Life is a series of obstacles and trials whose sole purpose is to test our resolve and challenge our spirit. By design, the journey of life has impediments. These are not meant to stop us in our track and frustrate our progress. They are not indicators that we should quit. They are for our learning, growth and building of strength. They propel us to reach within for the will to keep going and if we do, glory awaits. The good book exhorts us to 

2 Consider it nothing but joy, my [a]brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. 3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4

Amplified Bible

Linda was a young professional in her twenties. She was not so excited about employment and as such dreamed of running her own business one day. She had all these ideas about what to do and how it would turn out if she followed the ABCs in her mind. For all that she lacked, she had drive and passion raging within her and craving expression. Since everyone starts somewhere, she worked for several years in the corporate world till she could not take it anymore. It was not bad, in fact it was comfortable and predictable and safe. It just was not what she wanted or dreamed her life to be. She took the leap and birthed her baby – a marketing agency. Oh the joys and excitement that followed that bold step with a savings in her bank account, determination and a clear vision to boot. 

Almost right out the door, the clients came pouring in. Okay, not pouring but steadily trickling in. The agency was ready for business and it seemed business was ready for the agency. Such beautiful symbiosis. Right? Wrong. Clients come in sizes, not of their physical selves but their fiscal ones. Sooner rather than later, Linda lost her whale. This damn-near tanked her entire business. These are not things you envision when you first set out. They do not teach this in business school. For all the entrepreneurship note you wrote, there is not a class on how to deal with failure or the proven strategies for making a comeback after losing a significant portion of your revenue in a new business. 

Predictably, devastation followed. Doubt and fear came a close second. A boatload of questions, most unsaid but heavily thought, with no answers took up most of her time. The nights of sleep became shorter and shorter with the bulk of night filled with worry about bills and her drowning baby. A mountain of stress followed. The baby was dying almost as soon as she had had it. The future seemed dark and full of horrors. Mostly, it was uncertain. 

Remember that drive she had in plenty? It came out to play. She reached out to her network for advice. Like everyone who has attempted something new before, you learn quickly that there is no need to reinvent the wheel especially if it is well-oiled and working just fine. Also, there are those that have gone before you and weathered much of what will come at you and more. Wisdom dictates that you seek them out and drink from their fountains. It will cure the thirst of revenue and ideas your business so craves and plug the leakage that would most certainly drown you if said wisdom is ignored. Linda made friends with wisdom. She took a beat, evaluated her approach, identified areas of improvement and diversification, and applied the knowledge of her mentors and colleagues in business. 

Linda crawled back. There is a temptation to bounce back but that may land you in more unfamiliar territory before you’re out of the first woods. With a new strategy and a targeted campaign to attract small local businesses and offering tailored packages, she mounted her steed and set out to face the world head-on. She had armed herself with new skills and certifications as enhancements. Her efforts began paying off with new clients coming through the doors. Perhaps what she did not expect was the whale whose departure almost sank her to return. It was the perfect propulsion she desired but was skeptical. She asked why they left initially and why they were back. They said they wanted to see if she can adapt without them, it would cause them to trust that she is willing to die for what she believes in. It was all a test. Wisdom worked. She took them on. 

Here goes Angela Duckworth, a trustworthy mouthpiece, on grit: Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Have you read her?