I love sports. A term that you will hear used all the time in sports is adversity. Whether it is a player who fights through an injury or a team who has some sort of struggle, adversity has its fingerprint all over sports. Many of these sports players will tell you that adversity has shaped who they are as players or as a team. And it makes sense. We tend to learn more from our failures than our successes.
I believe this idea of adversity can also apply to our personal and professional lives. Let me share a quick story.
Five years ago I started my business. Early on we had an opportunity to work with another accountant during tax season. The relationship didn’t work out as planned and in fact, things got pretty ugly. We actually ended up getting sued in the process. The lawsuit had zero merit but as new business owners, it was still something that caused stress and anxiety. It all worked out in the end but it left a few scars. This adversity taught us more than we would have learned in 10 years of practice without conflict.
Your Last Line of Defense
Our contract with this particular individual was not a good one (and even stating it that way is generous). Going into the relationship we had no intention of ever having to reference the contract. And let me say, if you start a relationship and expect issues, that is probably not a relationship worth pursuing. I cannot stress how important having a solid contract is. I trust my two business partners with my life but we still have strong contracts in place. You never know what can happen. Life is crazy and people change. So how do you make sure you have good contracts?
A Worthy Investment
The main lesson we learned through the process is that a good attorney is really expensive. Just kidding (well, kinda). They are expensive but that is one investment that is worth every penny. Our attorneys were awesome during the whole process. Since then, we have made it a point to utilize our attorney every step of the way. I can’t tell you enough how important this is. If you don’t have one, shoot me a message and I can reference you to a few that we wouldn’t be a company without.
Date Before You Marry
Over the past few years’ we have worked with a business coach. Something that he always told us was to “date before you marry”. What the heck does that mean? It means that it is usually best not to jump into a new relationship with 100%. Start small and work your way up. In our situation, we went for it all without really knowing the person/company. If we had “dated” first, I think we would have soon realized that the relationship wasn’t going to work out. We’ve prioritized this principle and it has carried very positive value in our business dealings.
Going through adversity is often helpful — it seems to be a part of human nature to need to experience failure to fuel us toward success. But we can also learn from the adversity of those around us. What are some of the things you’re going through right now? Who are the people you can bring into that process, whether a trusted friend, a business coach, or a lawyer?
Don’t lose heart in the midst of your adversity, take heart and learn. The best growth opportunities are born out of adverse situations. The adversities I have faced have made me into the man and business owner I am today.
As always, I am available to wrestle with you through the adversity you’re facing.
Bless you guys.