Today I was pondering the long list of seemingly negative things that have happened to me as an entrepreneur over the years. Also considering the view of; does experiencing all of that make me "seasoned" then?
There's stuff on the list like: bankruptcy, tax inspection to one of my companies (all clear), inquiry into my personal taxes (all clear), had to sue somebody to court (and won), got sued to court (and won), got screwed by freeriders, had to pay for a big mess made by somebody else, contract breakers, got cheated out of a sum that was secured in the contracts (once), had my name used by people I don't even know without my consent and awareness (multiple times), experienced bad timing (both ways; was too early, and was too late), trusted somebody a little too much and got my trust rewarded by betrayal, delivered my part of a contract while the other party faded on their commitments, reported an economic crime only to see the investigation halted in what looked like very shady circumstances, had to tolerate dozens of attacks targeted on my persona (who I am) instead of the substance (what I do, or some specific case at hand), and a much more longer list of totally self inflected failures and messups.
The good stuff list outweights the bad I think. There's great people I have had the chance of working with, there's great companies we have built together, great products & services we have invented, fireworks of creativity we have channeled into something productive that's then become part of so many peoples lives, decent modest living made out of success & multiple exists, so many opportunities to do what I love and turn the creative impulses into reality, so many thrills and brilliant highlights. And then there is perhaps one of the biggest perks of them all: so much I have learned, and I can still learn in the future. So much there's yet to do and get accomplished.
The good stuff is so great that nevermind the bad stuff. It's hard to imagine that anybody could be entirely successful without at least some bad stuff like that happening along the way. And there's quite a few lessons in overcoming adversities and encountering those challenges as they randomly arise.
But which list and its contents is more interesting then; the stuff on the bad stuff list, or the stuff on the good stuff list?
People tend to talk way more about the good stuff, obviously. But we all love the bad stuff too, don't we? A bit like the yellow press loves it. As long as it doesn't happen to us ;-)
People who never have any bad stuff happen to them - do they have good stuff happen to them instead? Dunno. The more I look at the world famous success stories of big name people the more it seems like the two are a package. Perhaps it is polarized; either you are the unnoticeable "gray man" that never has anything happen to him (good or bad), or you fire the rocket pack and get on the roller coaster and both happen to you. Life happens to you. Is there something in between? Any such thing as all-positive "just getting lucky?", any all negative either? Is every overnight success an overnight success made in the last 10 years? Even if you are born with a ton of bad stuff on you, there's still the entire world of the good stuff waiting for you out there.
There's probably more good & bad stuff in store for me in the future. I have no other process to deal with this other than: expect it, maintain a clear head (good judgement), be honest and true yourself (even if others are not), prepare a little all the time, and act swiftly once you see any of it coming your way, deal with it, adapt, cope, & overcome.