Sometimes the worst happens.
Living in today’s world with the words economic depression being bantered about in conversation, people being laid-off or fired from jobs they’ve worked at for years, homes being foreclosed on… yeah, sometimes the worst happens, or what feels like the worst in that moment.
The only thing you can do is keep moving forward, and as they say… make lemonade out of lemons. Not exactly words you’d like to hear I’m sure but hey…
“Thems the breaks.”
An excellent example of just such a situation is a valued client and fellow entrepreneur of mine named Forrest Graves.
Forrest is married, has a family, and once worked a full-time job that he put a lot of sweat and blood into, not to mention valuable time. Maybe just like you. Or maybe not. He was quite the high-level executive earning an admirable six figures, and like most, he likely never expected the worst to happen.
Unfortunately it always does.
As Dave Ramsey says “Emergencies are gonna happen… they always do. That’s why they’re called EMERGENCIES”. Point taken.
In Forrest’s case, his emergency or “worst” was being laid-off from the cushy job he’d spent so many years toiling for at Hewlett Packard. And to add insult to injury he was let go the day after Christmas! What a gift. Merry freakin’ Christmas right?
But hey, it’s just business. Nothing personal.
Everyone’s making cut-backs and the roll of the dice just didn’t go in his favor. It happens. Or so they say anyway. Maybe it’s true. But luckily you have a choice when that happens. That moment doesn’t have to be the one that defines you.
You can choose instead to be defined by how you move forward from that point on. Remember, what makes you who you are is how you respond when the worst happens, and how you overcome it. How you face challenges instead of running from them.
Forrest made the decision that being laid-off from such a job wasn’t going to define him, that instead what he did AFTER the fact was going to define him. And he chose to make lemonade.
See, Forrest had a hobby. He loved coffee. You know the kind… you might be one of them. He’s that type of coffee lover that prefers to ‘make his own’ rather than buy that crap from the grocery store.
The kind that would rather roast some coffee beans in the kitchen than take a trip to buy stale beans from the local vendor. You’d have to be a coffee connoisseur to understand what I’m talking about here, but if you are one… you KNOW. He had a passion.
Luckily coffee is pretty big business, so it’s actually a pretty smart passion as well. Seriously, I love coffee too, but ever met a coffee connoisseur? They’re serial in their quest for the perfect cup. And do NOT get in the way of their morning latte unless you like broken bones. I speak from experience. OK, not really but you can totally see it right?
Anyhoo Forrest and family decided they weren’t going to let an economic depression depress THEM and made the monumental decision to start investing in themselves. They got cozy with obstacles, stared down complications with their mean face, and made passion their primary pursuit. (Not THAT kind of passion people, get your minds out of the gutter. Sheesh.) They started their own coffee business and haven’t looked back since.
As almost a testament to making those hard choices and being rewarded for them, I’d invite you to look at Forrest and family now.
Featured in December on CNN, and just recently written-up on ABC News, Forrest and his family have made some pretty damn good lemonade from those crappy lemons. And I expect that the lemonade is only going to get sweeter with time as he continues on his entrepreneurial road and follows his passion.
So why am I writing about my friend Forrest?
To me his story is pretty inspirational. And sometimes when the worst happens, you need little reminders like his story to snap you out of it and make you realize that life isn’t over just because you’ve been given an obstacle. It’s not over just because it’s hard. That’s for wimps. And sissies. And movies for sad and dramatic effect.
I really don’t know where you are in your life’s journey if you’re reading this right now. Maybe you’re already self-employed like Forrest and me. Maybe you simply dream of someday working for yourself and following a passion.
Maybe you’re working hard in your free hours, trying to make your hobby a business while still logging 40+ hours a week at a day job to make sure the bills are paid. Honestly I have no idea.
But when given a story like that, how can I not share it?
It’s a testament to the fact that giving up in the face of hardship is a bad idea. Staying on the ground when life hits you with a hard knock is a waste of breath and body and the brain the Good Lord gave you.
Everyone in this world starts out with the same parts. Fingers, toes, YOU know. Everyone goes through life traveling their own unique path. But that doesn’t mean they travel it alone. Look around you and you’ll find your neighbor struggling with many of the same things you yourself struggle with.
Yes, some have it harder than others, but the ones who make it?
They’re the ones that stand up, shake it off and keep on trucking until they find the happiness and joy they were meant to have in this life. They’re the ones who ask the hard questions until they uncover their passion. Then they go for it.
I don’t know about you, but I think we could all take a lesson from Forrest and his experience. Yes the worst happens. But so does the best. It’s all about which one you choose to accept as your reality.
Forrest chose to see being laid-off as the best thing that ever happened to him. You can choose to do the same with your own obstacles and set-backs. You can choose to see your current situation as the best thing since sliced bread… if you want to.
So that now begs the question… what kind of obstacles do you face right now, and how are you choosing to see them?
Plan on making some lemonade?
I know I am.