My first couple months selling knives were not too great. I did not do well at all. I was WAY below average for my company.
Why? I don't know. I wasn't doing anything especially wrong. Things just weren't working. But, I kept on pushing.
It was rough. I didn't enjoy it. But I kept on going. I pushed through no sale after no sale after no sale to finally get through the bad streak. After a couple months, things started clicking. Now, I am one of the best representatives in my office.
The thing is, I am really glad that happened. Struggling those first two months caused me to want to get better. It gave me a drive to learn as much as I could; to learn more about the job, how to sell, and really hone my craft. I learned way more in those two months than I would have if things were easy. And because of that, I am a way better manager, which is now my focus. I am much better able to teach those under me because I have learned more than most in the short time I've been in the business.
I learned that there are actually many benefits to going through adversity. One is that it causes you to realize you can't do everything on your own. Sometimes God allows us to go through bad things because He wants us to rely on Him. When things are easy we get complacent.
The second benefit is rapid growth. When hard times come we have to grow. We realize that if we stay where we are we will not get through it. So we are forced to change and get better. It's really hard to grow as a person when you have an easy life. But not with a tough one.
The third benefit is that we end up with a great story. I'm convinced that deep down we really long for adversity. Why? Because we love good stories. And all good stories have conflict. You actually learn in school that conflict is an essential element of a story. Without it, there is no story. To have a good story you have to have adversity. That's part of the deal. If you want to live a great story, you have to live a great story.
Now obviously you don't want to bring needless hard times on yourself with stupid decisions. But when those hard times do come, take them head on. Don't just let them happen to you. Be intentional about them. And be grateful for them... Know that there is a purpose and that it can be an amazing opportunity to rely on God, grow as a person, and make a great story.
Question to think about and discuss: What hard times have you had in your life and how did you grow from them?