Along with millions of Americans, I watched Mitt Romney give his concession speech after all the major networks predicted an Obama win. After all that campaigning, Romney didn’t win the presidency. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he had to stand up and give a speech in the midst of his failure. It looked painful, especially as his family trotted off the stage in Boston for the walk of shame.
It made me think of how devastating that moment would be for most of us. We’re already so afraid of failing at any level, that failing so publicly would prevent many people from showing their faces to the world for a long, long time.
This is always the risk of following your dreams, of going all in.
Last night, I had the pleasure of tweeting with Vernetta Freeney from Women Are Game Changers who recently reflected upon the lessons she learned from hosting her first business bootcamp for Houston-area women:
I learned so many lessons along the way and several times wanted to call the entire bootcamp off. But I was committed to see it through. #1 I had already put it out there and didn’t want to seem like a failure. Yes, I was scared of what others would think. Another reason I wanted to see what would happen. I wanted that lesson. I have heard several times that you need to fail early and fast. That way you learn how to better do things in the future.
Vernetta went all in with her event, even though she knew there was a very real possibility that it wouldn’t turn out the way she wanted.
I also learned that I jumped the gun. I should have waited another year to host WAGC Bootcamp. I did not have the presence to pull in the numbers if there was a conflict in schedule like there were this year. I needed to do more and show more of what I could do to gain people’s trust that WAGC Bootcamp was worth the investment.
Last year, I came to the same realization when I organized the first live, in-person Side Hustle Boot Camp in DC, featuring an array of black women speakers who were knowledgeable about business, marketing and the power of entrepreneurship. Although I had a great program planned with useful content and a fabulous team helping me to promote the event, we still didn’t get the numbers we needed to justify the cost of the downtown venue. Because we weren’t hitting our registration goals fast enough, I decided to transition the Side Hustle Boot Camp to an all-day series of online workshops. It’s not exactly what I wanted for the event, but in the end, the online bootcamp format worked well and attendees received value in the information they received. Like Vernetta, I learned a lot from hosting my first live bootcamp for the HBW community.
Oh well. I learned an expensive lesson and for that I’m grateful. I now know what I will and will not do for 2013. I also learned that networking is my strength and planning Fusion Tour is what I’ll be more passionate about.
So what did I learn from all of this? To not do something just because others say you are good at it. Because it costs me money, time and sleep to pull it off. Stick with what I know and passionate about. Continue to grow within my niche. Eventually people will notice all the work put in and will join my movement.
And this is why you have to go all in. Because even if you fail, you’ll learn the lessons you need to know to move forward. No matter what happens, you can wake up on the morning after, look up at the sky and thank God that you get the chance to start over and try again.