Patrick Paul L
6 min readSep 22, 2021

--

I suck at everything

I suspect the reason I am lonely and don’t have any friends is because I feel stupid and I suck at everything I have ever embarked on. Nobody want to be friends with a failure. People want to hang out with you when you are smart, rich, and driving a good car. And I have none of these to my name. In my life I have run so many experiment on many things. I am sad to say I have failed in almost all of them. I called them experiments because truly nothing is a guarantee. When you start a business do not have any guarantee that it will work or be successful and lead to an IPO or a successful exit. All are learning processes. When you write books you also are embarking on an experiment since you don’t have the crystal ball to know if you will become a New York Times bestseller and sell million of copies of books.

One time I sat in my little dingy room trying to fathom why I suck at everything I have ever undertaken, to say the least the more I contemplated on this the more the answers eluded me.
I once started a business producing wristband, I had a company in China I outsourced production to. The silicone bracelet was made popular by the former Tour de France winner and cyclist Lance Armstrong with the LIVESTRONG bracelet which he uses effectively to create awareness about cancer. The silicone bracelet were very common in 2009 because churches, hospitals and multinational companies use them as promotional tools to create awareness of their activities and businesses. I had gone ahead to borrow a little over 10,000 dollars from an investor to produce 35,000 pieces of the wristbands for a church with an unusual large population without first learning the doctrine and sealing a deal with the hierarchy of the church before outsourcing production. When the wristband arrived from production in China, the church organisation rejected it when I attempted to sell to the excited members who saw it as their own unique identity. The General Overseer made a pronouncement that no member should buy it and that the wristband is of the devil. However, all my entreaties and negotiations with the hierarchy failed. This experience and experiment turned out to be a bitter lesson in business 101.

Failure is not final
It was Alexander the Great that said when you fall pick something up when you’re standing up. In life you don’t have to give up, you just have to keep pushing until you reach the pot of gold at the end of the tunnel, or at least this is what I thought. Since I suck at everything, I stopped being afraid of failure and somehow don’t know when to stop trying out different stuffs.

After the failure of my wristband bracelet business, I started my next business selling laboratory equipment, reagents, and chemicals to polytechnics and universities as well as colleges of education. I struggled with this business from the beginning because before my entry into the business they were existing suppliers to these institutions who have forged themselves into a cartel. Tried as I could, I couldn’t upstage them as they were connected to the government and the governing council of the universities. Corruption was rife and I was a little fly who stand no chance with the elephants. After picking crumps from the patronage of research fellows, graduate students and graduating undergraduate students, I became disillusioned and shuttered the business. By this time my reputation as a failure had grown and friends have started noticing that I am a bad brand to hang out with, and like they say failure is an orphan. And although I have gone too far to quit, I just kept failing and see where it leads. At this time I have been accustomed to failure. Not tired of failing I started other businesses that also hit the rock. After failing and sucking at many other things I decided to document my experiences in a book. I wrote my first book called the Neophytes Enterpreneur, self- published it and uploaded it to Amazon KDP. However, the book sold only a few copies and stop selling. It didn’t sell enough copies to be regarded as successful. It failed and went the way of other businesses before it. The second book written and uploaded on the same Amazon KDP platform on November 2020 is still selling gradually as the buzz around it is gathering momentum. If you feel like supporting my journey and hustle go and get the book 'You can be Extraordinary, but will you?' and please leave an honest review.

What to do when you suck at everything
1. Evaluate your Direction: Sometimes, when you fail often at something, do a critical study of your options, strategy, or the direction you are traveling. Are you in the right jobs, does anything need to change in the business, is there a better way to run the business, why is the business failing, is there anything you can do to turn it around? When I did this evaluation on my silicone bracelet business, I realise that although I made some tactical errors the business was not sustainable, even if I can get clients to order from me the exchange rate to the dollar and cost of shipping to Nigeria will not allow me become profitable. So I decide to take my lost and quit the business.

2. Don’t ever quit: Yes, you are not permitted to quit the hustle, you are permitted to change direction and change course, but don’t give up on yourself or the hustle. Quitting and giving up on yourself is tentamount to committing suicide. The very essence of life is meeting challenges and honing your skills and ability to solve them and it get interesting when you are able to take on more difficult challenges as well as coming up with better ideas to change your life.

If you tabulate experiences garthered from all the failures you would see that you are far ahead of the packs. When push come to shove you will outlast many that brandish superficial riches.

3. Love yourself and have confidence in your abilities: Keep loving yourself and know that you have the God-given abilities in you to make your life a success. Increase your ability and knowledge by studying new things. Learn what it takes to make a business successful by reading books, talking to a mentor and watching YouTube videos as well as setting an actual business to practice on. Right now my preference is not to start a normal business but to build websites in profitable niches and try to rank them on Google search engine result pages (SERP) using basic SEO and keyword research tools. I have been invited by many founders to be part of the launch of their new startups, which I declined to focus on my current formula and strategy. As my confidence grows maybe I will take up bigger projects in the future. In order for me not to fail and continue to suck on everything, I need to break down my goals and do little things I know may increase my chances of success.
I am better and wiser now because I sucked at everything I have done to date. Experience they say is the best teacher. Because of my ability to go out and take on challenges each time, even though I have failed on majority of them, they have conferred on me the wisdom which many wish they had. Unfortunately, to have this experience you have to get out from your comfort zone, get bloodied in some worthwhile venture so that your place will not be among those timid Souls who do not know the joy of a worthy course.

4. money will come if you put in the time: Money is a by-product of success. Hard work, working smart and having the right strategy is all you need to find success in whatever you do. If you do the work no matter how many times you fail, the experience you garnered will enable you find a way to make money even if it’s little money at first. After a while you can iterate the process that works and build on it while cutting out waste on the things that do not work. Start with the attitude of giving service to life not because you want to make money and become rich.
I have a wealth of experience not necessary because I am rich, but because I was willing to fail.

--

--

Patrick Paul L

I am a self-help and productivity blogger and a student of life.