My 15 year old daughter is running for Sophomore Student Class President. What you don't know is that she ran last year for Freshman Class President and didn't win...like not even close. Undeterred, she came to me with her speech for this year. The title: "Success in Pieces". I didn't really know what she meant, so I read her speech. It was filled with words we can all live by in life and business.
My daughter didn't just run for Class President, she also tried out for the dance team as a Freshman. She didn't make it. After we had a good cry, I told her she should go to the coach and find out what she could do to improve for this year's tryouts. She joined the Color Guard instead and met some of her very best friends. She's ready to try out again for the dance team this year. Success in pieces.
She was recommended for the Honor Council by one of her religion teachers. She didn't get the spot, but what she did get, was even better. She's on the Student Advisory Board to the Superintendent of Catholic Schools. Not making Honor Council opened her up to an even better opportunity. Success in pieces.
When you lose a piece of business, you are devastated. You worked so hard to prepare, meet with people, put together proposals, quotes, recommendations, etc. When you don't get the deal, you feel like a failure. However, the time and energy you spent on that can teach you a few things like: don't spend so much time preparing or giving away information in the future. Really gauge how badly this client wants to work with you or your product. If you really thought you 'had the deal' signed, sealed and delivered, and did everything you could, then, rest assured. Not getting this deal or a job interview was probably for the best. It taught you something, and hopefully opened you up to bigger and better things. Success in pieces.
As you might know, the past 20 years of my career has centered around marketing and sales. I have had more downs than ups. Especially in sales. All those no's made me hungry to find just the right 'yes'. All the social media campaigns that I've run, I've learned something from. Some went REALLY well - some campaigns worked better for different industries. Some failed miserably because the client/business owner had absolutely no vested interest in improving their business. They thought that it was my job to care more than they did. You know what, I always did care more. I felt it in my core, and I wanted there to be some magical light up neon sign that said HOME RUN, Terri! Bravo! However, I have learned each and every step of the way from the home runs and foul balls. It has made me a more savvy marketer and business owner. Celebrate the small successes in your daily routine to the major partnerships with mega companies. Success in pieces.
One final thought...many times I look at 'famous' people, or those I admire in my industry. I think, 'wow', they made it. They have all the success, talent, money, team of great people - they have it all. You know what? They had success in pieces, too. Dave Ramsey once said, "Remember, you work your tail off for fifteen years and you are suddenly an overnight success.”
I learned a lot from my 15 year old, and I'm ready to keep plowing through. Publish that blog post even though it scares you and it's not perfect, take the extra effort to take pictures at your next event, send that email, write that thank you note, shoot that video even though you gained 5 pounds and your hair is grey. Invest your time and money into resources that can help you with your weaknesses. Just DO something, and the pieces of success that you've accumulated, will eventually build an amazing puzzle.