Our journey will take different twists as we are all unique, with different strengths, weaknesses, challenges and socioeconomic backgrounds. However, we all have goals.
Many will start their journey with a goal or destination and have it mapped out. Such an individual may have the support of family, friends or mentors standing next to them, providing the tools and resources to climb the most Mount Everest of goals. Given the right variables, these individuals would always succeed, as they should.
Then others will start with a desire to improve their circumstances in life, those whose goal is to simply build something to sustain themselves and take control of their lives. Those in this category may not have finished or even attended college and may need more support to succeed.
These are the underdogs—those always having to push the cart up the hill, facing challenges at every corner with sometimes no one but the good Lord in their corner. For this person, the journey is the most difficult. The Davids of the world constantly face a giant and are always up against a Goliath. If you are a David in this world of Goliaths, step right up and take a seat; you are in the company of many other Davids. Davids have faced and continue to face significant obstacles and challenges in life.
There is a cliché that states what does not kill you will make you stronger. Here is one of my David versus Goliath stories. If you are unfamiliar with David versus Goliath, I strongly recommend you look this up. It was initially recorded in the Bible in 1st Samuel Chapter 17.
Brian Versus the Big Film Company’s Rejection
I started my business with less than what is commonly called “humble beginnings.” The first service we offered the public was car detailing; long before social media and even Google became such a powerful force in our lives. We provided a premium service, and before too long, we had a clientele that trusted us with prized automobiles.
These clients started asking for additional services like window tinting, so I went to tint school, having no one to teach me, and to make sure I could deliver an end product that would meet the approval of our growing clientele.
After attending tint school, I tried to reduce the learning curve associated with mastering the craft of window tinting. This challenge is threefold—cutting the film, heat forming the film, and installing the film.
Cutting the film by hand required precision, and it would take time to develop this skill. Heat forming was not terrible; I did well in the training class. Then there is the art of film maneuverability or handling. That is where most newcomers give up the ghost and become average.
Oh, did I mention that I am a bit of a perfectionist? So I found this terrifying. I did not want to deliver terrible work. There was also the risk of cutting the glass and damaging the vehicle. I thought that if I did not have to cut the film by hand, that would be one less task for me to master. Getting a plotter should eliminate this step.
I contacted my then-film supplier, inquired about a plotter and was told the following. I went deep into my archive and found the exact words:
“The way things are set up now, you have to purchase $10,000 in film a year. The plotter itself is $2,400, plus you would have to purchase the software and set up fee, which isn’t included in the $2,400 price. That would all have to be paid upfront.”
Wow! Goliath had hit me with a devastating blow and had won this round. I will fill you in on what came after in my next post. This has been a bit of a rant, and I still have some other items I’d like to include before I complete this post.
My good friend Brian (namesake) said this to me: Be kind to yourself. Are you inclined to be kind to everyone but yourself? Are you taking care of yourself?
Thoughts From a Book
Atomic Habits by James Clear is a book I recommend to all. I want to share a few nuggets from this book in the months ahead. This month’s wisdom: 40 to 50% of all tasks are habits. I’ll pair that with an Aristotle quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit.”
Be kind to yourself and develop good habits. These fundamentals will make us better humans, and our lives and businesses will thrive.
Until the next time—Walk Good (Jamaican Expression).