Being a business consultant, requires a lot of patience which at times can be somewhat difficult. We all have different “ah-ha” moments along our journey and I wanted to share one of mine that still helps me find that extra bit of patience when I need it most.
A couple years back, I found myself working in the staffing industry, helping to place accounting professionals with local companies. Not only did the experience introduce me to my business partner Mike Snelson, it also introduced me to many of the local bookkeepers who were still deciding if the freelance life was really what they wanted or not. Each week I met with 8-12 accounting professionals (even more unprofessional ones) and listened as they shared their success and failures and then proceeded to question them about their abilities with different accounting platforms, and most importantly with excel. I will never forget asking the ‘candidates” if they were familiar with Pivot Tables, VLOOKUP’s and Macros, and listening to their answers making note of certain keywords, that, honestly, I didn’t even know anything about.
Fast forward about 2 years, and I found myself watching YouTube videos teaching myself how to handle the same tasks that I pretended to know so much about. I have been very fortunate to be a fast learner, especially around computers, but there was one excel function that I just couldn’t grasp, VLOOKUP’s. Video after video, I watched as other people showed how it was done, but when I would go and try it myself, I usually ended up just cussing at the screen in pure frustration. Eventually I figured them out and moved on to harder topics.
Fast forward again, to late 2016, and a couple years into building my business, I was asked to help teach someone excel before they had a job interview. During our training session, we tackled a lot of different topics very quickly, including VLOOKUP’s when I noticed myself starting to get frustrated because the person was not grasping something that had become second nature to me.
Shortly after the person left, I found myself still wondering why they had such a hard time understanding VLOOKUP’s. While talking to my business partner about the experience, he brought everything into clarity with one sentence:
“You may not remember what it was like when you were struggling with VLOOKUP’s, but sure I do!”
Immediately I flashed back to my Hyde like transformation at the very mention of VLOOKUP’s and it immediately struck me, it’s really, easy to forget what we had to learn.
What “ah-ha” moment helped shape your future?