Guess what? I’m not calling myself a failure anymore.
I’m not sure anyone else has looked at me that way but I definitely have. I have looked in the mirror after every project of mine imploded or fizzled and said, “Wow, I totally suck. Why can’t I ever successfully finish anything? I am just not cut out to do my own thing.” (Of course, then I go out there a month later to try all over again.)
I have tried quite a few things. If you are an adept Googler, you’ll be able to find what I lovingly call, my internet breadcrumbs – remnants of projects past. All of these attempted businesses fell apart within a year for a variety of reasons.
I couldn’t keep my health coaching practice going because I was getting too drained from the clients. My networking group stopped after a year when I got pregnant. My essential oils business went ker-plunk after just several months. And my health and wellness magazine style site is still hanging by a thread but it’s no longer stimulating me.
I thought getting bored, tired or drained meant I had failed, but I realized this morning, I didn’t fail at any of these!
I have always considered myself a hands on learner. Why is business any different?
I enrolled at my college because of the “hands on” curriculum and I still say it is one of the best decisions I have made. I have known for a long time that I learn by doing, by experimenting.
If I did not pursue my past ventures, I would not have learned about what I like or don’t like, what works and doesn’t work, and what models succeed and don’t succeed.
With my coaching practice, I learned client work can be draining and having a multiple session package that requires meeting regularly does not fit my style. I also learned that I liked the health side of it all but it was really the life side of coaching that I loved. I learned I have a knack at asking good questions to help people really dig to get to the root of an issue.
With my networking group, I learned that I loved having the energy of a group of people and organizing the group and leading the effort. I also love holistic health practitioners and feel they are an underserved population that I feel called to support. Lastly, I found that having multiple monthly, in-person meetings was fun but unsustainable as I was about to enter motherhood.
With my essential oils business, I learned I can’t sell other people’s products as the core of my business even if I love them (and I love my oils!). I have been solicited by MLM companies and turned them all down until the oils because I felt most aligned with them! And when I realized I couldn’t sell for them, I knew the MLM model wasn’t for me.
So what does this mean? It means I am not just a hands on learner at school but at life.
I know I learn by doing. When it seems to other people that I am flaky or a failure, I will reminder myself that this is how I process information – via experiences. By doing I am learning and progressing and triangulating on what works for me.
How about you? Have you always considered yourself a hands on learner? Have you translated that mentality into your pursuits in life since leaving the classroom?