Mmm … I’m having a bit of a doubting mum moment this morning. It’s the last day of vacation care so the kids are having a party and talent quest. My boys of course wanted to take their guitars – no problem. As I dropped them off, one of the supervisors asked if they could play. And now that’s got me thinking. They can’t actually play, but they have great fun trying to be rock stars! So my doubting mum moment – should I not have let them take their guitars for fear of humiliating themselves, or should I have let them take part purely for the enjoyment they get out of doing it?
I’m pretty sure I’ve done the right thing in letting them get involved. If they’re teased, as awful as that may be for them and as much as I want to shield them from that, it’s unfortunately a part of life and they can learn something from it. It may teach them that they need to practice more before their next talent quest (I used to be a professional pianist so know all about that!) or it could teach them that it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of them, it only matters what they think and that they’re enjoying something that they’re passionate about. That’s a difficult lesson for adults to learn let alone two little boys aged 5 & 6, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
That got me thinking about business. What if business owners didn’t follow their passion because they thought they weren’t good enough? What if we didn’t put ourselves outside our comfort zone for fear of judgment and ridicule? What if we gave up at the first hurdle? Here are some famous ‘failures’ which weren’t such failures after all.
- Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.”
- Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television job, where she was faced with sexism and harassment.
- Walt Disney was fired because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
- Steven Spielberg was rejected twice by the University of California School of Cinema Arts.
- In one of Fred Astaire’s first screen tests, an executive wrote, “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little.”
- Just months before his death, Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting in his life, ‘The Red Vineyard’.
- Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr Seuss, had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers.
- While developing his vacuum, Sir James Dyson went through 5,126 failed prototypes.
- Bill Gates was a Harvard drop out and his first business failed.
- Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social.
- When The Beatles were just starting out, they were told by a recording company, “We don’t like your sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
- Michael Jordan was dropped from his high school basketball team.
So I’m hoping the end of today sees my boys excited about their day with lots of happy memories of their time at vacation care. For it is better to have tried and failed, than to have never tried at all!