What life lessons did you have to experience firsthand before you fully understood them?

Life has a funny way of teaching us the lessons we need just as we need them. We’ve learned a thing or two through the years. But nobody anywhere in the world knows every single thing. Not even Einstein knew some of the knowledge and lessons that are probably common knowledge in today’s world. There is always lessons to learn ahead of us. And the way we learn our lessons can be in a multitude of ways. You can read books, watch videos, scour the web, or even attend lectures.

But regardless of your favorite, one of the most effective ways we learn in life is through firsthand experience. And sadly, for some of us learning the hard way is what works best. You get burnt putting your finger in the fire once and I doubt you’ll be doing it again. Unless you ‘re a psycho that finds pleasure from third degree burns. Nonetheless, we should review the lessons we learn the hard way as not to repeat them. So what life lessons did you have to experience firsthand before you fully understood them?

Here’s a short story on what life lessons I had to learn from firsthand experience before I fully understood them.

It was summertime and college courses had just ended. Everyone was off to the Caribbean Islands or Europe to travel for vacation. But that wasn’t our plan. Dwayne, Enkose, and me were going to sit our butts here all summer and get to work. We wanted to start a business for the longest and now was the perfect time. The campus was pretty much empty meaning the rooms, computers, and resources were all to us and the handful of students taking summer classes. After brainstorming a bunch of random ideas we decided on one that would take the world by storm.

It was called Flocking Birds! And this might seem like a ridiculous business name. But you have to let me explain the business first. There was a game app back then called Flappy Bird. It was a simple game where you tapped the screen to keep a bird flying and avoiding collisions with these green tube obstacles. Again, sounds silly but this app went beyond viral. Everybody and their grandparents were playing this game nonstop. The only thing was that it was a single player game where only one person could play at a time.

And that’s where Flocking Birds came in. We wanted to recreate this viral game but with a multiplayer aspect to it. The same addictive game experience just enjoyed with friends. Everyone loved the idea when we shared it but none of us were coders. But one day we met a developer out of Ohio that was interested in the idea. He flew out to Atlanta and spent the summer working with us on the app. As we got to working two other developers joined the team. And we were all meeting up daily to get things going.

And of course we had the serious talks about splits, numbers, and roles. We decided Dwayne, Enkose, and me would focus on marketing, design, and business strategy. And the three developers would focus on the technical development of the app. It was settled. We all got to work day in and out. We were making progress by the weeks in many different areas. The developers had a working prototype of the app in barebones fashion. And we had a full marketing strategy with a suite of guerilla marketing tactics. But that’s when things when left.

You see the app prototype was something you could see and touch. And the marketing strategy was a more abstract concept at that point. We weren’t running any ads or email campaigns with nothing to show yet. So eventually the developers got the impression that we weren’t valuable assets to the team. They didn’t see the point in having three guys splitting money equally if they aren’t able to code. And while those thoughts were brewing up in their head, Dwayne, Enkose and I were just happy the whole idea was moving forward.

The day we sat down to talk contracts was a tense one. I read through every point on the contract I drafted for everyone to sign solidfying the equal split. And at the end all three developers got up and refused to sign in a premeditated conniving way. We ended up arguing about what became a completely toxic business relationship. They took all the code and left to launch the business on their own. The lesson I learned that day was that, “Trust is earned not given.” We put our trust into a handful of strangers and it all backfired. But I’ve learned the lesson and we’ve all grown from it.

We can all be better people in life. Thanks for taking the time to reconcile guys!

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