Tuesday, October 04, 2011

You. Are. Not. Your. Failures.

Failure has been a big idea/concept/conversation piece for me this week. I am not one to look at a failure as  a "failure." I like to think of them as learning experiences for what you can hopefully NOT repeat in the future. After all, we are able to change our futures, but can't change the past.

This weekend I had a devastating (to me at least at the time) experience with my business. It was 3pm on Saturday afternoon and my business phone rang. I JUMPED! This is the first time that my business phone has EVER rang! Ok...well, it has rang a couple of times but was people who wanted to interview me and the such. That, of course, was equally as exciting - but wasn't someone wanting a tour. So given that my phone hasn't ever rang for a TOUR, this startled me. I answered the phone - half expecting it to NOT be for a tour. A woman's voice answered back. She said, "Is there still space available on the 3:30 tour?" I was taken aback! I said, "Uh, there isn't a tour booked at 3:30." She said, "Oh." I said, "Well, we just don't have people signed up for the 3:30pm tour. We could do one." She responded, "Do you have tours tomorrow then?" I said, "Yes. A 7:30 AM farmers' market tour and a 3:30 PM historic tour." She replied, "Oh, okay. Well, I will see if I have time to do the 7:30AM tour tomorrow. I will let you know." "How many people are in your group?" I asked. "Just me," she said. "Oh, well certainly call us back and we'd love to give you a tour for the morning if you can." She hung up. I was so confused and rattled over what had just happened! When I said, "We don't have a tour booked." What I really meant was that no people were signed up. I think it came out very wrong. I also didn't expect someone to call for a tour a half hour ahead of time. After I thought about it though, I realized...well, duh! Some people ARE going to call right before and you just have to be prepared for that. After the realization set in of, "Why the heck didn't you just say, 'Yes, you are our 3:30 tour, we'll meet you there!'" I began looking through my phone to call her back. She had a private number. I tried everything - *69, googling how to get private numbers, etc. No such luck. In the moment of the realization that there was not going to be any calling her back, I was devastated. Not devastated because of the loss of money, but for the opportunity. The opportunity to take someone around the town, for them to have a great experience and for them to be able to tell others, "Hey, there is this really cool business there. You should check it out!" Yes, I felt like it was a failure...even though in the back of my mind, I knew it wasn't a failure - but a learning experience.

I was so bummed, I attempted to call almost everyone I know. Murphy's Law - no answers. So, I went to the park to do my DAMY workout  - which, by the way, was a killer. There is no worse time to do an intense workout than when you are already feeling defeated. I (barely) made it through one set (I also thought in the back of my mind at the time, "This workout is too hard! Forget doing 4 sets, that's impossible! I'm only doing 3!") I sat on the bench in the park and called my parents. My dad answered and I began to bawl. They were out and about so he was distracted, but still trying to listen. He asked me to call back. I did one more set and called him back. I talked with my dad for a bit and he reminded me that this was a learning experience and for the next time, I would know how to handle it differently. He said perhaps I had the, "First call jitters." Maybe I did?

I later spoke with my friend, Sonya, who, of course, told me the same and encouraged me. She said, "You know, this won't be the only person to call, Alyssa." I KNOW that is true.

Just the other day, I also went to meet someone for a coffee about my business. His name is Ryan Ott and he runs the business IamMNnice. Ryan is a wonderful guy and I highly recommend you all check out (and LIKE) his page (ALSO, look for another post from me later this week for a GIVEAWAY of some IamMNnice gear). We began to talk about how I started this business and I told him a little about my story. We got into discussions about life and how we both are doing what we are doing. We started talking a bit about life and journeys, etc. I told Ryan about what had happened that past weekend and Ryan reminded me of something important. Am I living my passion? He asked, "Well, even though you don't have a tour, do you just get up and do it anyways?" "What do you mean?" I asked. "You know, get up and just get ready and having everything set and go do your tour. As though you do have tours. That way, if someone does call, you will be ready." He reminded me of  something that I haven't been reminded of since I started this business - have I been living this passion every weekend? The answer is, with the phone not ringing - no I hadn't been. I haven't been acting as though every day is a full tour. Maybe I need to do just that! After all, when we live as though and put out the idea of the thing that we want to happens - it actually starts happening! So, I need to live that passion! Fortunately, I have 2 tours this weekend and on the day I don't have any, you can be sure I will be prepared and living as if I do!

So, as a reminder to myself and to everyone else...we are not our failures! So let's not live in them in the present and let them continue to bog us down. Failures can be learned from and we can choose to act differently in the future and not make the same mistakes. Failures can be turned into successes!

Oh..and by the way, I did finish my DAMY workout - all 4 sets! :)

I'll end this with one of my favorite quotes by Paulo Coehlo. If you haven't read his book, The Alchemist, you need to check that out!

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and 

to get up eight times.” 

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