Failure to Launch: Still Smiling

Failure to Launch: Still Smiling

I opened my computer today so I could Google “How to draw the brachial plexus” while I study anatomy.  When I opened it up, the window open was from a great blog and I remembered — it’s okay to take a break and do the things you enjoy Jess…it’s time for another post.  So here I am, taking a break from studying for NPLEX1 to write to you guys. About what?  About happiness.  About learning opportunities.  About crying.  About laughing.  About growth.

I hosted a seminar on naturopathic medicine a month ago.  I had set up a sign-up website, edited my blog to advertise, made flyers, spoken with people in my community…People were stoked to come meet me and hear about naturopaths and how we can help – how to make sure you’re seeing a REAL one and so much more.  I got e-mails flying in with people thanking me for setting this up.  The night before I got emails from ladies telling me they were so excited and they couldn’t wait!  One even wanted to invite her mother who was in from Europe!

WOW!  I thought to myself: Jess, this is it, this is where it starts!  Your business connections, perhaps a future patient…The moments leading up to this presentation were euphoric.  I really felt special.  The presentation started at 7pm and I had asked people come at 6:30pm.


2252307034_2ef3da29ba_bIt was 6:25pm when I looked at my mom and boyfriend and felt this pit in my stomach…then at 6:35pm that pit grew to the size of a melon…no ones here. Wait…here come some people! OMG! Yes! Five people showed up!!! My sister in law, my brother, their two beautiful children, and my sister.  Yep.  No strangers!  Absolutely NO ONE showed up who was going to come.  My family was beyond supportive – telling me to go on with the presentation any way and that they’re sure they’ll learn something new.  And so the show went on.  I didn’t feel special anymore though, that feeling was stolen from me! GASP!

The presentation had a few flaws and I was more nervous speaking to my family than strangers to be honest!  But I did it.  I failed to meet people from my community but I didn’t fail.  My brother told me he learned things that he never knew about my profession before and my sister in law said she didn’t know about the depth of the physical exams we do.  It was rewarding.  But at the time I was so depressed.  I cried after the presentation, in private…thinking “how did I fail so badly? how did NO ONE show up?”.  E-mails from the people came later apologizing and explaining why they couldn’t make it and I appreciated that…no really, I did!  I reminded myself that starting something big has to start somewhere.  I had a wonderful sponsor from Be Well Chiropractic in Bradford who offered to sponsor me again if I wanted to do this talk again any time.

10986653983_664fb63685_oIt was okay to cry.  I laughed while I cried and then I cried some more.  So much effort went into this “seminar to really launch Seriously Healthy Living” and I felt like I got nothing from it…at first.  But that’s why we can re-evaluate our situations, our experiences.  I hadn’t failed.  And I was special, I AM special!  No one has the ability to make you feel a certain way except yourself.  If I felt that I was no longer special, it was my negative thinking and so I told myself – damnit Jess, you are special this was just another experience for the books – you are no less of a person because people did not come that told you they’d show up.  That’s just how it goes!

So really, this was a chance for me to learn some things:


  1. Starting a business is not easy.  It is going to take some grinding, some learning, some tears, and some “flops”
  2. Family, whether one you’re born into or those I consider family, is my support system.  They have always been there for me and that night I was showered with love – sure I could look at being abandoned by strangers but I’m choosing to look at being surrounded by people who care about me.
  3. Learning will never stop for me…I’ll be learning from my patients every day, learning continuously throughout my life, and this was just another learning experience!  I decided I needed to be more actively involved in my community and reach out to different people in order to properly advertise for a seminar like this.
  4. Laughing feels good even if you’re crying.  My boyfriend was cracking some jokes afterwards and I made my typical bummy-looking face at him and he told me to relax that everything was going to end up being okay.  So I cracked jokes about it, I took the power away from a negative situation by making it comical.
  5. Enjoy the ride.  The ups, the downs, the plateaus – this is what it’s going to be like.  People will tell you they’ll see you later and walk out of your life – the point is that they had a purpose while they came in whether they visit for a while or for a moment. And remember that the most beautiful of diamonds has been subjected to the most intense pressure, stress, and heat.  Make a difficult situation beautiful.

I am so grateful for the experience I was given.  I took “failure” and made it mine – at the end of the day, everything is just an experience and you can spin it how you want.  I did not abandon my dream of starting Seriously Healthy Living and making it into something more.  I am still working at it.  There will be a day when I am booked solid with seminars, one-on-ones, workshops and the like!  Your thoughts influence outcomes.  My thoughts are that things are great, positive thinking is influencing me daily.

So cheers to the bumps and bruises, because we learn in the face of a challenge.  Find something to be happy for in this very moment and look forward to the future.  Don’t live in the future (or the past! that’s gone anyway!), but be positive about it.  Thank you friends, family, strangers – you are supporting Seriously Healthy Living and when the time is right, we’ll launch together!  I’m looking forward to growing with YOU!



Happy Friday everyone!

Jess, still smiling.


Do you have a story about growth?  A challenging time that you overcame?  Or maybe this inspired you to overcome a particular struggle you’re going through right now.  Share your story in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!