084: Handling Business Adversity

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Hi! It's David Lee. It's such a perfect day! Not always... is it? And that's the reality. I talk about, at times, people going to seminars and, quite often, I believe they're delusional about what are the requirements to be successful in business. About the skill sets that you need and things, when they don't go well, what do you do?

I can recall, for example, when the property market was going up in the early 2000s and everybody was successful. Everybody was making money. And... what skill did you really need to be successful? You didn't need much skill at all, except to just acquire more and more property.

Then the market fell and we saw how clever people were. Well... it's always a sign of when the times get tough how tough are you going to get going? Because that's the reality. When things don't work out as they should, how you going respond? How are you going to react? Do you have the skills, the qualifications, the experience to understand what to do? Not only in an up-market, but in a down-market.

But the reality was, if you were prepared for the down-market you would have done something about it beforehand. But most people just live for the moment. They don't look ahead. They don't prepare. They don't plan. And so, that's the consequences.

That's why everybody follows each other. And so they pat themselves on the back when things are going well. But, where's your friends? Where do you borrow money somebody when times get tough? They all disappear, don't they?

So handling business adversity... it is the key to being successful in the long term. Yet, it feels like the end of the world. I've had the times where I felt like I'm the only person in the world. Nobody's been there. And it's been all by myself. I've had the weight of the world on my shoulders. And you just don't know where you're going to turn.

I always believed in myself and that I could find a way out. And there is a characteristic. And it's because of adversity in the past that I'd learnt what to do. I understood that, yeah, I get knocked down... it happens to us all! But I knew that I could always get up again and fight another day. And I'd laid down the foundations.

As I went along the way people told me, mentors said, "David, you going to make it! You understand what's needed. The ingredients." And they could tell it because I was going down a path that they'd been down. We could recognise it in each other.

So adversity does come, and it's moments like these that we learn the most from. I speak to people and they can rattle off quotations of celebrities, of all these well-known people and it's just like they're an encyclopaedia of other people's lives... but not their own.

It's one thing to quote somebody else or to use somebody else's life experience. I say that is to get inspiration, but it doesn't give you the practical experience of living it and doing it and breathing it yourself. So nobody knows what it feels like when you get knocked down and it's not the same. You can give advice to other people. You can't give advice to yourself. You don't know. You get in a state, "What am I going to do?" And it is a measure of your character, when you look back, of how you were able get over adversity and you know that you can get over adversity again.

Things happen! A death in a family! Illness! These things strike anybody. We're not immune. What happened to me once... I said all the challenges I was going through in front of an audience. I was asked, "Why are you going to make it?" And I sort of broke down. But it was the determination that I had. People came rushing to me afterwards and they said, "If only I could say that as well! You said exactly what I'm feeling that I thought was just me and me alone."

And finally, it's moments like these that happen for a reason. We have to make our own decisions. Make our own way in life. Nobody's going to live a life for us. My mother had my life etched out, planned out exactly how it should be. Exactly the way she'd lived her life. And David didn't follow those rules. She couldn't understand because I had to live my own life. My own values. How I interpreted the world. And what was right for me is not the same as anybody else. These are living, breathing experiences.

So look at that young lady. Yeah, she's got the weight of the world on her shoulders. She could be just like you. Could be just like me. Where there's a will there's a way. And if you've got it. If you've got the material to be successful in business you will find a way and you will cut through and you will learn the most from moments like these.

Thank you very much.