I have just finished a decade of being in business for myself. I celebrate that accomplishment with gusto and gratitude. I am blessed beyond the pale being able to do what I love to do, help others reach their highest potential, help to transform the construction industry, and get paid for all of that! Life is good.
After reading the book, Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell, I was wondering if, after I hit the ten year mark, that things would start to take off. And they have. You see, Mr. Gladwell’s book focuses on the magic number of 10,000 hours. Once you do something for 10,000 hours, you become an expert. You become successful. The world starts to see your worth. The world is filled with stories of “overnight” successes who, when interviewed, tell their audience that they have been slogging away at their craft for, you guessed it, 10 years. The Beatles played clubs in Germany for 10 hours a day for quite a long time. It is in those clubs that they developed themselves as musicians and as a group. I imagine when they started they were pretty awful. Nobody starts out as an expert.
So when it feels like you are just miring down in the muck of figuring out the best way to do things, celebrate that. Celebrate the fact that your are honing your craft. Celebrate the disasters and the failures. They are what make you successful. I have made many mistakes along the way and continue to make them. But I don’t freak out about them nearly as much any more. I use them to learn. I celebrate them more. And after 10 years, some pretty amazing things are happening. I was just voted one of the Top 25 Newsmakers for 2011 by Engineering News Record, a national magazine for the construction industry. People are starting to call me now. It was always referral based, but I had to push that much more. Now people are calling me to speak, to teach, to help with them their employees. It’s very rewarding. But I don’t think I would be at this point if I had not failed and had problems.
So the next time you have a rough time, celebrate it and know that it is just helping you to be successful.