The trick to mazes (and business!)

the-trick-to-mazes-and-businessI was listening to something the other day that talked about failure being a path to success and I was reminded of being a teenager.

You see, when I was a teen a played a computer game called 7th Guest. It was a puzzle game wrapped loosely around a story.

One of the puzzles was a maze you walked your character through. And I spent so much time being lost in that maze! I felt so frustrated!

Then I learned the trick of mazes. If you keep the wall to your right at all times (or left, just pick one and stick with it) you’ll end up where you want to be.

Yes, you’ll go down a lot of dead ends and end up turning around. AND that will be faster than attempting to wander your way through the maze.

What a great way to look at your walk with your business! Yes, some things aren’t going to work. Don’t worry about it and try it anyway. It will get you that much closer to what will work.

woman thinking "what if..."

What do all these thoughts have in common?

woman thinking "what if..."
“I don’t like networking because no one talks to me.”

“That group is really clicky.”

“No one there is interested in my service.”

“Walking into a room of people I don’t know is really intimidating.”

“Networking is hard because I’m an introvert.”

“You have to be an extrovert to network well.”

“Networking just doesn’t work for me.”

You know what all of these thoughts have in common?

They’re stories.

Stories you tell yourself to give yourself permission to not network or reach out to people.

But they feel true, don’t they?

Painfully true.

So, let’s play a game.

Think about how networking might change for you with each of these questions.

What if everyone else in that room is as scared as you are?

What if they’re not talking to you and are clicky because they’re afraid that you won’t like them.

Or because it’s just easier than putting themselves out there.

Or because they’re an introvert too.

Or because they’ve also convinced themselves that networking just doesn’t work for them.

What if you assumed that everyone there wanted to talk to you, but they don’t know how to start the conversation or approach you?

What if you assumed that the people in the clicky group would LOVE you, but they don’t know how to politely excuse themselves from the people they’re with?

What if they’d love your service if you gave them to opportunity to learn about you?

What if you have the networking advantage because you’re an introvert (seriously, you kinda do, because you skip the small talk and want to really get to know them and create a connection)?

What if networking does work for you, and you just haven’t found a way to network in a way that works for you?

What difference would this make for you and your business?

Share in the comments below. I’d love to know!

Perfection and Failure

bright doorway

The person out there doing things imperfectly is always making more progress (and money) than the person sitting at home waiting for things to be perfect. – Evie Burke

Things don’t always go the way we expect. Waiting for something to be perfect won’t change that.

Failure only means that we tried something and it didn’t work out the way we expected.

And that’s okay.

I’ll leave you with a quote I’ve shared before:

So fail.
Be bad at things.
Be embarrassed.
Be afraid.
Be vulnerable.

Go out on a limb or two or twelve, and you will fall and it’ll hurt. But the harder you fall, the farther you will rise. The louder you fall, the clearer your future becomes. Failure is a gift, welcome it.

There are people who spend their whole lives wondering how they became the people they became, how certain chances passed them by, why they didn’t take the road less traveled.

Those people aren’t you.

You have front row seats to your own transformation, and in transforming yourself, you might even transform the world. And it will be electric, and I promise you it will be terrifying.

Embrace that; embrace the new person you’re becoming.

This is your moment.

I promise you, it is now, now, not two minutes from now, not tomorrow, but really now. Own that; know that deep in your bones. And go to sleep every night knowing that, wake up every morning remembering that.

And then… keep going.

– Unknown (emphasis added)

Sign reading "Leap and the net will appear"

Trust Yourself and Leap

Sign reading "Leap and the net will appear"My husband plays the french horn and is part of a local orchestra. Last weekend they had their yearly Children’s Concert and it was so much fun. They had a clown during the first piece, “Circus Overture” and during intermission they had an “Instrument Petting Zoo” where the kids could try out instruments that were their size (on a side note, one of my nephews plays the violin and when he was small, he had a tiny violin that was adorable).

However, in my eyes, one of the coolest things they did was allow the kids to “direct” the orchestra. Each child had just under a minute to stand on the director’s podium and “direct.” They each received their own baton to keep.

The kids were all excited to step up and try their hand at directing. From where I sat it didn’t look like any of them were concerned with doing it right. And it was fun to see some of them turn around and look for their parents with a huge smile on their face.


