What I didn’t realize, however, was just how REAL it was going to be.
No coffee errands for me, each day was about personal struggles for quality of life.
My clients dealt with the harsh cruelties of schizophrenia, brain injury and mental retardation among others. As the medical coordinator, I worked with the team to analyze their needs regarding therapy and coordinated medical care. With the rehabilitation strategy in place, I then served as the liaison to family and evaluated progress.
I took my work to heart and often spent more time with them than my own family and friends. As we shared breakfast, lunch and dinner it was hard to not become attached and affected by their struggles. What I found most compelling about these stories was how critical WILL was to their success.
A client could be admitted with encouraging brain scans, strong financial support, access to the best medical care and still make very little progress. Therapy was a struggle, medications had little effect and eventually their condition plateaued leaving the team and family heartbroken.
I quickly learned there was a missing puzzle piece.
My first glimpse of that puzzle piece was at the hands of a client I’ll call “James”. He had survived a horrible car crash, but was left unable to speak, without short term memory, physically disabled and cognitively could not manage to even brush his teeth.
The medical reports were discouraging, insurance almost non-existent, and his only support was a devastated wife coming to terms with their shattered golden years. We created a rehabilitation strategy hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst.
As his care progressed, I was caught me off guard by how frustrated he became during therapy. Never annoyed by the therapists constant demands, but more so at his inability to answer those demands. I remember spying on one of his early therapies. The more agitated he became, the bigger I smiled.
He was going to FIGHT this.
He had the WILL to survive and was going to find the way. I wasn’t the only one who noticed and we rallied to push him harder each day. We didn’t focus on what he couldn’t do, but rather on building upon what he could. Within a year he was at home, self sufficient and had even started a small engine repair shop out of his garage. The progress James made dumbfounded us all and taught a rookie like me a valuable lesson.
As an entrepreneur, I see this same story play out daily but with different characters and plot lines. Companies with all the venture capital money in the world and a high powered board of directors that just slowly fade away. Then there are the “James” companies living on nothing but tenacity and ramen noodles that grab huge market share seemingly overnight.
You can do the same? The will to survive is one of the most primal instincts we have. Learn to harness that as you move forward in your business and you will be unstoppable. A world of possibility opens up when you stop focusing on what you can’t do and start focusing on what you can. Strive to build on those “cans” each day and you’ll be amazed at how far you can go.
If you have the will, there is ALWAYS a way.