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Sam Davidson's blog

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Doing what's difficult

While waiting on my flight to leave Buffalo after a speaking engagement a few weeks ago, I watched as a lone helicopter took off and landed several times over in the spitting rain. I'm not versed enough about helicopters to know what kind it was (commercial aircraft, however, is my jam), but it appeared to be some kind of military or rescue outfit. Over and over again in the wind and the rain, this helicopter took off, circled part of the airfield, and landed.

Why would they be landing over and over again in the rain? I wondered. Why not wait for a better day to practice landings?

And then it hit me: if they can land in the rain, they can land on a clear day. This training run was planned. If they can do it when it's hard, they can do it when it's easy.

The lesson for us is to do hard things. Trying to start a business that's easy or solve a simple problem won't get us very far. Taking on a big challenge, raising money when the economy's tight, selling your wares to customers who are skeptical - these are all opportunities to test your reserve and see if you have what it takes to succeed. Anyone can sell to a willing buyer in need of a quick fix. It takes someone skilled to present her solution to the customer who's not aware that they need what you have.

Going for a jog on a cold Monday, telling your boss the truth, listening to rejection from clients 100 times, finding a way to beat the deadline - these are all difficult things worth doing. Do them well and then the easy days will seem like a vacation.

The hard days are what make the easy days easy. So, thank God for the hard days.

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