a lesson never learned

I received an email a month ago from an old friend and former business partner. In it, he lamented the fact that our falling out in business had affected our friendship to the point we don’t speak anymore. I was glad to hear fromhim, or so I thought, until the last few sentences of his note. He wrote, “I sure did learn my lesson…I’m not sure what the lesson was but I learned it.”. I wanted to puke on myself. We’d been through a lot together. We’d lost lots of money. We’d lost lots of time. Our partnership came to a close when it became clear that he was incapable of doing what was needed to succeed not only in our business but in his own life. But for all we had gone through. It never occurred to me that the struggles we went through would end up as trivialities in his quest to succeed. The difference between he and I is I have learned a lot. I learn more every day. I work hard, I fail, I get up and take the lessons learned and move on. He,on the other hand, is still obliviois to what lessons were there for the taking.

Business is about failing quickly. Its about learning from what didn’t work and refining it until it does work. And of you’re too obtuse or too stubborn or too proud or too stupid to learn from your failures then I can’t help you. But if that’s how you get by, I wish you good luck and hope that all the dreams you’ll never fulfill somehow keep you warm at night.

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