Monday, September 21, 2009

Sometimes you win and sometimes you ...

I am always amazed at the vicissitudes of vacuous individuals. As I near fifty I find I look back my use of funds and feel I failed more than a fair amount of time. Most of the time it is because I trusted the wrong people; or trusted the right people for too long or too short.

I have started MANY businesses in my lifetime with more than a 90% failure rate. I am great at the entrepreneurial START. But once it gets going I tend to become disinterested and bored. Then either, I turn the reins over to another or the business self-destructs due to inattention. But now I know my MO and I look for businesses that can thrive on my periodic attention or on me starting them and turning them over to qualified GOOD people.

I find failure to be an interesting thing. A wizened fisherman sat in his boat fixing his nets at the end of a long dock while a city-slicker in the resort town on a cruise walked out on the dock to get a feel for the local lifestyle. At the end of the dock the city man looked at the support poles going down into the black/blue deep asked the local, “How many people who fall in drown?” The fisherman looked down at the water and then up at the city man and said, “None.” The city man was about to protest but before he could the fisherman finished, “No one who falls in drowns, it is those who don’t get out again that drown.”

It is not: sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. It IS: sometimes you win and sometimes you LEARN. I have failed a LOT in my life. In starting new businesses or making bad decisions in current businesses. In starting new churches with new programs or new ministries that never reach people. In investments of time and money in hare-brained schemes. In things I’ve said and done to my loved ones that sounded great in my head but blew up in the real world. The truth is: I’m a loser.

Call me a loser as much as you want and you will probably be right but I pray you never call me unteachable. THAT would be the worst thing to me. I KNOW I lose and fail a lot but I hope and pray I learn from each one of those losses and failures. I pray that I have the grace and courage to get back out of the water and try again after I fall in. People who never fail, never try.

Step out, take a chance, open up: TRY something! Because sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. BOTH are not bad outcomes.

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