Lessons from my Losses, Part 2

Hey Clever Investors, Franklin Cruz – REI Drill Sergeant and Mentor – back again to finish the thought-provoking post I started a couple weeks ago. In Part 1, I talked about a disgruntled student of mine whom I affectionately referred to as Mr. Crazy Banana, and how mistakes I learned surrounding some circumstances helped me grow as a person, husband and an investor…

The Saga Continues

Okay, so where were we?

I told you guys about my marriage almost ending up in a bitter divorce, and (even though that totally sucked) it taught me that:

Your past is your story, but it’s how you let the story shape you that’s important. Learn to let your mistakes make you a better person.

And we also talked about how Mr. Crazy Banana was trying to claim that I was not fit to be a coach or REI leader because of my public records with 2 arrests.

Yep. 2. Arrests. Lemme explain…

During the period of my potential divorce there were some domestic issues and I was arrested twice. However, and I was found not at fault and the charges were dropped.

But, there was still turmoil and mistakes I made and I openly admit that and embrace it. The wrong decisions I made taught me critical lessons that make me a better person today. I believe that you shouldn’t hide or deny your past mistakes…

Wear Your Past Like a Badge of Honor

From being in the military, I learned to honor your past. When I fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom they gave me a badge for being there and another after every sixth months in the war. If you suffered an injury or went home early, you got a Purple Heart.

Your badges tell your history.

I try to look at the struggles in my personal life in the same way. There are battle wounds from my past, but when I see the scars it reminds me:

  • Where I got them;
  • How I got them;
  • Why I got them; and
  • What I learned from it all.

I truly believe that you learn some of the most valuable lessons from the mistakes you’ve made and, without them, you wouldn’t be the same person. These mistakes can make you better and stronger, but only if you learn from them.

Yes, all this did affect my business, but I think as a result I’m a better mentor.

I know what it’s like to lose it all – personally and professionally.

It humbled me and made me a better teacher and investor. Because of this, I pay more attention to the decisions my students make and I can relate to those who feel like failures. I’ve been there and I can help them see that they can get on their feet again. I can help them to believe in themselves again.

So What are the Lessons From my Losses?

  • Embrace your past and the mistakes you have made.
  • Realize your past is just your story, but you can decide how it shapes you – for better or for worse.
  • Learn lessons from your mistakes and use them as a tool to make you a stronger, smarter person.
  • Know that from time-to-time a Mr. Crazy Banana will cross your path, especially in the investing world. Don’t take it personally or let it affect your confidence.
  • Appreciate that anything is possible… Absolutely anything. Never give up.

Well, that wraps up this 2-parter. Hopefully they served as a nice reminder that it’s okay if you go through hard times and experience some failures – everyone does – it’s how you deal with those experiences that matters. Learn and move on and up.

Best wishes, until next time…

Franklin Cruz

PS. Got a Mentor?

Whatcha Think?

Have you had a crummy experience that actually ended up changing your life for the better? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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