The world is full of people trying to do something, but fewer examples are found of people actually accomplishing or completing what they set out to do. It’s not surprising because we have been conditioned from an early age by parents, teachers, and coaches just to try. What’s that expression – “can’t hurt a guy for trying?”
Our parents coax us to try new foods, to try our vegetables, to try to meet some new friends, to try a club or activity at school, or to try studying or reading about a new subject. Our coaches tell us to try as in we never know if we do something until or unless we try. Even if we don’t succeed or perform very poorly at something, at least we will have tried and fulfilled the command of our coaches. Then our consciences can be clear. Maybe we didn’t try all that hard to do well, be we gave it an effort.
How many of us could hit a ball fairly far and straight, kick the ball where we intended it to go, throw a ball to the parent or teammate waiting for it, get on a bicycle and ride it without weaving or falling off, or take the bus to the library or school on our own and do it perfectly the first time? Or did we have to try it and then try a little harder and eventually got to where we could do it?
As young children, our parents would place a new food in front of us that we had never eaten before – or one prepared in a different way from we were used to having. We were to just at least try it. Often we had already made up our minds to not like it before even placing it in our mouths. We “tried” it, didn’t like it, end of the story – until the next time an unfamiliar food came along.
We tried walking, dressing ourselves, running, riding a bike, throwing a ball, and a few other activities that took more than one attempt before getting the hang of it well enough to keep doing it. In school, our teachers asked us to try or make an attempt when faced with a word we couldn’t pronounce, a sentence we couldn’t read, a math problem we couldn’t solve, or a state capital we couldn’t remember. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes we felt embarrassed. Sometimes others noticed the difficulty we were having so our eagerness to try the next time was tempered.
As we have gone through life, we have faced many challenges – some more difficult than others and some more important than others. We told ourselves that we try to do a good job, we would try to get the interview, we would try to make the sale, we would try to meet someone we felt could help us, we would try to buy that first home, we would try to get financing, we would try to lose weight, we would try to make a team, we would try to get someone to like us, we would try to start a business, and more.
Essentially what we were doing by approaching a situation with an “I’ll try” mindset is giving ourselves permission to fail. We created a way out. We tried it, we weren’t successful, but we made a stab at it.
How different it would be if we forgot about trying and focused on doing and accomplishing. Notice the Nike slogan isn’t “Just try it” or “Just make an attempt.” It’s “Just do it” – the opposite of trying.
Relating this to our aging in place businesses, do we strive to create a business that will be viable, important, and useful – one that will gain market acceptance? Or do we pour our energy into making it work without reservation or without a fallback position of what to do if or when it doesn’t work. We have to be “all in.” This is how we will make things happen.
Do our clients expect that we will just try to help them, or do they expect results once we say we can create them? We must figure how to make something work – even when there are struggles, potholes, and speed bumps – and not look for a way out. We have to start and run our business with the attitude that it has to work. We can’t just try it for a little while and then go on to something else. This is not fair to the marketplace, potential clients, or us and those who depend upon our support.
As for specific solutions that we create, we might mentally “try” or experiment with a few ideas to see which one seems to work best before settling on the solution to use. Once decided, however, we will make the one work that we decide upon and that the client approves. It might be Plan B (or even a later version), but we don’t stop with just an attempt.