“The hardest part for most of us was learning how to embrace the suck”
My older brother was an infantryman in the United States Army before I was a business coach. I’ll never forget the first time he got back from his first-ever deployment. I had a million questions for him. I asked him everything from: what’s it like in Afghanistan? Is it scary being an armed soldier in a foreign land? Were you ever scared? You know, the basic questions we as civilians always bombard those who have served with. He was incredibly understanding and realized I was merely naive so he answered each of my ridiculous questions. I was entertained and stunned by his stories, but the answer to one of my questions, in particular, stuck with me the most. I asked him, “What was the hardest part about all of it?”, probably not the most sensitive of questions, but he answered like a champ regardless. He said, “The hardest part for most of us was learning how to embrace the suck”. I had never heard that saying before so I asked him to elaborate. In a nutshell, he told me that at any given point, life will inherently suck. It’s an inevitable truth and we cannot control it. Whether it be in a firefight, a bad day on the job, dealing with a mountain of invoices, etc. A sucky experience is right around the corner and there is nothing we can do about it. His words of wisdom were to simply embrace the fact that the suck will eventually catch up with us all, but if we embrace the fact that it is inescapable, we are able to face it even stronger every time it rears its sucky head.
So let’s unpack that as it relates to you personally or to your business and me as a business coach. Like it or not, things kind of suck right now. It’s not your fault in the slightest, however, it is most certainly affecting you and your business. The question is, how are you going to react to the sucky state of affairs that you currently find yourself in? The difference between successful business owners and those that fail is the fact that the successful have embraced the suck rather than buckling under its pressure. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some pretty amazing business owners during the course of these whacky times, and each has impressed me with their fortitude and drive to win. In the face of slowing leads, loss of customers, and drastic changes to their business’s operating methods, each made the push to figure what needed to be done in that moment rather than waiting to react. How did they manage to pull through the suck and prevail? There’s a flow that Clay likes to use: Define, Act, Measure, Refine. In the wake of any given situation, no matter the circumstances, this proven method can help to put things into perspective and allow you to see the actionable steps through the chaos.
The Proven Formula by a Business Coach
- Define: Figure out what the problem is and come up with a plan for a solution.
- Act: Get off of your butt and start doing the things that are necessary to complete the task
- Measure: Track the results of your actions. Every single day.
- Refine: Take a step back and review everything you’ve just done and try to make it 2% better every time.
The epic Bishop T.D. Jakes once said, “Nobody likes hard times, but it’s the unpleasant experiences that are often the catalysts to build the character required for our Destiny.” So what does that mean exactly? Even T.D. Jakes knows that embracing the suck is the only way to truly rise above it.