Adversity as Steppingstone | Your Life Is Your Business

I’ve been broke. Actually twice. The second time was scarier.

When we least expect it, life throws us a curve ball. After all, our life is our business, so adversity comes with the territory.

Pay attention. What you see can fool you.

When the people and conditions in our lives are in synch, things run smoothly. But what happens when:

  • Disagreements drive a wedge between you and a friend
  • New people that you don’t like are accepted into your circle
  • Your debts have gotten out of hand
  • The raise or promotion you counted didn’t happen 

Events like these can change everything.

If you don’t own the problem, it won’t get fixed. 

First, you need to ask yourself, “What’s the real problem?”

Then ask, “How am I in the way of the fix?”

Usually, that answer is fear, uncertainty, low self-confidence, confusion, lack of skills, or an unwillingness to reach out.

We own our adversity. No blaming. No excuses. No hiding. Even when our problems are touched off by other people or situations, it’s still up to us to fix them. Our life is our business and a failed life is unacceptable.

Here’s my story.

Sometimes there are relationship situations that can’t be fixed or negotiated, so you need to make decisions that “stop the bleeding.” I did.

Here I was again, on my own, starting over with a mountain of debt. I owned a highly mortgaged house, ten pieces of furniture, a car, and two dogs.

Luckily, though, I had a low level management job with career growth potential somewhere down the road.

For me, asking for and accepting help from others doesn’t come easily. I believed, then, that I was supposed to solve my own problems. After all I’d gotten myself into this mess.

But this time, the circumstances were dire. Painfully, I borrowed hefty sums from two family members to avoid losing everything I had left.

When adversity comes, it expects your complete attention. So my septic system erupted. Yes, sewage soaked the lawn. I called the plumber whose quote was $2,400. I started to cry. The plumber said, “You can pay me $25 a month. Is that okay?” I cried harder for his kindness.

There was only enough money each month to pay fixed expenses. Food is a variable expense. Canned spaghetti or stew with rye bread was a staple. Every Sunday, my neighbor sent over a plate, a real home cooked meal.  I learned to accept help from everyone. They gave it warmly.

Opportunity is always knocking. So open the door! 

Until I could earn more, I would have to live this way. Up until then, I had always been an employee, used to getting a paycheck. I’d never made a dime otherwise.

One morning my phone rang. I heard a man say, “This is your veterinarian.”

“Okay,” I think. “Why is he calling me?”

He says, “My Office Manager just quit. I remembered that you were a manager. Since you know my practice, I thought maybe you’d have some advice.”

I was so caught off guard that I said, “You should call someone who does practice management consulting and have them look at things for you.”

He says, “Can you do that?”

I say, “Yes,” to my own surprise. We were both desperate.

I made it clear that his would be the first practice I ever consulted for, so the fee would reflect that.

He was my client for three years. Through him I ended up with clients in three states, using my vacation days to work with them.

In less than three years, my debts were gone, my career was growing, and I felt in charge of my life.

“Yes” can power your future. 

Adversity is often a steppingstone. Use business fitness to develop the strength you need to overcome adversity and achieve success in life—your way. It isn’t magic and it isn’t difficult. Ready…set…go!

Do you have a tale of adversity that enlightened you and brought you to a better place? What was your “ah ha” moment? Our shared struggles are our bond.