The Opportunity of Failure
Failure is a word I'm trying super hard to stop using as I'm also trying to change they way I see "failure". It's all a matter of perspective and I don't want to see, count or measure my life in "failures". That's so negative and life comes with too many disappointments to always be focused on the negative side of things.
Instead I want to see the good in them. All "failures" and disappointments can lead to great opportunities, change and growth. Without them we'd never develop the skills, experiences and knowledge to succeed. Diving head first into my business has taught me that. Just because things don't go the way I planned, are slow to take off or seem overwhelmingly hard doesn't mean I should count them as "failures" and give up. Instead I take a deep breath, step back and figure out what I missed, what didn't work and what could have been improved. Really dig deep to, don't be afraid to ask those hard questions.
Maybe there's experience or knowledge I don't have. Can someone else help me out? Maybe I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. Can I improve my organization skills or take a class to learn something I missed? Maybe I set my expectations too high or too low. This is a big one for me and probably my most challenging. As an introvert, hyping things up and "socializing" just aren't in my nature. I can't just walk up to everyone I run across and start singing praises about things I'm doing. It feels forced and in-natural to me.
Being a full-time employee who also works 50+ hours a week leaves little time to really create those relationships I need to grow my business. My job is also a great crutch and fallback, which leads me to set my own personal expectations too low. Which means I don't push myself as hard as I should when it comes to "my creative career" outside of my 9-5.
Take my launch party a couple of weeks ago. I sent out a couple of emails, posted several times, and hung a few flyers but what else did I do to promote and market the event so it was jam-packed? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I could see that as a personal failure or as opportunity #1. It showed me that I desperately need to improve my marketing skills pronto!
I made sure the place looked beautiful and that everything was set up and ready to go but I didn't speak to a single person who walked by unless they inquired first. This brought opportunity #2 into serious focus and I realized I need to get over my aversion to socializing with strangers. I can't run a successful business if I'm constantly waiting for people to come to me, I need to take my business to the people!
No matter how many times I read success stories and all those "I did it without giving it a thought experiences" there's always that little voice in the back of my head whispering that "nobody just gets lucky" or "falls into it," those people may feel that way but I'd bet each and everyone of them worked hard and long to get to that opportunity that seemed so easy to land. It may have come from one "failure" or another that they tireless turned into opportunity or from simple old fashioned hard work but they made it happen all the same. Their passion, drive and desire made it possible. Toss in a little leap of faith and voila. Dreams do come true!
It's time I take every "opportunity" to learn and grow with a smile, take a running start at that leap of faith and push that 9-5 out of my life for good! Wish me luck.
'Til next time,
P.S. To my beautiful friend Aubrey, thank you for your endless support and encouragement. You are the best!!!