When You Fail: Accept it, Learn from it and Find the Opportunity Created by it

I attended the National Child Care Association conference (NCCA) this weekend and was struck by an accidental but consistent theme by many of the presenters.

The presenters’ successes were embedded in stories of:

Taking Risks
Facing Their Fear of Failure
Adjusting When they Did Fail
Honoring Failures
Being Resilient and Learning to Let Go

A Few of the Stories

One story was about taking out loans against the family home in order to finance publishing books (books that publishers refused to publish) because the author believed in herself and what she had to offer.  She is well known author of children’s books focusing on music, art and self-esteem.

Another story was about a preschool that had just expanded and renovated his center to virtually be put out of business by the public preschool that opened in the area. Instead of folding his cards or staying course, he adjusted and decided to change his program to a Montessori in order to compete.  He now has a thriving center.

There is even the marketing professional who invested in homes during the housing boom, just to end up being foreclosed upon and on the verge of bankruptcy.  As a result of this failure she found a niche with her marketing expertise and is establishing a phenomenal reputation as a marketing guru in the child care industry.

The keynote speaker at lunch spoke freely about his failures; the ones that taught him the lessons he wanted to impart upon us.

This theme that was so clear in these personal bios was simple, poignant and inspiring.

What I learned:

Don’t fear risk because you fear failure and when you do fail, accept it, learn from it and find the opportunity created by it.

“…if you're afraid of something, of putting yourself out there, of creating a kind of connection or a promise, that's a clue that you're on the right track. Go, do that.”  Seth Godin, Seth Godin’s Blog: Fear, Scarcity and Value

What About You
Is there something you have been putting off due to fearing the possible or inevitable failure?  Have you failed and found that you can adjust and let that experience make you better at what you do?

Share your stories and inspire others in the comments below.


Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.