December 24th, 2008 by Seth Kenvin
Whatever holiday(s) you may celebrate this time of year, you are wished happy ones by Market7. For me, it’s Chanukah now.
The story of Chanukah includes two miracles. The first is that after their Hellenistic rulers outlawed their religious practices, a group of five brothers led the surprisingly successful Macabee revolt that established a new, hundred-year Jewish kingdom. The second miracle is that afterward, a small amount of sacred oil found in the temple proved sufficient to burn for eight days, while new oil was prepared.
I try to consider the lessons of Jewish holidays and customs as I can apply them to my life. In considering Chanukah this year, I think the order of the miraculous pairing illustrates the aphorism that you “make your own luck”.
Eightfold combustible durability of the temple oil seems supernatural, but that miracle only came to be after the prior miracle of the underdog battlers re-taking the temple. So in the story a human-catalyzed feat was necessary before receiving a divine gift.
Start-up life is dramatic, although so far doesn’t involve swords, shields or ritual flames for us. Yet, I can draw some parallels with the holiday story. We are working hard and trying to work smart. It is certainly a brutal environment, and we’ve had our setbacks. But our overall trajectory is good, in large part due to some fortuitous sales that developed like proverbial blue birds flying through our window. It is through our hard and hopefully smart work that we got that window open in the first place, sort of like how in the Chanukah story, the gumption of the Macabees was necessary first before they could witness the wonder of the durable flame.
In 2009 we hope you reap the luck you make for yourself with hard and smart work to open windows through which flocks of blue birds fly.