Human Resources, Real Estate, and Small Business & Startups

Learning how to fall

November 4, 2015
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"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over." -Sir Richard Branson

I was 20 years old when I officially founded the first iteration of what you see today. It wasn't too long after when I received my very first legal bill for $1,500! I was devastated and worse yet, my youthful spirit hadn't yet figured out the revenue side of the business.

I hid. It was my first "fall."

That attorney called me every single day for a couple of months trying to collect. I remained in hiding, hoping he would leave me alone. Luckily for my personal growth, he did not.

His last voicemail: "Derek, I understand you do not wish to deal with this, but all that I want is confirmation from you that you are going to pay this some day, some way. That's all that I ask. Please call me back."

I was young, but I did have integrity — I was just scared. I finally worked up the nerve and called him back, apologized and agreed on a $100-per-month payment plan. I paid it off in exactly 15 months. It was that simple.

That attorney taught me an incredible lesson that no matter how difficult a situation is, you need to simply deal with it. Always.

Today, thanks to that attorney, each time I "fall" and let someone down, I pick up the phone and deal with it — every single time. What's even better is that now as a leader, I encourage my tribe daily that we are allowed to screw things up as long as we deal with the "falls."

If you have an elephant in the room, if you are scared of a conflict or are simply hiding, pick up the phone and deal with it. After all, you need to get in it before you can get out of it!

Inward. Onward. Upward! 

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