It’s hard to believe that something as uncomfortable and aggravating as frustration could actually be a good thing. But, consider this: frustration may be the indicator that you’re about to learn something new.

It’s one of my least favorite feelings, but as a sole/soul proprietor one that I experience frequently since there’s no water cooler near the desk in my home office where I might find easy access to answers. Google helps a lot, and I have my own personal search engine of colleagues I’ve assembled to go to with specific, un-google-able concerns. I’ve learned to recognize frustration and accept it as part of my growth process.

David Pogue writes about technology for the New York Times and breaks the subject down into bite-sized pieces that I understand. I love his style and humor. I quote him in my 21 Strategies for Growing Your Business talk, because he helped me get a better perspective on my own learning curve.This was written in January, 2002.

The digital age has done wonders for photography. Once you had to take your film to the mall for developing.

But today you can eliminate all that…hassle with little more than a…digital camera, a…printer and a …computer.

Just connect the camera to the computer with a USB cable, copy your multimegabyte JPEG files to the hard drive; open the photos in an image-processing program; rotate and crop each one, adjusting the color; calculate the pixel density and desired output dimensions—and then click on print. What could be simpler?

In 2002 I’m not sure I knew what a USB cable was, let alone pixel density. Now? Piece of cake! Yesterday, I had to ask someone what an “impression” was on facebook. Maybe next year I’ll laugh at my ignorance. The emotion/feeling that comes is frustration–wanting so badly to grasp that which has not yet come into my reach.

I trust that what I need to know will permeate my brain through osmosis and simply being part of the zeitgeist. Plus, I take classes, attend workshops and watch tutorials to acquire the knowledge. I will learn what I need to know.

For now, I respect my frustration, keep moving towards what it is I desire to understand and don’t berate or speak poorly to myself that I’m not there yet. I only experience frustration over things that have meaning and I’m unable to achieve. Moving beyond frustration to understanding and mastery leads to self-esteem.

Like you, I’ve learned so much in my years as an entrepreneur. There’s no finish line that I can see, and I’m very much in the race. Which, I’ve learned, is not to the swift.

Share This