As a high school rising junior, I tried out for the varsity cheerleading squad. My best friend, Valerie, was trying out, so I figured, why not? Cheering wasn’t my passion, but I liked sports and being with my friends. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
I performed the tryout requirements well—at least I thought I did well. Unfortunately, I did not make the varsity squad, but Val did. I was devastated. It was the first failure I recall in my young life. I was always a hard worker so I thought that if I worked at something, good things would happen. In this case, I was wrong.
If I wanted to continue to cheer, I would have to accept a slot on the junior varsity squad with the rising sophomores. My first thought was, no way am I accepting a lesser squad role. However, I did decide to go forward on the junior varsity squad. I figured that if I really wanted to be part of the cheerleading team, I had to accept the role I landed. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but I learned a lot about myself by embracing the opportunity that was given me.
I took a chance—I ventured into something new and gained something back. I realize now that this youthful disappointment set up my resilience for future “failures.” I wouldn’t stay down for long. I would learn from these situations, own my role in any letdown and be smarter and more resilient in the future.
Think of a time when you were let down by the outcome of a situation... was a great project given to a colleague instead of you? Did you get passed over for a promotion? Were you not selected for your dream job? These “failures” – which, by the way, I don’t consider failures at all—are merely minor setbacks. When they happen, it is an opportunity to take stock of yourself, reflect on the situation and bounce forward as a smarter, more informed leader.
For if we do not venture, we do not gain. Take a chance on yourself for a new opportunity, a new project or a new skill—it should be a source of pride that you had the courage to try. Whether you achieve your goal or not, you have gained insight, skills, and intel that you did not have before. For me, that’s a win-win: I tried, I failed—but I learned. That is worth venturing for.
If you want to venture with CREW Network, I encourage you to set your sights on the 2021 CREW Network Convention. Ask your boss to invest in you by supporting your participation. This is an opportunity to venture into a robust network of commercial real estate women and truly gain immeasurable knowledge, deep connections, and new business partners. Come venture with us and gain all you need to succeed!
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Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.