The landscape we face as professionals in the collections and recovery industry reminds me of growing up in New Hampshire. One of the lasting impressions for visitors to the state is the number of stone walls that line many fields and roadways in the countryside. Most of the rocks for these walls were removed from lands cleared by settlers and farmers to build homesteads and plant crops.
My dad told me all about these rock walls. He also once told me a saying that I have never forgotten – “the only difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how you approach it.” Dad was a pretty remarkable guy – a physician and professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. Every year he would give his graduating students a pocket magnifying glass with a leather case. It was a personal and not-so-subtle reminder to look more closely for the correct diagnosis – don’t just treat the symptoms.
“The only difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how you approach it.”
It seems as though we’re continually faced with what appears to be unnecessary obstacles that act as impediments to our progress. New regulations, mounting compliance demands, frivolous lawsuits, expectations of stakeholders and clients – all seem to crop up at the most inopportune times. How should we approach them – as stumbling blocks or stepping stones? Those who accept the challenges and prepare for them will thrive. They see opportunity where others see adversity; possibility instead of misfortune.
One of the best and most cost-effective ways to deal with these issues is to identify what you’re really good at – and focus all your resources on those activities. At the same time, partner with those companies that specialize in areas where you struggle or don’t have the expertise. They’ll do it better, faster, and often at less expense than you could do it. Let them become the stepping stones to your future success.