Adversity is complex and often oversimplified into bumper sticker slogans and encouraging cat posters. “Just hang on” isn’t always possible nor is it always the smartest thing to do. This isn’t to say giving up is way to go when the going gets tough, but sometimes you need to fall flat on your face in order to reevaluate why you couldn’t hold on to begin with. Being good at something right away or getting it right the first time sounds good but those occurrences leave little to no room for learning and growth.
For example, I screwed up the audio on an interview TWICE. That’s two plus hours of someone’s time that I ate up because of inexperience at recording. I was sold on some software that had a great reputation but for some reason wasn’t working for me. I was also trying to use equipment that I could afford but wasn’t necessarily the best set up according to those same experts. On one hand I could keep pushing through with the software and setup and try all the variations possible or stop and scrap it all with a hard start over. I chose the latter and not because I wanted to give up on what everyone had agreed upon was the best option, but because I needed to learn the process from scratch. I chose a longer route to recording better by letting go completely and starting from square one. That experience introduced me to new techniques, software, and allowed me to improvise and adapt with what I had to fit my own particular set up.
I’m actually very fortunate because my screw-ups haven’t cost me or anyone money, in the cash-in-hand variety. Time is of course valuable but not in the same way getting a bill in the mail. I look at my set back and challenges and I can honestly say they are in no way comparable to some of the issues I’ve heard from business owners with stores, merchandise, property, utilities, etc. There are thousands upon thousands of dollars’ worth of Murphy’s Law applicability to their endeavors that could cost them their entire venture. My issue cost me a few hours and some free software, not bad in the grand scheme of things. The issue now is that I recognize that this podcast is going to get bigger and with that the issues and stakes will also get bigger. The benefit to stumbling around is that I feel better prepared to meet those challenges.
The Veterans I’ve talked to almost always mention that their experiences in the military prepared them for the adversity of business whether it’s long hours, continuous obstacles, many moving pieces, or anxiety they feel prepared to meet those challenges. I couldn’t agree more with the notion that my military experience has helped me to deal with the challenges of this podcast. The Army taught me a heavy dose of patience, when to take a knee and reevaluate where I’m going, and of course when it’s time to kick the door in and just do it.