Everything happens for a reason… even something as terrible as 2020.
While having lunch yesterday with my chief videographer (thanks Amirah for your lunch treat and your pineapple tarts! ), we talked about a topic that’s quite reflective of this terrible year.
We were reflecting on the things that happened to the 2 of us in 2020.
You see, for me, this was a particularly difficult year because unlike the previous big recession in 2008 which my employer still paid me on time every month… this year, I have to do everything to keep putting food on the table.
Not only that, I have a team who depends on my business to put food on their table as well.
And literally without much experience and much of a guidance (come on, who’s really been through something like this in their life to teach people what to do?), I realise one very important thing that kept me going.
Yes, this time last year, my wife and I fell out of a partnership which we thought was going to be life-changing. Earlier this year, another potential partnership with a good friend went bitter, causing an awkward strain in our relationship. Then there’s the CB which caused half our clients to leave. Next, another business partnership faltered, and along with my partner, 2 team members and 1 more later, left without saying a proper goodbye.
And all these time, I still have bills and mortgages to pay, massive insurance premiums to support, and lots of debts to settle…
I mean, you don’t know how many times I broke down alone at night, thinking frantically how to survive the next month. I think even my wife didn’t know about all these…
But the thing is, I remember 1 thing that one of my mentors used to teach me. He says Everything Is Perfect… and that There’s a Pony in Every Pile of Shit. And incidentally, the bigger the pile, the more perfect would be that pony.
And so, I have literally had no other choice than to just continue to believe in that.
True enough, in retrospect, things really happened for a reason.
I mean, after months of what all those took place… all the fallouts and breakups, had they not happen, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
We pulled out of our tuition centre partnership just in time for one of the toughest years, if not the toughest, for any education business.
The 2nd partnership didn’t take off, revealing to me that I can’t work well with another leader in the partnership. I realised that either I lead, or the other person do. 50/50 partnerships aren’t really for me.
50% of our clients leave… just in time for us to discover that we have to really take care of the other 50% who stayed with us. And that they deserve 2X the amount of value we initially gave them. And indeed, we restructured our package for them, and gave them twice as much value as they received in the past.
Team member left because it’s meant for them to go. I mean it’s pointless if we don’t have the same perspective in the direction to grow. And with old members leaving, new ones will join us.
And last but certainly not least, struggling with money made me realise the importance of cashflow in business. Popular 50-year old brand names can die in 5 months because of bad cashflow, so really, what does it mean for my company that’s 5 years old only?
So as we step into a brand new year which practically meant absolutely nothing in reality… But if you are among the 99% of people who believe that with a new year comes a new lease…
I invite you to believe that Everything Happens For A Reason.
That’s right… 2020 has been an absolutely shit for you and me. Don’t lie to your friends and followers and especially yourself that you had it good…
Instead, acknowledge that pile of shit… dig in… and find that pony.
Because when you do find it, you’ll know that Everything Is Perfect.