When was the last time you just jumped into something? You didn’t worry about if you were doing it “right” or “wrong” you just jumped in and tried it out and trusted that it would work out somehow.


Earlier this week I was at an event with a panel of speakers. The topic was about taking the plunge into business and the panel consisted of three women with different businesses in different stages. They shared their stories of how they started and where they are now.

One of the themes someone pointed out after a bit was “ignorance is bliss.” Meaning, if they knew exactly what they were getting into, they might not have done it. And also, sometimes they were really successful because they didn’t know you were supposed to do it a different way – that the path they should have taken (according to others) was over there and instead they followed this little, slightly overgrown path and it worked out really, really well.


When was the last time you didn’t worry about having enough information and moved forward anyway?


Personally, I’m a planner. I like to have steps mapped out. And since we’re in the “information age,” there is no shortage of information about the right way to do things. When you search for something, you can find hundreds of articles and they all claim to be the way to do it – and yet they seem to contradict each other.

So, where does that leave the planners? Frustrated, overwhelmed and really tired.

Have I made mistakes, had huge blind spots and been really frustrated? Yep. I bet you have too. Many times, the mistakes were because I was listening to someone else and not trusting myself.

Don’t let the worry and the fear hold you back. Trust yourself. The world needs you, your voice, your gifts.

Step forward into the unknown and know that you will be supported, just reach out.

Leap and the net will appear.

Do you trust that? Or are you so busy clinging to the side of the cliff that you haven’t looked down to see the net there waiting for you?

Running a business is scary sometimes isn’t it? And you know what, despite the fear, I bet you really wouldn’t have it any other way.


Photo credit: 
sarahwulfeck / Foter.com / CC BY
Sign post with Failure and Success

Risk, Success and Failure

Sign post with Failure and SuccessI came across this quote last week:

Success and failure. We think of them as opposites, but they’re really not. They’re companions – the hero and the sidekick. – Laurence Shames

Interesting quote isn’t it?

I thought of it again over the weekend when I was given the topic of risk to discuss with the Jr. High youth group. The focus was on making your own decisions verses other people making decisions for you. So, we talked about risk, success and failure.

This week the speaker at an event I was at spoke briefly about taking risks and how some failures really set you up for your next success.

Sitting in the audience I was suddenly struck by how often the topic of risk, success and failure had come across my path in the last week.

Interesting.

If you don’t accept failure as a possibility, you don’t set high goals, you don’t branch out, you don’t try – you don’t take the risk. – Rosalynn Carter

I searched through my collection of quotes, looking for ones about success, and this one stuck out.

You see, last week I set some pretty ambitious goals for myself in the coming months, but they are possible with time and attention. I wondered out loud if I was expecting too much of myself in too little time. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I won’t meet some of the goals I set. Perhaps I will fail. And perhaps in failing I’ll be that much closer to another opportunity. Perhaps I’ll still have accomplished more in the failure than I would have if I never tried.

But maybe, just maybe I’ll succeed.

Success and failure, hero and sidekick. I’d wager that success usually follows what looks like failure. We just don’t always hear about the failure. We’d rather hear about the success – the hero of the story, right? But the sidekick is there, quietly supporting the hero in lessons learned.

What does this mean to you?

  1. Risk, success and failure. How do those play out in your life? In your business?
  2. What topics or ideas seem to be appearing over and over again? What do they mean to you? Why are you noticing them?

I’d love for you to share your observations in the comments below.

And I’ll leave you with one last quote:

So fail.
Be bad at things.
Be embarrassed.
Be afraid.
Be vulnerable.

Go out on a limb or two or twelve, and you will fall and it’ll hurt. But the harder you fall, the farther you will rise. The louder you fall, the clearer your future becomes. Failure is a gift, welcome it.

There are people who spend their whole lives wondering how they became the people they became, how certain chances passed them by, why they didn’t take the road less traveled.

Those people aren’t you.

You have front row seats to your own transformation, and in transforming yourself, you might even transform the world. And it will be electric, and I promise you it will be terrifying.

Embrace that; embrace the new person you’re becoming.

This is your moment.

I promise you, it is now, now, not two minutes from now, not tomorrow, but really now. Own that; know that deep in your bones. And go to sleep every night knowing that, wake up every morning remembering that.

And then… keep going.

– Unknown (emphasis added)