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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Accept No Substitutes

You can read, listen, and watch all you want, but there is no substitute for experience. Too bad.
Experience can be very costly; money, time, relationships, and reputation.Embarrasement
We have all lived life's embarrassing moments. I have had my share as well. No one likes to play the fool and embarrassing situations are certainly some of the hardest lessons learned due to pride.  Most people can eventually laugh at themselves and their inexperience and move on. If I can't be an inspiration, I can at least be an example (of what NOT to do).
Loss of time spent on foolish endeavors is a toughie since you can't get that time back. But usually the lesson learned has enough intrinsic value that it doesn't seem like a complete loss. And there is usually a good story to tell afterwards. Long afterwards.
Loss of money certainly hurts, and is akin to loss of opportunity. The good news is that you can always make more money. These lessons are often repeated as they usually represent an underlying problem of self-control to some degree or another.  If you kick yourself regularly, just know you are in good company.
The cost of one's reputation can be tricky. If it is a public matter, all parties involved will never recover completely, but most can usually summon up enough support from their loyal fans to gather momentum and start fresh. How many comebacks have you witnessed? Music, business, financial, politics, you name it.  The bigger they are the harder they fall.
The last category is the most important. Relationships are crucial in life, and in business. No person in their death bed ever said, "I wish I had spent more time at work." Once damaged, a relationship has the potential to go in any direction.  It could end, possibly resulting in damage to reputation. There is no such thing in relationships as damage control. Once damaged, it is nearly impossible to restore, sometimes you can't even restore it to be in existence. Nothing is more important than relationships. Quality of life depends on them. We seek them out. Nurture them. Cherish them. Then take them for granted.
No amount of success in business is worth one iota of damage to a personal relationship. Always put them first and everything else falls into place.
Joanne Randall

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