Life is full of changes, sometimes unwanted. As I look back on my career, I realize now that I was fortunate to learn critical lessons relatively early. During the 1980’s recession I had to close my panelize-modular home building factory down and put 109 people without jobs. I felt devastated and terrified about my future. What was I going to do? Little did I know that my entire career was getting ready to change in a very positive way. Seven months later the US State Department award me a contract to export 100,000 panelize-modular-mobile homes to Israel and manage a technology exchange to build two automated home building factories.
Here are the lessons I learned.
Dramatic changes open door for dramatic improvements. I am convinced that the difference between success and failure is a function of how we respond to change. In short, we should pursue change with enthusiasm and believe that in every circumstance we can find new potential to experience greater success.
When I got the contract to export 100,000 hopes and work in the international market place, I felt I entered a strange new world. I needed to learn new skills - and fast. I began taking classes and reading as much as I could. My self-imposed international business protocol and logistics boot camp did the trick. Even now, I keep reading and learning to ensure that I never get stale.
When setbacks occur, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of feeling like a victim. Even, subconsciously, we may blame other people for our misfortunes. While these feelings are natural, it’s better to not let it dominate you. Here’s how approach it:
When I closed my business, I knew that it wouldn’t be the only hardship I’d face in my career. Rather than dread the future, I became eagerly excited. I looked forward to facing additional experiences that would require me to “reinvent” myself.
We all experience twists and turns throughout our careers. I take comfort in the fact that, even if I make a wrong choice or take a bad turn, I will likely still have another chance to get on the right tract.
As you encounter change in your life or business, embrace it. Life may be a roller coaster, but without the ups and downs, it wouldn’t be much of a ride.
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