Remember the 80’s hit song by the Pointer Sisters, “I am so excited that I just can’t hide it I am about to lose control and I think I like it” well that is what I am singing but changing the words to match the title of this post! Sorry if you are now singing it in and it is stuck in your head! Oh, mom and family before you pick up the phone to call and see if I am ok hang on as I am going to explain to you why I like being a failure!
Why do I like being a failure? Well several years ago I read a book by John Maxwell called “Failing Forward.” In it Maxwell shares stories about famous people who countlessly failed before they hit it big. He also goes on to say that the important part to failure is to “fail forward” meaning to use the failure to your advantage by taking away the key lessons that will help you grow and move ahead in your endeavor. This post is not going to be a book review but I merely bring it up because most of us look at failure as a negative thing and not a positive thing. Although it was many years ago that I read it that learning from it is prevalent for my reflections today. If you would like to read it here is the link to Amazon to get a copy Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success.
Ok, as I just mentioned the learnings from that book play more of a role in my life today than they did when I first picked it up and read it cover to cover! Now I know you are asking yourself, “but why would you be ok with being a failure?” To be honest I would not say that this acceptance came easy because up until about 4 years ago things were running pretty smoothly with my life and career. I wouldn’t say that during that time I achieved all my goals but for the most part I did. Then, the Great Recession hit and I found myself on a new journey. I was fired from a job I truly loved and I now found myself at a crossroad. Do I want to go and try and find a job or do I want to try and go out on my own and become an entrepreneur? I chose the latter and let me tell you being an entrepreneur is not easy. I guess if it was everyone would do it. Plus, I be the first to admit I did not grow up selling baseball cards or setting up lemonade stands to make money. My life and passion revolved around sports. I loved playing football and baseball, which led me to get my Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. Now, naturally you would think that my first entrepreneurial gig would be to open a gym, however, my wife and I agreed that I would try to utilize the Internet and build a fitness business online.
So, I headed out on this new journey excited and scared but nonetheless I moved ahead. I had created a company called www.workingmomworkouts.com that provided an online fitness membership site that working moms would get a weekly program and lesson from me. After a year and half I had had some success but realized that the space I was in was not a great fit for me. I just didn’t have the passion to continue to move forward with it so in the meantime I had started to work with other fitness professionals building their websites and helping them get traffic to their site (SEO). This led me to start thinking I could help other business owners with their digital marketing so I started a local digital marketing company. Things started off a little slow but as with any new endeavor the more I got out there and met people the more success I had. However, I still didn’t feel complete and I began to start the thinking process of my entrepreneurial journey!
So, I don’t know if it because I am wiser (just turned 41) or God laid it on my heart but about 6 months ago I started to really think about what my purpose is in life and what God wants me to do to glorify him. I believe I can trace it back to the time I spent in Colorado this past summer. It really is amazing what getting away from your day to day surroundings and into nature can do for you. Spending time hiking and biking in mountains made me realize I miss coaching and helping others transform their lives through fitness.
Call it coincidence or destiny but right after this trip I got a call from a good friend of mine asking if I would like to meet for coffee . She told me she an opportunity that I may be interested in. The next week we met and the opportunity she had for me was to become certified as an Orange Theory Fitness Coach. I had heard about OTF but had never taken a class. I agreed to take the class and if I liked it I would let her know if I wanted to join her team. Well, if you follow me on Facebook you probably already know the outcome and that I am now teaching classes.
I realized now after four years of being away from fitness I missed it and I also realized that the strengths and skills that I was born with were not being used to my fullest potential. I was born to motivate and coach and it was time to get back to my roots. Now does this mean I have to give up my other passions? Does it mean I am a failure at building a local marketing agency focusing on small businesses? No, what I have decided is to make my focus completely on health and fitness. So that means the digital marketing agency I started will be now focusing on helping fitness professionals, gym owners and others in the health and wellness space. What I hope is I can use my motivation to transform lives while I teach classes and use my business and marketing skills to help other health and fitness owners transform other lives by helping then grow their business.
You see these failures I have encountered on my entrepreneurial journey have been great lessons! Without them I would have never gotten back to the asking myself, “How do I want to spend the second half of my life” and figure out my “why.” My goal is to take the lessons learned over the last four years and “Fail Forward” just like Maxwell describes in his book! I hope you will come along for the ride as I plan to use this blog as my platform to share my experiences and knowledge for others that are struggling to really find their calling! The best advice I can give you is don’t quit and fail forward!
I would love to here your journey. What failures have you encountered and did you Fail Forward?
To Your Success,