Healthy Dose Of Failure

I failed at a business almost before it started.

But that spectacular demise elevated a few key lessons.

For starters, here are the TL;DR

I was tired of the poor food quality that my son’s elementary school was serving for their lunches and had to do something about it. I realized this wasn’t a one-off situation but something all schools were a part of. It was a growing problem and a potential contributor to the rise of childhood obesity and diabetes, among other things.

I sought to find a solution and the options were limited. enter Healthy School Lunches.

The premise: a local subscription business to source high-quality foods so kids could have a healthy lunch.

The problem it was solving: Parents were fed up with the unhealthy lunches provided by schools but also the dilemma of grocery shopping and making lunches for their kids.

Now the lessons:

  1. Timing isn’t always in your control – I had this idea in the winter of 2019 and started it up in February of 2020. You know what came next. I could’ve never imagined that scenario but I also can’t beat myself up for it. With schools shut down for an unforeseen time, it didn’t make sense to push forward. Had it been another time I think we were on to something.
  2. Have your ideal business checklist – you don’t just start a business without sitting back and looking at all the factors of what could be included in the day-to-day, how you’ll grow, etc. What I came to realize was I didn’t want to be tethered to an office every day (in this case it would’ve been a kitchen) or had my growth determined by factors outside my control like weather, farming conditions, etc. You must understand what drives you and aligns with your values and build a business around that.
  3. Don’t bow to Sunk Costs – Just because you’ve spent a lot of time or money doesn’t mean you should keep going with it. Some things are meant to be stopped.
  4. Learn and Pivot – Nothing will be perfect out of the gate and being realistic about where you are at currently could help determine if pivoting the idea to something else would be beneficial. Only you will know that answer but being hard-headed isn’t necessarily the way you want to go.
  5. Seek out those with experience – Don’t go at it alone. Ask people you know who may have knowledge of the space you are getting into. Have them help you see the blindspots. You can’t know everything so utilize those that have done it before you to give you a peak around the corner.

Healthy Kids Lunches didn’t pan out as I originally hoped but those lessons have paved the way for my future endeavors.

→ It’s not a failure if we’re willing to learn from it.

That’s the lesson that might matter the most.

Healthy Dose Of Failure2023-11-20T07:17:40-04:00

Moving The Needle

One of the hardest things I’ve had to do as a parent is let my son fail.

He’s extremely passionate when he puts his mind to something but can get frustrated rather quickly when he doesn’t “get it”.

That’s when the instinct to step in and help bubbles up.

But I stop myself. I have to let him struggle. He has to do it on his own.

It’s the only way he’s going to realize that pouting, arguing, or complaining doesn’t move the needle.

It’s through focused practice that does.

It’s a lesson for me as much as it is for him.

We all struggle but it’s with patience and perseverance that we can work through the hard parts and come out the other side more confident and resilient.

We become stronger because of it.

Moving The Needle2023-04-22T16:51:06-04:00

Starter Kit

Nothing happens until we start.

No experience.

No learning.

No failure.

No nothing.

If we keep it up in our heads or push it aside for one more day it only eats at us like a dead carcass rotting in the road.

Slowly and painfully until we hate ourselves for it.

Regret creeps in and it adds stress to our lives.

We have to do ourselves a favor and start.

It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect.

It just has to be what we want to do.

Starter Kit2023-03-19T14:59:21-04:00

Just Go With It

There’s no downside to going for it.

Best case, you get the thing you went for. Worst case, it was a complete and utter train wreck.

But here’s the thing, the worst case is forgotten much quicker than the regret of not doing it.

Regret lingers. It stews. It’s like the annoying neighbor that overstays their welcome.

Putting it out into the universe is the only way to go. We can make up stories in our heads but we don’t know what happens until it happens.

We have to act and let the universe work as it does.

No promises about the result that comes out of it.

But even failing spectacularly is much better than the alternative.

Just Go With It2023-01-19T20:25:29-04:00

Being Human

One of the more liberating thoughts we can have is knowing that not one single human being has life figured out.

We all struggle with insecurity
We all compare ourselves to others
We all go through periods of depression
We all think we aren’t close to good enough

We know we’re going to fail
We know we’re going to fuck things up
We know we’re going to beat ourselves up

Accepting these emotions frees us up to be fully present and aware.

Willing to give it our all knowing there’s a good chance it might not work out.

The effort is all we can control.

We figure it out from there.

Being Human2023-01-07T17:02:56-04:00

Continuous Effort

We should never beat ourselves up for trying. That becomes futile.

We should be kind and generous to ourselves.

We should be okay will failing spectacularly.

We should be accepting of our faults.

Then, we should start again.

Continuous Effort2022-10-09T19:47:00-04:00

Change The Dial

Failure fucking sucks
Being told no sucks
Rejection sucks

But maybe those “No’s” are exactly what we need. They focus us more inward. They shake us up by telling us we haven’t quite tweaked the dial just right.

We still have work to do.

But in that work, we start to define ourselves better. We start to have a clearer vision. We start to hear “No” a lot less often.

Not because we’ll stop asking the questions but because we’ll have a much clearer picture of what we want to do and who we want to be around.

When we’re more calibrated we have a better chance to run into happiness.

It somehow just gets in the way.

Change The Dial2022-08-11T19:30:41-04:00

Open Door Policy

James Dyson took over 5000 tries to “perfect” his Dyson vacuums before he saw traction. We can all be grateful he put that level of determination into his work or we’d still be emptying vacuum bags to this day.

We may be discouraged because of failures of the past but we also have to have a perspective that the future is unwritten. We don’t know what will happen. We have to be willing to give the door one more knock and see if it opens.

Give your project an attempt. Go ask them out. Sign-up for that race.

The hard part isn’t what happens on the other side of the door, it’s having the courage to turn the handle and live with the result that it may not open at all.

What we find out through failing is that we rarely remember the failure. We are proud that we tried.

Sadly, what we remember most often is not making the attempt at all.

That should be a much greater fear than failing; having to live with the feeling of not having enough courage to try in the first place.

Open Door Policy2022-01-25T20:23:10-04:00
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