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February 8, 2013 / Dale Melchin

The Power of Grit and Tenacity Part Two

As I promised in the previous post I will share a personal story from my past to drive the point home.  This is from when I was the Rock Island Simoniz Carwash 2nd Assistant Manager.

I was in the position for two years and I’m lucky I survived that long. I had a hard time connecting with the job.  I didn’t have the training I felt I needed and I to my chagrin didn’t bother teaching myself, because I was used to a passive learning style at that time even though I was somewhat college educated at that time.  Aside from my time in insurance (another blog for another time) It was the most frustrating 2 years of my life.

I finally got to a point where I enlisted a customer’s help to enter into the painting trade.  After the deal with the painter was sealed, I put in my two weeks.  Also to my chagrin my boss decided it was time that I was let go.

Unfortunately for myself, I remained ‘self-unaware’ during my tenure working for that Master Painter.  He let me go after he saw me repeating a mistake that we had gone over before.  Now, I realize I should’ve probably been taught a little more and I shouldn’t be hard on myself.  I no longer am hard on myself over this.  The Painter even agreed with me surprisingly enough.  The problem was it was a “catch on” environment and it didn’t fit.  I am someone that had to be taught through repetition.

After that I did what I knew to do.  I began to pound the pavement looking for work.

Luckily it was a matter of a week or less of being that I landed a job delivering pizzas for one of the best store managers I had ever met.

During my tenure at the Hut, I was a good employee, but I was imperfect.  Looking over that, Eventually Mike offered me the opportunity to become a shift manager.

The worst part of this part of my store is I was still suffering from the fallout of my previous failure I declined and decided to stay as a driver.  The only reason was that my courage and tenacity as lacking and I was afraid to fail, despite being at the bottom.  I would discover in years ahead that this had to do with other issues I was facing, but wasn’t aware of.  Again, another post for another time.

During this time I continued to deliver pizzas for about 4 years until I got married and decided to give painting another go.  The problem when I got back into painting was that I had frequent personality clashes with my new teacher.  I lacked the courage to stand up to him ask him to craft his coaching style in such a way that was harmonious with how I was at the time.  However, his tough love approach began to build grit and tenacity into me.

It wasn’t until late in the painting season, I finally had the courage to stand up to him and asked him to change his tack in how he delivered criticism.  I wanted him to tell me what I was doing right as well as what I did wrong.

Something spectacular happened after having that conversation.  I had proven my courage to him and my abilities.  He acknowledge that I was doing a lot of things right.  As a result I conquered my fear and I got good at painting!  Or at least I actualized my courage and my abilities.

The moral of the story is that had I allowed myself to learn from the first failure in management I probably would’ve progressed in another capacity as a manager.

I would find out later that another reason, the biggest reason for my death-like failure was that I lacked a vision.  And yes, I will be sharing those observations this week as well.

In conclusion to this very personal story. You must not allow nothing at all to stand between you and your vision.  Now this implies that you already have a vision for the outcomes of your life.

With that said, I will reiterate.  You must not allow anything at all to stand between you and your vision.  This includes yourself.  This includes others.  No one is going to drive your life for you, and if you invite others to they will drive in the direction they want thinking nothing of you in the process.

You must have the grit and courage to be able to give another go and give all regardless of how big the fiasco!  This has to be balanced out with good judgment and what your ultimate outcomes look like.  I will say it again.  When you have your vision, you must not allow anything to get in the way of it.  Anything.  At all.  Ever.


What would a higher amount of grit and courage make possible for you?

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