Everyone wants to be a pioneer. No one wants the scars that come with going first.
When up-and-comers decide to do things differently than how the industry has always done them they get labeled as arrogant and naive. Then, when their methods work, they get labeled as lucky.
When people with established businesses decide to change course and try a different tack, they get labeled as desperate.
Everyone wants to be known as an original, as the idea guy, as the first mover, as a pioneer. No one wants to talk about the fact that pioneers have scars.
Scars from mistakes made and errors in judgment.
Scars from overwhelm and letting things fall through the cracks.
Scars from partnerships gone bad, relationships soured, and trust broken.
Scars from losing a lawsuit over your intellectual property and seeing your labor of love awarded to someone else.
Scars from an unexpected, prolonged slow season that resulted in laying off talented people.
Scars from the gossip of competitors who refused to discipline themselves to do the work that results in positive change.
Scars are a reminder that not everything in business is instaperfect or #bosslifegoals, but the most important thing to remember about scars is that they are only created by wounds that are allowed to heal.
Do what you need to to stop the bleeding, stitch yourself up, and keep moving forward. Don’t expect people to fight fair. More importantly, don’t allow that to make you cynical.
Originally published December 2014