Learning to Love Your Failure


About 2 months into my business being open, I decided that I hated it. I equate it to a new mother with postpartum depression. Here was this baby that I had worked for, slaved over, and dreamed of for years, and nothing looked the way I imagined. Sure, I loved my team and my clients and the product, but I felt no ownership of my fledgling business. I constantly compared myself to other studios that I admired, convincing myself that every Instagram they posted of their packed classes was a direct stab in the heart to my already waning confidence. I kept a positive face in the studio, but at home, I was a basket case. Though I'm young, I've lived long enough to know that most things do not work out the way you imagine, but this was still a low blow. I felt like I had exhausted every resource, but every day that I didn't meet my sales goal, every day that I was reminded of the community I left behind in Tennessee, and every day the snow prevented clients from coming to class, I fell deeper into my self-pity. Colorado, I would think to myself, what a dumb idea this was. Why didn't I just use the connections I worked so hard for in Nashville to get a stable, financially sound, normal job? These were words that I would have never imagined myself thinking, let alone speaking aloud to my husband and closest friends.

Everyone thinks that owning a business is a dream, except for the people who have actually owned a business. It doesn't matter if you've managed a business or held a position of high authority; nothing compares to having 100% skin in the game. All success, or failure for that matter, rides on your shoulders. In the end, you are the one with the most to lose.

Yet, at 8 months into the life of my little studio, I can honestly say that I love it. Even if I'm teaching a ridiculous amount of classes and driving great lengths to get there, seeing my clients excel and my teachers, each one of them, take the time to genuinely invest in the people who walk through our doors is more than I could hope for. So, what switched? The studio didn't become a raving success overnight. Sure, it's grown a lot, and the product has gotten stronger, but seeing my numbers go up didn't make me love my dream.

Deciding to love my dream, in the midst of failure, taught me to love it.

I had started resenting my baby business for all the things it wasn't giving me. I wanted to be able to pay all my bills with ease, have packed classes and flawless teachers from day 1. These are the things that no one talks about when they open a new business because most of us are too embarrassed to admit defeat. Thus, we continue to post pictures of our big days and hide the small, seemingly insignificant, ones.

The perfectionist in me was snubbing out the reality that all good things take time. When I set out to open my own studio, my goal was not to get rich quick and live the high life. It was to develop an intentional, life changing community for my team and my clients. I had become extremely selfish, constantly wondering why God had placed me somewhere where I did not feel fulfilled, completely ignoring the fact that this was never supposed to be about fulfilling me in the first place.

I recently found a list of core values that my friend Erin created for the studio before we signed our lease. Every value was centered around community, creating a positive environment, and doing something of value. Even the dreams that we believe are the most worthwhile will have numerous stories of struggle, but you have to make the decision to pour into your calling even when you don't feel up to it.

Loving anything, like loving another human being, calls us to be our best selves, amidst the worst circumstances.

Pure Barre Core Values Brainstorming

  1. Embrace and Drive Change (zappos)
  2. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit (zappos)
  3. Pursue Growth and Learning (zappos)
  4. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication (zappos)
  5. Transformational Change (teach for america)
  6. Invite Feedback (aweber)
  7. Creating ongoing win-win partnerships (whole foods)
  8. Every client. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses. (Quicken Loans)
  9. Keep your heart + mind open and aligned. Keep growing and learning (Delivering Happiness)
  10. Honesty, simplicity, and doing something you believe has real value

“Develop great products and tell an honest story about them.” - Rob Forbes