How Failing Made Me Happy
I have a story about failure to tell you. A story of me “failing” and how it actually changed my life… for the better.
Now, why am I here to talk about my failures? Or, more specifically why should you even care?
Because fear of failure is a huge buzzkill when trying to move forward and achieve your goals.
My hope is that through sharing my story with you perhaps you will re-think something that you have wanted to do, but have resisted because you were afraid of failing.
My hope is that I can show you that sometimes failing is pretty effing awesome.
First, let me be totally clear with you – we don’t actually fail. Ever. Failing is a mindset I want you to get rid of. Instead, what we do is learn.
I will dive into my personal story first, and then offer you 3 tips that helped me overcome failure and allowed me to keep on learning.
15 years ago I sold a personal training business that was the largest of its kind where I live. I had a team of 15 trainers, reception staff, we were incorporated, it was making money. Until one of my trainer’s photocopied my client list, partnered with one of my members (he was the money), enticed half of my other trainers to leave and then opened up up a studio across the street.
In the course of 60 days, our revenue plummeted by 75%.
Yup. Who knew fitness could be so cutthroat.
The stress, at the time, was unbelievable. The trainer’s that left, I thought they were my friends and this broke my heart. However, I had a support group – my husband and a coach – and I got through it, sold the business and I can report that today not one of those trainers is still in the industry. And the one who opened up the studio, across the street from mine… well his money man left him because he never hit any of the revenue targets he predicted he would, and he is also not in the industry anymore either.
But at the time people thought I was a failure. We live in a smallish community and it didn’t take a genius to deduct what had happened.
And I am glad it happened… because it started me on my journey of being online.
If I hadn’t had that experience I would not be sitting here right now chatting with you. This trainer opening across the street from me was a pivoting point in my life that changed the direction of where I was going and has taught me so much.
My next failure happened just last month.
I used to have a boutique fitness studio, called The Studio, with small group classes. It was very successful, I had a new team there, a manager and things were humming along pretty good until the pandemic hit.
Due to social distancing protocols, we were forced to close our doors and live stream our classes.
But… since I had a business in the past (that one I just talked about) that ran low on cash flow (see, learning from my experiences) I knew that I did not want to be under that kind of stress again. So, I crunched the numbers for our business, I also talked with people who are smarter than me, took a hard look at my industry, and I decided to close the business completely.
Again, on the outside, it looked like I had failed and was forced to close. I can assure you I was not forced, it was a choice, and I can also sit here right now and tell you that I cannot remember a time in the past 4 years while owning The Studio of ever being this happy.
Yes, I liked the Studio, yes I liked the people, but it wasn’t until I shut it down that I realized that I love being online more and that trying to do both businesses for these past 4 years was killing me.
So, that is why I am so happy I “failed” with The Studio.
Of course, each of these required a few things to help me process my feelings and to help me to move on. Let me explain the three:
First, I recommend you always a support group. Have at least one person in your life that you can talk to, who is in your corner,, and who can tell it to you straight. If you don’t have someone, rent someone then. And by that, I mean a therapist or a coach. I have used both and they have been life-changing for me
Second, don’t worry about being afraid of failing, be more fearful of not trying. Don’t give your future self ammunition for a pity party because you didn’t try something. This is a big one in my playback. I do not want to have future PJ pissed off at me for not going after something because I was afraid of failing it. I’m more afraid of her than I am of failing.
And finally, remind yourself that you going to be okay no matter how the cookie crumbles (just so long as it’s a chocolate chip cookie… just saying). When these moments that I just touched upon happened in my life my daily mantra was “I am going to be okay”.
And as that cookie is crumbling smile, remind yourself that you’re tough and you will get through this and that tomorrow will be better. You’ve got to rev up the positive self-talk in situations like this because you will believe whatever you tell yourself.
So, tell yourself to be happy and grateful for all the good things that you do have, and all the problems you know you don’t have.
Life is filled with screw-ups, I truly believe that we are supposed to fail sometimes… so embrace those moments, learn from them, and maybe use them as pivots like I did to change the direction of your life.
Now, it’s your turn…
Have you ever been scared of failing? Do you have any other thoughts about this video? I’d love to hear from you.
Leave a comment on the video and share something with me.