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HOW I LEARNED TO BOUNCE BACK AFTER FAILURE MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE
I have written many times about how instrumental my parents have been in my personal and professional success. When it comes to building a small business from the ground up, my dad is my No. 1 source of guidance. One of the many lessons he’s imparted on me was how to get back up after you fall down. Like me, my dad is a small business owner, and to succeed, he had to get back up after each failure. As a business owner, he dealt with a lot of unexpected situations. Dad says that a lot of people get knocked down and think, “I’m never going to do that again.” But that’s not how he approaches obstacles. His philosophy has always been, “Make the most of what you’ve got.” He insisted on learning from mistakes instead of giving in to them. After each failure, he would find the positivity in the situation and make a plan of action for how to avoid it in the future. As a trial lawyer, I’ve found his perspective to be invaluable. For me, losing a case is the worst pain in the world. I still remember every single loss I’ve had, and it’s hard to move on. But thanks to my dad, I’ve learned how to find the value in every experience and develop a plan of action to avoid making the same mistakes. In both my personal and professional life, I’ve developed a consistent identity of who I am and how I deal with failure. I’m not the type of person who gives up after falling down. It starts on the personal level. I surround myself with loved ones who are there for me whether I win or not. I go fishing with my dad and spend time developing hobbies outside of work so that I have healthy outlets to turn to when I’m stressed. At work, I use my dad’s strategy of making a plan of action for my next move after failure. After each case, whether we won or lost, I have a case-review meeting with my team. We do a full “autopsy” of that case. We ask ourselves, “How can we do this differently next time?” That way, we learn from our mistakes and empower each other to find solutions.
repeat. My dad recently shared this story and it was pretty funny to hear his perspective. Roxana and I have fond memories of the particular trip he recalled, but my Dad? Well, read on and see what you think. When my sister and I were kids, my mom came up with ideas for each of
our vacations. They often involved a road trip, and one summer, she decided that we would road trip across the U.S. “We’ll drive all night, and play with the kids during the day,” she told my dad. He thought it sounded like a great plan. During the trip, my dad drove every night while the rest of us slept soundly. During the day, we’d visit sites with my parents. As night came, we’d get back in the car, my dad would get his umpteenth cup of coffee, and he’d drive the rest of the night. This trip also took place before the days of Mapquest, so if he had gotten off on the wrong exit or made a wrong turn, we might have ended up on the other side of the country without knowing it.
It took my dad a month to catch up on sleep after that trip. When he got back, he told my mom, “I’m not doing that again.”
It just goes to show that if you try at anything, failure is inevitable. There will be times when things don’t go your way. But you are not your failure; you are defined by how you react to failure.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
–Russell Button 214-888-2216
Even in his personal life, my dad is adamant about learning from his mistakes, and there was one in particular that he’s insistent he won’t
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