In December, I had a few dreams die hard...and I’m proud of that. Not because I had to accept failure, but because I knew that those dreams didn’t die from a lack of effort...it just wasn’t meant to happen the way that I wanted it to.
I’m sure that several of you can relate to this. We have all faced failure at some point in our lives. It’s how you embrace the letdown that sets your compass moving forward. So, I’ve come to regard FAILURE more as a First Attempt In Learning.
One of my dreams that came crashing to the ground was the result of my efforts to expand my graphic design business. Our FSA agent pointed out that me working off the farm may not be much of a revenue generator, once we deducted the paid labor on the farm to replace me, transportation, childcare, and other job-related expenses from the additional revenue that came from my paycheck. So, in order to balance life on the farm, motherhood, farm wife duties and the overall cash flow, I focused on garnering additional freelance work.
Opportunity knocked this fall, and I was very excited about the prospect of being able to work out of my home full-time. After months of crunching numbers, developing a strategic plan and presenting to several of the stakeholders, I felt pretty confident that this was my “dream account,” combining my love of agriculture with my passion for graphic design. This new contract was also going to help “fill the gap” that the ever-decreasing milk check had created. Not to mention the fact that I would be available to help Donald around the farm and alleviate some of the labor expenses we’ve had to incur in the past. It was a win-win for all.
To say I was disappointed when I received the “No” is putting it lightly, especially since I had put forth so much effort in succeeding with this endeavor. But I took the NO to mean Next Opportunity and set my sights on securing other accounts. I had faith that the door wasn’t opened because something much bigger than me knew I wasn’t ready to walk through and this wasn’t my dream. Were my efforts wasted in chasing this dream? Absolutely not. In fact, the seeds for the “Next Opportunity” were planted in the rejection and grew into an offer for me to work on another project for the very same client just a few days later.
I had also taken a chance on this project to keep another “dream” alive. And that was the dream of making sure that the farm remained viable during this unstable period for the dairy industry. If THAT dream ever dies, it will definitely die hard because we are putting 250% of our time, talent, resources and everything else that we have to keep it alive, just the same as many of our dairy friends are doing to survive the times. Sadly, some of our fellow producers have already dispersed their herds, sold their farms or simply just called it quits. I’m sure their dreams died hard, as well.
And that’s how it should be. If we let our dreams slip away easily, without putting forth all that we have, was it really a dream, or just a whim? For me, I have too much invested in my dreams and I’m not letting them go without a fight. Whether it’s a new graphic design account or keeping the farm running...if the dream is gonna die, then I’m going to walk away knowing that I did everything I possibly could to keep it alive.