Ain’t it grand when everything just falls into place? When you plan something, and each step you take just….happens…and then at the end you look back and you’re successful and happy and ready to tackle another challenge?
But what about the other 99 percent of your life?
You know, that 99 percent where you’re having to hoof it all the time, where it feels like every step you take gives out underneath you, and you make the proverbial movie-themed scramble to the edge at the cliff, where you dangle precariously by your fingernails until someone pulls you up, or until you pull yourself up?
Look, we’ve all been there. And when we are, it just seems so…big. The successes seem bigger than life and the failures seem like they’re going to swallow you whole. For the entrepreneurially-minded, it’s a life of living on extremes.
Except, it’s really not.
This past year, we had some things that came together. Let’s take RECON South Carolina—our new conference for military veterans in career transition—as an example. At the end, it was highly successful and we are excited about picking it up again this year to grow it. But if I look back honestly—from the day we had the idea to the day of the event—there were a lot of places where it almost fell apart. I mean a lot. There were days we didn’t think it would happen…days we almost cancelled the event…days I almost walked away never to return….but we didn’t. We pressed on. Even with the many failures involved in putting on the event, ultimately, RECON was one of our most successful ventures this year.
And now, as I’m feeling nostalgic and insightful, I’m thinking…what if the failures—those cliff-hanging, soul-ripping disasters—are just the hiccups of the next success? And if we just keep going, we’ll get to the end…to the success…and not even see them anymore. What if we erase our failures simply by continuing to move forward to success?
Of course, I realize this epiphany is idealistic at best—the reality is that there are failures…complete and total failures….every single day. Things end; they have to. But, that doesn’t mean we are limited to them, that we are tied to them, and that that failure can’t shape us for our future success. So long as we don’t stop with failure.
So here is a mantra for 2016; keep going. No matter how long you’ve held on or how many failures you had last year or how successful you have been so far. Keep going. And may 2016 wash away all memory of those failures with many more successes.
Happy New Year. We’re happy to see you in 2016.