What does it mean to be a hero?

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Just a few days ago, DreamCSX united to participate in the Little Oaks Superhero 5k. Amidst less-than-super weather, the #DreamTeam donned capes, cowls, and captain hats to take to the trail in the name of charity and team-building. The run itself supported the Little Oaks school of Knoxville, TN… a non-profit preschool. With the money DreamCSX and the other race participants raised headed towards a wonderful cause, it got me thinking about what it means to be a hero.

Turn on your television, radio, or computer, and I’ve no doubt you’ll be inundated with negativity from the get-go. Our nation, nay, our world may have never felt more in upheaval. Personal politics aside, everything these days just feels chaotic. Perhaps this time, more than any other, finds us seeking heroes to save us. Don’t believe me? Marvel alone has seen profits in the billions with their recent box-office runs. As we close in on the impending Infinity War it’s clear as the repulsor blasts from Iron Man’s chest that we’re all enamored with the ideology of rising to the occasion to bring about positive change.

But how does that apply to us in business?

More often than not, the business world is likened to words like cutthroat, competitive, or merciless. Perhaps rightfully so. When you’re a startup, every day in business is a war on all fronts. From a marketplace always keen on the next big thing, to competitors’ price-gouging or replicating your own unique advantages. Employee loyalty goes as far as the bottom dollar you pay – which in and of itself is an overhead strain from day one. Or if your business is living beyond the label of startup… you now face the nipping at your heels by those very startups, whose lean and agile pivoting prowess keeps your products or services forever in jeopardy of becoming outdated or over-priced.

How could being a part of that world ever benefit from the notion of heroism?

DreamCSX participated in the Superhero 5k because our CEO, Michael McMillan knew that our business was founded on more than profit-margins and data-analytics. Our team is more than an amalgamation of hungry go-getters and ladder-climbers looking for their next recommendation on their LinkedIn page. Our company is more than the services we provide, and the hours we keep. It is a family, who have more desire than helping just those we are lucky to call our customers. DreamCSX was founded on the principle of positivity. That no matter our size, helping our community would be a tentpole cemented into the foundation of our mission and vision.

In short? DreamCSX aspires to rise to the occasion to bring out positive change in our world. Heroism for short.

Running in the rain for roughly 3.1 miles does not make anyone on our team heroic (as much as it made them soggy and hungry!). Helping to raise money for a deserving school doesn’t grant us any super powers. But training and completing the run as a team created bonds that will be hard to break. Seeing good work leading to bettering our local community not only raised morale and a few errant endorphins. It allowed us to walk in the door Monday morning, reinvigorated to do our work better than anyone else in our space. It allowed us all to take a step back and recognize that the work we do, matters more than us all collectively paying our bills on time, and enjoying Taco Truck Tuesdays.

Our careers through DreamCSX help us center ourselves, and see the bigger picture. We do the best work we can do – helping our customers see the results they deserve – instilling our energy working for them as if we were working out of their offices. The energy is infectious. The results continue to keep us motivated to continuously improve upon them. Not for profit. Not for fame. Not for the accolades of our peers.

Because we don’t strike to be conquerors. No. We strive to be heroes.