From the Seeds of Despair Come Greatness

"I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do."

I was always envious and impressed with one of my former entrepreneurs, David Linn. After HBS, he managed to arrange to play professional soccer during the summer (Chicago Fire) and work at McKinsey the rest of the year. He was our top deal guy at Centerpost and has an effusive energy and presence that makes you want to be involved with him & whatever he is doing. We were disappointed when he left Centerpost to go to New York and be with his fiancee, his soul mate but we were happy for him. Fast forward 9 years and imagine my surprise to see him on the stage of the Social Innovation Summit. My heart sank as I heard him talk about how his now wife came down with a rare sarcoma and, after 7 years of fighting, died in 2011.

But David is an amazing guy, a force of nature. As many incredible people have done, he took the pain, the sadness and the setback and redirected them towards making a difference. You see, for all of us, from the seeds of despair come greatness. For every setback and tragedy brings with it an energy, a yin to despair's yang. It can propel us to new heights to right unstoppable wrongs. To make the world a better place, whether through a business, a cause, a friendship or just a hug. As Buddha said, there will always be pain or disappointment but there does not need to be suffering.  Where are you going to point your immense talent & potential to make the world a better place?

As I said in my earlier blog post this year, I vowed to give back more. David created Cycle for Survival in partnership with Equinox and Sloan Kettering to raise money for rare cancer research (total 50% of deaths). They have raised over $30m in the last couple of years and every dollar goes directly to researchers. So, inspired by David's awesome response to life, David Rosen & I set up our Team Pritzker for Cycle for Survival on Feb 8th. If any of you are moved to support the cause, please go to the TEAM PRITZKER CYCLE PAGE. The McCall's are dividing and conquering…my daughter, Avery, will be David R in Chicago and I'll be part of our LA office effort (you can donate to either team).

In closing, I wanted to add a link to David's blog about turning 40 and How to Dance After Losing It All. He made the video below with his wife on her 40th in 2010. Don't forget to dance.