There is an old Chinese saying that says the gem is not polished without rubbing nor is a character formed without trials and challenges.
It’s like if you grow up in a greenhouse and everything is perfect – then there’s no reason to grow.
You know, all progress comes at the point of resistance, the point of pain, the point of suffering and the point of where you are scared about what you are about to do.
Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and jump out into the unknown. You know you are taking a chance, you know you don’t know what the outcome will be.
You know I’ve read a lot of business books. And there’s a lot of people who think that in business, the more you learn, the more perfect your business is going to be.
That there is some kind of invulnerability to aspire to. That learning about business is about getting some kind of certainty about doing what you want to do.
Actually the opposite is true in reality. Business is all about imperfection. Business is all about being vulnerable.
It’s about jumping in, fully aware that you don’t know what the outcome is going to be, and doing it nonetheless.
It’s about putting it all on the line with the full awareness that it might not turn out. It’s about being totally vulnerable. It’s really not for the faint-hearted. It’s not for people who hold back from taking risks – It takes character.
(The Cambridge Dictionary defines character as: “the quality of being determined and able to deal with difficult situations eg: ‘She has such strength of character’“)
That’s what makes a successful business person. Character.
The banks know it, other business owners know it and your team knows it when they see it.
The more character you develop, the more risks you take, the more you fail and the more willing you are to try something new.
This is what we are looking for from our business leaders, not that they tick the boxes and dot the i’s.
That’s what makes good bureaucrats, administrators, accountants and historians.
Progress is not pretty, neat or tidy and it often doesn’t fit any of the theories.
Our futures depend upon the risk takers, the determined and the ones who take on the difficult, the challenging and the impossible.
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