend, it doesn’t take a genius to guess the scale of the humanitarian crisis globally if this is the situation in a wealthy country like the United States.

The best thing that entrepreneurs and business owners can now do for the world is twofold.

Survive and thrive.

…And do it as fast, as bold and as big as humanly possible.

Good timber does not grow with ease; The stronger wind, the stronger trees

I write this to make my statement. And I wish to invite you to take a stand too!

Image for post
Image for post

I’ve got only one thing to say to these adversities.

NOT ON MY WATCH!

On my watch this business will not fall;

On my watch we will take the winds;

On my watch adversities become opportunities;

On my watch we survive

…and then we thrive!

Now looking back at the last decade, it feels like everything has prepared me for this moment.

…And there is a good chance that everything has prepared you for this moment too! You only need to see it!

This is the beginning of a new decade. As people over estimate what they can do within a year, they dramatically under estimate what they can achieve in a decade. This story is a proof of it.

This time around I will take all that I’ve learned and apply it on my business, Prove. I will do my part for the global economy by first surviving and then thriving to 10X this business!

To make sure that it’s not just words, I commit myself to document the whole journey on both video and writing.

Now I invite you to join the journey too. Either invest your energy with someone who is willing and able to put their everything into surviving and thriving OR make it happen for yourself!

To join the 10X journey visit http://join.niittyviita.com/

…From my inbox to yours, you’ll get a sneak peak behind the scenes of this journey paired with epic tools to both survive and thrive through these times!

Today the world doesn’t need your fear or your worry. Now, more than ever, it needs the best version of you!

So, get to it!

P.S.

Who am I? And what is Prove?

My name is Antti Niittyviita and today I run a 40 employee business in Finland. Our business is the mental health of software industry – testing and quality assurance. Everybody is just happier when software works.

Now, for the decade, my mission is to 10x the business and document the journey so others may follow. I believe it’s the best thing that entrepreneurs can do to help the world get back to it’s feet post-corona. To survive and thrive!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store