For Anne Wojcicki, cofounder and CEO of genomics company, 23andMe, American health care doesn't make sense. From her perspective, it seemed incredibly cumbersome that American patients had to go through a doctor to get their health results, especially when genomic technology and equipment was advancing at such a fast rate that consumers could just learn things themselves.
So, when Wojcicki co-founded 23andMe in 2006, she set out with the intent of distributing DNA tests directly to people who wanted to know the information--such as potential genetic disorders or diseases--encoded in their DNA. But despite the company's success, the Food and Drug Administration ordered 23andMe to stop providing people with information about their health that stemmed directly from the tests.
Although such an action would have deterred many people from continuing with their work altogether, Wojcicki didn't even see it as a serious problem. Rather than letting the FDA tell her what she could or couldn't do with her company, Wojcicki kept up 23andMe--ultimately receiving FDA approval in 2015 to sell tests that showed whether or not people carry genes that could lead to genetic illnesses in their children.
Instead of getting beat down by the problem, Wojcicki's dedication to continue forging a path in the medical sphere lead her--and her company--to become one of the vanguards of genetic research. In fact, the company now even uses information from the genetic information it's collected in a drug discovery partnership with the biotech giant Genentech to aid in the discovery of their own novel medicines.
Wojcicki's actions prove that true resilience and dedication to achieving your dreams is really all that it takes to making them come true. Despite what obstacles may arise, it's important to keep your eyes on the prize and your head in the game.
Even though getting discouraged is our first reaction whenever we encounter a struggle, what matters the most is how we overcome the things that get in our way. Every obstacle has a solution--no matter how long it may take to find or how difficult it may seem to get there.
Begin any project with that attitude, and you've already won half the battle.