For all my many (many) flaws, there is one strength I have, that has always been my saving grace, throughout my personal and professional life: the ability to “make it work” (I’m sorry, Tim Gunn, but it was a thing for me before it was a thing for you.)
By “make it work”, I mean, making do; work with what I got; go to war, with the army I have, not the army I want (or need).
Some of my closest (and longest) friends may not realize, that I am practically blind in my right eye. My depth perception is not exactly the world’s greatest – probably why I’m not the best date to see a 3D movie with, or to share your favorite ViewMaster slides. But that didn’t stop me from being a decent center fielder and catcher. Not the best necessarily, but pretty damn passable. Still can’t hit a curveball. So there’s that. But still.
And when I started my company a few decades back, I can’t tell you how many “stretch” projects I took on; projects where I sometime could barely pronounce the name of a tool I was to use, didn’t know the language, or had an impossibly tight deadline. But I found a way to make it happen. It’s how I learned C, Flash, and Photoshop. Scared s*#tless.
Making it happen. Making it work.
Today, I’m a redneck boy from Old Hickory, TN working in a yeshivah in Midwood, Brooklyn. Even Nostradamus couldn’t have called that one. I’ve learned things about myself, and my ability to work – and succeed – in any setting, among any group of people, that I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t put myself in a position of risk, and uncertainty.
Even though there are days challenging beyond my ability to cope, even though my Hebrew is impossibly bad (but quickly and scarily improving), and even in an environment where words are spoken at 500 words per minute (and gusts of 700) – I’m finding a way to make it work; some days, even work great.
It’s not about settling. And it’s certainly not about treading water.
Making it work is about finding a pathway to success, when you don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle in front of you; finding a way to say yes, based upon faith in your own abilities and talents, rather than a sure and certain guaranteed outcome.
Today, I’m gonna make it work.
Tomorrow? Well. Tomorrow is Saturday.