By Debra W. Gould, MS
At the mall last week I saw a great t-shirt. It had a fancy design with the slogan "Living the Dream." But it had a big red line through the word "Dream" and underneath was printed "Plan B." It made me laugh because so many people I know at this point in their lives aren't doing exactly what they had envisioned. Sound familiar? That might not be such a bad thing, as we explain in this message.
1. Find gratitude and redefine "failure." Too often we accept mediocrity as "success" because they are afraid of failure. They have not learned what does and doesn't work, and they have no Plan B to implement what they learn. Truly successful people often cite a specific failure that helped them on the path to success.
2. Become your own hero. It actually may be a problem to have everything go well from the beginning because when leaders do inevitably fail, they can become demoralized. Instead, trying different things and moving on when they don't work out can create the mental toughness required to gain and maintain success.
3. Lose the shame. Many individuals have been conditioned to avoid failure because it shows we are imperfect and that brings shame. In reality, "Failure offers the gift of bringing priorities into focus."
When once asked about his success, NBA great Michael Jordan replied: "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Had he been afraid to take that first game-winning shot or had he stopped taking them after he missed the first one, he would not have succeeded.
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success.
Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576
email: firstname.lastname@example.org and
By Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP, CITM
Listen To Carole's Radio Program Here On The Subject Of Failure
We continue our introspective look at courage by examining the depth of failure in our lives that either cripple us or make us stronger.
Everyone fails at something. If you live long enough you will experience failure. Most babies learn to walk by stumbling, teetering over and plopping to the floor in amazement….only to get up and try it all over again. That’s failure in action.
With each step in life we fail on one front or another. A difficult marriage collapsing. A job that implodes. A business that just doesn’t have enough bandwidth to make it.
How we view these failures will make them teachable moments or incidences that can keep us frozen time.
Today we’ll explore the heroic lives of six notable Americans whose failures did not stop their paths to success.
They turned their setbacks into amazing roadmaps to their legendary futures.
Six Great Americans Facing Failure Over Fear
First Woman to Graduate From Medical School in 1849. Rejected by 29 Medical Schools
Bankrupt artist who went on to co-found a 40 billion multimedia conglomerate.
Colonel Harland Sanders
Rejected 6th Grade Dropout left with a secret fried chicken recipe and a social security check.
Mary Kay Ash
Divorcee then widow who sold products door to door to support her children before borrowing money to launch her cosmetics business.
Numerous failures, family tragedies and political defeats riddle the legacy of a man whose laser focused determination saved a country and freed millions of slaves.
When the Daughters of the American Revolution said NO to this acclaimed Black operatic singer, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said YES and helped open the door for her famous Lincoln Memorial open air concert of 75,000 in 1939.
By Michelle Porchia
What does it mean for us to refresh, renew and retool? How does one use their time, talents and treasures during times of uncertainty…after all, these are uncertain times…times when people feel the pressure of less than, not enough of, and “what next?” It’s about looking with new eyes, hearing with new ears, and moving forward possibly down a different road.
Refresh: Our business – refresh our mind and body.
First, let’s talk about us – our bodies. We all have the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. How we use our time is what's important. Do we waste our time with mindless, unproductive things or do we use our time wisely? Do we use it to grow as a person, to grow our business, to rest and relax, to develop our mind, increase our health and to touch others and make a difference?
Many people spend their precious time on unproductive tasks or events. Once a minute is gone, it’s gone and we don’t get it back! Use time wisely. Be more fully present and focus on the now. Do we focus on our physical, psychological and emotional well-being?
How do you use your time? Is it the best use of your time? Think about it honestly.
Refresh our business:
Renew: Rejuvenate. Recommit. Energize.
Retool: With the current economic situation we need to have multiple streams of income. We can use our various talents to create a product, build a business, and collaborate with others. This will help us to have multiple streams of income, use our talents and now we have a win-win situation.
All of us have been given talents – abilities to do something and do it well. We might be creative, good at organizing, working with people, etc. How many of us have God-given talents and don’t use them? I have a granddaughter who is a phenomenal artist, specifically drawing. She had given up on it because “it doesn’t look good” which came initially from an art teacher she had. What a waste. How many of us know we have a talent but for whatever reason aren’t using it?
At the same time we may need to look at new and creative ways to use our talents…retooling.
Scott Peck said: "We cannot be a source of strength unless we nurture our own strength."
Get ready for what is to come. When we expect great things, great things happen.
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.