Saturday, January 11, 2014

How Do You Handle Failure?

This week was the first week that the kids went back to school after what seemed to be an EXTRA long vacation. With Thanksgiving and Christmas being so close together this year, it seemed like they were home for a month. As if that were not exhausting enough, I learned on the second day back, that my 12 year old's bus schedule changed and would be picking her up a half an hour earlier. That may not sound too bad until I disclose that her bus now comes at 5:25 a.m. instead of 5:55; meaning I have to get up at 4:30 now. So.... it has been QUITE the week for everyone.

Thursday was "one of those mornings". You know the kind of day that you perfectly planned out but then starts out different than you had anticipated? If you plan your days out like me, this often throw things off dramatically which can quickly lead to a snowball effect. Well, it was THAT kind of morning. Since I try to keep myself in mental check, I typically figure in wiggle room for mishaps... I have three kids, it's the inevitable, so it's necessary to figure in this time and yesterday was no exception. I was booked with a freelance job in Sarasota, which is about an hour and a half away and had planned my time out perfectly. I packed most of my things up the night before so that I would not forget anything but did leave a few things for the morning. NO problem. What I did NOT take in to account was how tired I was going to be due to 3 days of less sleep; I was moving a little slower.

 I was ready to go, the car was packed and I was off; tired but motivated for a great day. Soon after getting on the "expressway" traffic came to a stop... no end in sight and I had NO idea why. No exaggeration, it took me an hour to go about 15 miles. I sent the photographer a text along with a photo of the traffic jam and estimated my new arrival time. Luckily he was fine and just told me to be safe. In the end, a trip that should have taken me an hour and a half took me over 2 hours. If you know me, you KNOW that I HATE being late. If I am on time.. I am late, if I am late, SOMETHING MAJOR happened... (or perhaps my kids hid my keys.) I easily could have become irate, I could have let it ruin my day, but with more wisdom now than I had a few years ago, I REALLY set out to have a good day therefore could not let a traffic snafu set the bar for the rest of my afternoon. Not to mention that the model who hired me was a new client and showing up irritated would have made her uneasy, so I turned up my radio (music makes me happy) and sang loudly in my car while I patiently waited in gridlock.

Finally, as I approached the exit off the not-so "express" way onto the highway for my shoot, traffic cleared and it was smooth sailing. "COOL!" I thought... my new ETA was right on. I am driving... cruising and singing as I glance into my back seat realizing I had not done my mental check list for the items in the car, so I did it in the rear-view mirror. OH CRAP! I frantically searched for my hair styling case which holds my hair styling tools, flat iron, brushes, pins, curling wand styling products... IT WAS NOT THERE! Are you KIDDING? Too far into this trip now, I got angry at myself for a moment and then took a deep breath and said... you can do this... 22 years in; you got this. I kept driving and stayed positive when I truly wanted to scream, kick and punch myself. Seriously? You are THIS seasoned and you forgot your HAIR KIT? FAIL!

Long story longer, ( I am really good at that) I get to the studio, walk in with a smile on my face and said... "Well, I am an hour late AND I left my hair kit at home, but WE are going to ROCK this day so let's DO IT!" And well... we did. I managed to create the first look with minimal tools that the photographer happened to have and left for good 'ole CVS as soon as I got her wardrobe laid out for the first two sets. I bought a $17 bottle of hairspray that as an industry professional would typically only have to pay $7 for, a $40 Conair curling wand, bobby pins, ponytail holders and a hairbrush/comb set. I went back and banged out 5 more sets that afternoon and well... my day was awesome, I got a huge tip and the photos were amazing.

Jill Diorio

Photo credits GW Burns

Now, the point of this LONG story is this....

Many people DON'T succeed because of their fears of failure. Many people FEEL like a failure when things don't go as planned. We beat ourselves up, get angry, resentful, frustrated and that gets us nowhere. In fact, you cannot think straight at all or problem solve when your mind is a wreck. Think about it... think of a time when something like this happened to you. How did you handle that failure? Did you fall apart and cave in or did you Face it, deal with it, and rock a solution? My hope is that by suffering through this long, drawn out story that you will face your next failure differently... and realize that it is an opportunity to shine; to show 'em what you got. When you can handle failure effectively, you realize the opportunity it brings and THAT small little twist in your thinking can change your life and your business. Now rock that failure and shine baby... shine bright!





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