Frustration is a Beautiful Thing

There is nothing like those mountain top moments where you could not imagine business getting any better.  You have a talented and cohesive team, a great product line, and the sky is the limit in regards to future growth opportunities.  Unfortunately, there are also those ‘other’ moments that you face.    Moments of endless frustration where you don’t think you will ever ascend from this particular valley.


Somewhere in between those two extremes is another type of moment.   Call it a moment of clarity, a defining moment, or the tipping point.  The moniker is not important but its value is immeasurable.  It is the pivotal moment when frustration meets innovation and you do the unthinkable:  Institute change.

When Odeo was being squeezed out of the podcast market by i-Tunes, they did not increase their frustration by continually banging their head on the same door.  They took the risk of opening the door labeled 'change' and the global phenomenon ‘Twitter’ was born.  Or think of McDonald’s during the ‘Super-Size Me’ era, dealing with the link between their product and obesity in the US.  Rather than hunker down and hope the negative hype would simply go away; they met this challenge head on.  McDonald’s opened a brand new door featuring salad-driven menu options.  This not only provided customers with a healthier alternative, it also helped increase their dominance in the fast food industry.

What happens when frustration is not met with innovation, but with dogged determination to remain the same?  Ask Kodak. 

I get it.  Change is difficult to implement, let alone manage, and it is often a painful process. Joseph Garlington notes that the willingness to change occurs at the pivotal moment when the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain associated with change. 

Are you at that moment now?

Take a look at your business. Is there an area of frustration that needs change in order to facilitate growth?  Whether a competitor is squeezing into your market share, your company is dealing with negative press, or you are tired of hearing your customers complain about the quality of your cut-rate on hold program - grab on to this pivotal moment and embrace the change.

As I finish this post on how frustration can lead to the beauty of instituting positive change; social media is rife with anger, tension and frustration regarding the current valley our nation is navigating.   I am reminded of a quote by M. Scott Peck regarding moments such as this, that I’d like to share with you.

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.  For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee