My wife and I catered a wedding this weekend. We have an Espresso Cart that we use to spread the gospel of caffeine to the masses. From a work perspective it was a disaster. It was a new venue that we were in hindsight unprepared for. We were rushed to get set up, we had to pull the gear through mud, because of my mistake on distance to the venue we had to set up outside during the ceremony to be ready on time, it was hot so almost everyone got iced drinks (which meant more work and more supplies used per drink).
To top it all off, an hour and a half in we got dumped on by a thunderstorm.
But from a customer service perspective it was gold. When people see you sopping wet and marching on with laughter, they are rooting for you. The couple and all the guests were by their own account pretty dang impressed.
But more important to the story is whathappened afterward. As we drove back, soaked to the bone and smiling—maybe because we were smiling, my brain was working overtime figuring out how to make things better. "What things that I thought were important were a hindrance? If I had a zero risk redo what sort of outside the box approach would I take?" As a result I came up with at least two ideas that will transform the catering we do in some fantastic ways. I will get more done with much less work.
But this isn't only about business ideas. The cliché approach is a cutesy line about making lemonade, which is only slightly less annoying than "cheer up, it all happens for a reason." What these overused and undereffective mantras are getting at is when you put the shit in the right place and it gets rained on things will grow.