I’m a small town entrepreneur and cattle rancher. I started this site to share the amazing economic development information I was receiving in my email and finding online with other small town folks. You probably know that. This is to tell you a little more about my background.*
You may have noticed I write quite a bit about failure and success. One reason for that is the number of failures I’ve experienced. I ran for elected office and lost; I was very publicly fired as city administrator of a small town; and I used to sell antiques, but didn’t make enough at it to stick with it. I mention these because I see failure as a necessary part of success. I also think people tend to let failure be a negative thing that defines them, especially in a small town. I want to do what I can to redefine failure into a neutral or even positive experience.
Those failures have helped me to some notable successes. If I hadn’t been fired, I wouldn’t have bought my store. The failure of my antiques business taught me about business and selling through multiple channels. My campaign was valuable in so many ways, not the least was to clearly demonstrate my husband’s true commitment and dedication. Failures are funny that way.
I’m passionate about teaching. Sound odd? Not really. I come from a family of teachers, and I do teach computer classes at the local tech centers. But teaching is at the center of everything I do. The liquor store is all about teaching customers about the types of wine or liquor they might enjoy. Clearly, this site is a teaching tool. Even my marketing consulting is about helping the customer to reach and teach their audience. Teaching, to me, is communicating and listening, using the right words and tools to help someone grasp your message.
Outside my business, I spend much of my time with people in my communities. Being in the Business and Professional Women has brought me wonderful mentors and a terrific network. Get involved in your own community, somehow. It’s important!
In the next couple of years, I plan to make lots of changes to revitalize both my store and our ranch. I keep picturing the ultimate destination store, and using that as inspiration for smaller changes that we can implement for our customers today.
*Because Chris Brogan suggested it, and to go along with the personal photos I posted recently.
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Nairobi Paul says
My job here has taught me a lot about success through failure. Many times I think the only growth that ever comes our way is via pain.
I’d love to visit your liquor store someday!
teaching, encouraging, empathizing with struggles…your story matches you, Becky. Thanks for taking the time to write. and well.
Chris Brogan says
Really great. I love this and am forever thankful for your lessons about failure, even when I rail against them from time to time (remember back in the way old days?).
You’re a superstar.
David Kawalec says
A great post, Becky. Thank you.
Too often people don’t learn anything from failure other than to try to avoid it in the future. I recently was partner in a technology consulting firm. The business didn’t last, but what I learned from the experience was invaluable.
People who feel a passion for sometime tend to want to infect others with that passion. So, your love of teaching is not strange — it’s quite natural. We often learn most by teaching.
This message was right on the mark! Too often we shy away from failure, especially in our schools. There are wonderful lessons to be learned in the aftermath of failure.
I’ve started 13 businesses in my career and 7 of them were huge failures. But, I learned a lot from those failures which helped me to become much more successful in the long run.
You do awesome work! Thanks for the messages that you share with all of us.
That Chris Brogan…tends to nudge us all into thinking. :o)
Some of the best changes in my life came from situations that seemed a bit like failure at the time. Looking back they were transformations that pushed me in a better direction.
Hi Becky, it’s a confession :)
I actually wrote an interesting article on Entrepreneurship failure which could also be a valuable information for your readers
Becky McCray says
Paul, I can sympathize! Even when we don’t achieve the goal, we hope to learn and grow from the process and experience.
Jon, thank you for the compliment! I hadn’t thought about my story matching me.
Chris, yes I do remember that. Had a great time participating with your live broadcast today. I miss getting to help with your startup dreams. :)
David, glad to get to know you. You are dead right about avoiding failure. That holds so many people back, so they do not even try!
Jack, thanks for the kind words! I like teaching failure. And I’m glad you shared your own failure statistics.
Ann, good to meet you, too. This fits right in with why I want to redefine failure. It’s not negative anymore! It can be a positive transformation point, like you said.
Hi, Cristian! I love your failure stories, and I’m glad you share them. Thanks for linking to them here.