Key Learning's from 2018
2018 proved to be a pivotal year. There were questions that I had to face - should I continue with the consultancy? If so, how would I build a unique value proposition? These are not new questions. I've been dealing with this since the very beginning. However, this was the year where I had to either continue or shut this entire work stream down. For 5 months, I was agonizing and worrying about what would happen next. When I almost lost hope, everything changed. Three people who I've known for several years approached me with projects within the space of two weeks. And since then, everything changed with the consultancy. And with my attitude. So what are my learning's from 2018?
Never lose hope. No matter how dire things get in your life. One doesn't know what's around the corner. If you've put positive energy out in the universe, positive energy will come back to you eventually. This sounds so common. Until you've gone through your own experience. One of the videos that resonated with me was from Jim Valvano's 1993 speech at the ESPY's when he was staring at death from cancer, and he said, never give up. So true!
Take the risk. Too often in our lives, we hold ourselves back for whatever reason. Usually, it's something that we believe to be true in our heads. We typically can't get past it. Confront that fear and take it head on. My wife and son made me realize this when I was feeling really down and out. It took their gentle nudge to make me realize that the only fear I was dealing with was the fear of failure. The only failure that happens is when you give up. Everything else is an opportunity to grow and to learn. So take the risk and do something new and different. You might not know what will happen on the other end, but when you take that risk, you will learn something new.
Fail often and fail cheap. There's nothing wrong with failure. So long as you learn from the experience and grow as a result. Over the past five years, I've had a number of failures. But I've been learning. Something that Steve Jobs said at the commencement ceremony rings true with this comment. You go through experiences in life and they are a new dot. You can't connect the dots until after the fact. That's what failing often and failing cheap is all about. Learning and then connecting the learning's to apply to a new situation. My experiences in the past five years has taught me to be resilient. I couldn't have done this on my own. So I am grateful to my family and my friends and colleagues who have nudged, encouraged and in some cases pushed me over the edge to keep moving forward.
And for that, I'm truly grateful for 2018.