The numbers were looking good. Really good.
We had done plenty of workshops before. They are our jam. We thrive on connecting and bringing energy to a crowd. But this time around was different. This was the first time we’d be selling our brand new course and we had high expectations.
Expectations. That’s a word I’ve struggled with over the years. I’ve had to work on letting that ideal and pressure dissolve and disappear; to bypass disappointment and live real life, what’s in front of me, not what I think it should be.
As entrepreneurs, this is a tough nut to crack. We pour everything we have and are into our work. We shift and bend so our hopes and dreams fit along the path to profits and self-fulfillment. I think, naturally, we expect if we follow the recipe and the numbers look really good, that it’s all going to go our way.
But there are so many variables in business. In life. One little chain falls and the results change course.
We had an incredible workshop! We brought the energy, content, and connection! But we messed something up. We should have ordered things differently and talked more about one thing instead of another. Our course sold but not exactly like hot cakes, as we had expected. And, even though we made money, I was disappointed because it was _ supposed to be _ so much more.
For about a week after that first course launch, I was depressed. I know that sounds dramatic, and it probably is. I have a tendency to feel a little too deeply. Everything we had put into this, only to come out on the other side with an alright result instead of what we knew it could have been.
So, we decided to go to the beach. Get fresh air in our lungs and perspective in our hearts. The winter sky smiled down at us, painted with wispy clouds. The sun bright and warm, but too early in the year to be hot. I pouted for a bit (I’ve found it’s necessary to allow yourself to feel what you have to feel. Have a pity party, but limit it. Feel and then let it go).
As we talked about what we needed to do better next time, we picked up a handful of smooth, flat rocks and began skipping them out past the waves. I couldn’t help but think about all the other times in my life I’d tossed expectations, setbacks…out to sea. This was no different.
The lesson: we can wallow in the aftermath of disappointment. Or, we can transform that funk into a fire that fuels determination, a turning point, pioneering the path where hopes and dreams skip along the yellow brick road, forward, freely, easily.
The choice is ours.
I decided right there on that beach to let it all go. I decided to scrap what happened and let it be in the past. I decided my future wasn’t going to be determined by one event (which really wasn’t that bad, anyway), but rather, determined by the perseverance I was choosing instead.
Since then, that course has become our best-seller. We’ve sold more than we thought we ever would. And because of that, we’ve helped more creative entrepreneurs align their hopes + dreams on that path to profits + fulfillment and that makes me smile bigger than anything.Being an entrepreneur is no joke. The talent, the art, well, that’s the easy part. The thick skin, the right mindset, these are the things that’ll get us far. The good news is, even if those things sound or feel foreign to us, they are attainable if we roll up our sleeves and do the work (practice a morning routine, surround ourselves with an encouraging crowd, learn from those who’ve gone before us).
There are a lot of folks out there, feeling slumpy on the beach. A whole crew of them who’ve yet to throw their stones out to sea. Maybe their pity parties have lasted just a tad too long. I say, let’s join them, but not too long to get comfortable, only for a moment and say, “I get it. That sucks. I hate this feeling, too!”
But then, bravely, together, let’s show them there’s another way: We don’t _have _let every setback settle into a scar. We can choose a humble road where we fail but quickly tweak what’s needed and then try again. A business and life that are full of joy and success, but only because we’ve decided to get our hands dirty and pave the way to that beautiful reality.