Does Working Harder Always Pay Off?

Have you ever worked relentlessly toward a promising dream only to face roadbloack after roadblock? Sometimes, you have to be willing to learn, watch and wait.

I was really impressed by a personal story shared on by Rebecca Chang, a 27-year-old litigation attorney turned struggling social entrepreneur. She writes about her initial excitement in developing a business after moving to Africa. It wasn’t long before reality hit and she felt beaten and battered and left wondering if her hard work was in vain. 

 I started out with big dreams and formulated an impressive business plan which would culminate in us opening the first western-style luxury espresso bar in our neighbourhood. I started looking at property and seeing lawyers barely a week after we decided to start the business. After a whirlwind 2 months, I found myself running on empty, getting nowhere, and I suddenly panicked and asked myself if I could really do this. Was it really a good plan to start with such a huge debt? Did I have the right personality, drive and motivations to see this though? Were my partners and I even a right fit? Would I be letting down the people who were willing to provide initial financing (namely, my in-laws)? Could all this end in disaster and tears?

No matter how hard she worked, some things were just out of Rebecca’s control, such as timing and finding the right people to work with. She learned to be OK with having to start from scratch if she needed to. She learned to be OK with not knowing it all.

At the end of the day, Rebecca’s hard work began to pay off when an opportunity arose out of the blue.

Contrary to what I learnt and held as values as an attorney and had tried to take away with me, I now realise that in the larger journey of life it IS okay to make mistakes, it IS okay to go slow, and that we CANNOT always be in control.

She had a choice to tell herself she had wasted prime years of her life or to tell herself she had only just begun an incredible journey. Find out how the story ends…

Have you felt beaten and battered like Rebecca did? Did a surprise moment later work in your favor? Or did you have to start from scratch and move on?


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