Duff O'Melia

Business Reps

Most people don’t expect to be great at something the first time they try it. As a programmer, the first few applications I created were pretty horrible. When my 6 year old daughter Madeline started roller blading, she was pathetic. The first year I had a garden in the yard, the results were clearly sub-optimal. I’ve been trading the stock market for over 3 years and I’m still an awful trader. Come to think of it, most of the things I’ve worked on in my life started out in pretty sorry shape. The areas I’ve been able to develop any skill are the ones I was able to stick with through the “hard”. If there wasn’t a hard part to developing the skill, then everyone would have the ability and it wouldn’t be that valuable. The people with perseverance and discipline are the ones who develop worthwhile skills over the long term.

Obviously, as we practice skills our expertise grows. Some skills, though, just take a ton of repetitions to even become competent. Over the last 11 years or so, I’ve made a ton of software applications and web sites. I was able to improve as a programmer over time. My daughter stuck with roller blading (with some convincing) and is now winning some short track races in the cul-de-sac. The garden is getting better each year. I’ve made hundreds of stock market trades. Stock market trading takes a ton of reps.

Starting businesses is no different. Most people aren’t good at running businesses the first few times they try. Most businesses fail. Yet for some reason, most folks expect their first attempt at starting a business to be an overnight success. There aren’t many overnight successes. If your first business fails, don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn the lessons you need to learn and get up and try again. The failed business is just another rep, another learning experience. The more reps you get in, the more likely you are to succeed. Judging from the other experiences in my life, it could be many many reps before I’m competent at creating successful businesses.