Can I tell you a true story?
Something that happened to me?
I was in 4th grade. She told me to “Stop acting stupid.” Stop acting stupid. Only I wasn’t acting; I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do. I could feel the red in my cheeks as much as my teacher’s frustration, even her annoyance. So I did what I thought would get both of us out of the situation the fastest: I pretended that it suddenly made sense, that I had gotten it. But I didn’t. I didn’t get it at all. And even worse, I now understood that my inability to get it was proof that I was stupid.
At least I thought that was true… For a time.
I don’t think that anymore! I know that I am smart and creative and capable, I learned that through business. I also know that I’m dyslexic.
For the most part, I think being dyslexic is awesome. It’s helped me to sharpen my creativity – after all, if Plan A typically doesn’t work for you, you have to figure out Plan b, c, d, j, w, x…you get the point. It’s also helped me to NOT be afraid of failure. I get things wrong ALL. THE. TIME. And you know what? That’s what we call being human. Now, maybe I seem to be a bit more human than others sometimes, but I’ve learned to see that along with my human moments come super-human moments.
Take The CEO Kid for example… This program is here because I’m not afraid to try something new. I love teaching my kids about business and I want other kids to learn these skills, too.
Have I ever told you the real reason why I am so passionate about empowering kids to develop these success skills? It’s because when I was a teenager, someone told me I’d never be able to go to college and never be able to take care of myself. In fact, I was told I better marry well so that someone would take care of me. She didn’t believe I could even take care of myself.
That planted a lot of doubt, but then I decided to use it as kindling instead. There was a fire in me that was determined to prove that I was capable. I wanted to know that I was safe, that I could provide for myself – I wanted to be self-reliant. When I had my own kids, that same deep need stirred right back up. I never wanted them to feel helpless. I wanted them to know how to take care of themselves and for them to know that no matter what might come, they could earn their own money and take care of themselves. And so, I started teaching them business – all the same lessons I shared with the adult CEOs and entrepreneurs that I coached.
But let’s get back to “failure” again. Here’s the absolute truth and I need you to hear this: you only fail when you give up! That is the ONLY time that failure is real and permanent. The rest of the time you’re not failing, you’re learning. And as long as you get back up with lessons in your head, you have won.
You’re never going to stop making mistakes… If you do, then you’re probably dead. But when you catch those mistakes, when they happen, examine them, figure out what you can do next time and then being human will start to look more like being super–human.
I found a very BIG mistake not too long ago. I realized that many of The CEO Kid worksheets had errors. Because it’s hard for my brain to catch spelling and grammar typos, I simply didn’t see them. When I did find out, I was mortified. I didn’t think this was a great lesson! I thought, “Oh my gosh, I look so stupid! These kids probably caught the errors and I didn’t and they’re just too polite to tell me.” I’ll admit my first reactions were frustration and embarrassment. But when I was done with that, I started asking myself how I could fix the problems, of course, but also how I could make the worksheets even better for you. And guess what? I think I have!
We’ve made 3 BIG changes!
1. First, I made my first hire The CEO Kid, an editor! She’s an absolute dream and she’s here to help catch all my typos! Thank heavens for her!
2. We had all of the worksheets formatted so that students can now TYPE right inside the worksheets if they don’t want to have to print them out!
3. I designed and created a workbook (and then had it proofed a billion times) that is now a printed, physical option for students!
So what do you think? Was I able to do it? Did I take a “failure” and turn it into a win? Because that is what growing is all about!