Motivational Monday #9 Let Struggle Be Your Teacher

The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect. – Adam Osborne

Not everything we do in life goes according to plan, and that’s one of the best lessons that you’ll ever get.

When I first made the decision to leave my employer and go out on my own as a nurse practitioner, things didn’t go so well. 

  • I struggled to find a place to set up shop
  • Didn’t know how to attract new clients
  • Was pretty green when it came to the hassles of running my own business

Many of the mistakes I made were simply because I didn’t know what I was doing. But fast forward a few years later and things were going much better. Clients were coming back, revenue was pouring in, and we were on a trajectory path for growth.

None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t struggled at first. Had everything gone absolutely smoothly, I probably would’ve never second-guessed myself or learned the skills I needed to take my business to the next level. 

Oftentimes I think this is when people tend to shut down. They say to themselves that things aren’t working and they prematurely abandon their dream before it’s even left the ground. But how can you know if you were really meant for something if you leave it after the first bump in the road?

I believe a lot of this perfectionism stems from when we are young. From a very early age, we’re conditioned to believe that if we do everything our parents want for us, anything our teachers ask, and get good grades, that life will be great. Yet, there is clearly no correlation between doing well in school and lifelong success. 

From my own personal observation, the people who seem to do the best are those who know how to persevere. They encounter an issue, find a solution to get around it, and then keep moving forward. They understand that what’s not important is how many shots they’ve missed but rather how many shots they take and how carefully they aim each time.

The next time you’re feeling like you’re not stacking up to this idea of perfection, whether it’s according to your standards or someone else’s, tell yourself, “So what?” Mistakes are going to happen; they’re completely unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from them. Leverage each one as the opportunity it is – to discover what you could be doing better.

6 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience. We could not do it. Six of us started Primary care clinic, it only lasted four months, and I only treated one patient. We could not continue to pay all the expenses. Since then it has been very difficult for me to attempt starting another business.

    1. My first business was a failure too. You just need to learn from the failure and try again. You only fail if you quit.

    1. You are welcome. Keep pushing forward. Struggle and wanting to give up at times is just part of the game. If it was “easy”, then everyone would have their own business.

  2. Love the Wayne Gretzky paraphrased tip that “we always miss 100% of the time with the shots we fail to take” . Always good to give him credit for a brilliant piece of advice on perseverance.

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