Taking this job was the biggest mistake of my life.
What on earth was I thinking? I have no IT degree, no Salesforce training, and zero experience with this complex and powerful system: the one that will be the core business system for Fusion Group, the company that hired me in a moment of utter madness.
I must be crazy. I have no idea what I’m doing!
There is no alternative but for me to resign, so Fusion can hire a competent, qualified, and experienced consultant to do a job that I have no hope of performing.
These are the thoughts that plagued my weary mind as I drove in the dark along Woodville Road, making my way to our offices at Bella Vista in north-western Sydney. It was around 5:45 am, one weekday in July of 2016.
I was tired, overwhelmed, and discouraged. I could not go on. It was just too hard – and I simply was not good enough.
So, what happened?
I did not resign. I did not quit. I did not give up.
I kept on going. Boy, am I glad that I did! I dread to think where I’d be today if I had quit.
Many well-meaning people have been very kind to me and told me how smart I am because I self-learned and implemented Salesforce Financial Services Cloud and CRM Analytics. As humbled as I am by these remarks, they bother me somewhat. Why?
First, the world is full of smart people. There are many kinds of intelligence, and there are a great many intelligent people who are never really given the opportunity to demonstrate their intelligence.
Second, some highly intelligent people never achieve much in their lifetime, while many so-called average people achieve a great deal. That is, many average people succeed, and many gifted people fail.
Clearly, then, there is a great deal more to success than purely talent or intellect.
Thousands of books have been written about success, most by people more qualified than me, so I won’t go there. I will, however, muse upon one character trait for a few paragraphs. It is this trait, in my opinion, that has enabled many ordinary people to taste the sweetness of success. In my case, it is an attribute that my amazing parents taught me by example as they endured the trials and troubles of life with a smile.
How important is this character trait? I would go so far as to say that it is impossible to truly succeed without this trait. It is a crucial ingredient for success in any venture. It is…
“Grit is that ‘extra something’ that separates the most successful people from the rest. It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.” Travis Bradberry
Grit changes everything. That is, persistence; perseverance; tenacity; determination; resolve; resoluteness; patience; endurance; diligence; dedication; commitment; doggedness; assiduity; steadfastness; tirelessness; indefatigability; stamina; obstinacy.
Vince Lombardi famously stated that, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win“. No one ever won a race who did not first finish that race. The ability to persist and persevere amid troubles, failures, obstacles, weariness, doubts, and criticism is one of the most needful abilities for those who want to succeed at any worthy endeavour. Grit is indispensable and invaluable.
We live in a day of quick wins. Many westerners grow up with a fast-food, drive-through mentality, one that expects something for nothing, a crown without a cross, and gain without pain. This mindset results in weak, discouraged failures that are forever waiting for the success that they think they are somehow owed by an unfair world.
My first six months as a novice Salesforce administrator / implementer were utterly terrifying. If I felt at first that I had no clue what I was doing, it was because I had no clue what I was doing! I could not even count how many times I wanted to run away and get a nice easy job. The project was so completely overwhelming that I regularly cursed myself for ever taking on the role in the first place. Yet, I persevered, and I am extremely glad that I did!
When I think of the noteworthy achievements of my life, none of them would have eventuated had I quit when things got tough.
- I would never have earned my engineering degree at the University of Sydney – I would have quit along with the 75% of first-year students that did not graduate.
- I would not have graduated with a degree in theology six months after a near-fatal head-on car accident.
- I would not have planted a church from scratch and pastored that church for sixteen years while struggling with serious mental illness.
- I would not have published a book on depression and conducted an incredible book tour across the United States.
- I would not have succeeded at the amazing role of Business Analyst at InFusion360.
- I would not have co-founded a Salesforce consulting business and helped win and deliver millions of dollars in transformation projects.
- I would not have written and published a book on CRM Analytics.
- I would not have landed my dream job as a Solution Engineer at Tableau.
I am so glad that I demonstrated grit. I would have utterly failed without it.
“Grit, in a word, is stamina. But it’s not just stamina in your effort. It’s also stamina in your direction, stamina in your interests. If you are working on different things but all of them very hard, you’re not really going to get anywhere. You’ll never become an expert.” Angela Duckworth
It is strange that we often scold our children for being stubborn, or being bad losers, when a good dose of tenacity and ambition are just what they need to succeed in life!
The Apostle Paul wrote these words to his protege, Timothy, while confined to a dark and lonely prison cell: “Endure hardship.” That is, tough it out. Don’t quit!
Martin Luther King, Jr., put it this way:
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
I don’t know what you’re going through – but I know you must keep going!