How Losing $225K Wasn’t Actually a Failure

A client recently commented on my past “failed business.”

The one in which I was 20% owner for almost 4 years, working 60 – 70 hours/week.

It never made enough to pay me.

I gave back my 20% ownership last summer, giving up more than $200K in unpaid earnings and $25,000 in investments.

I looked at him, perplexed. I said, “Oh! I never think of that business as a failure.”

But, he said, you were so burned out from it. And you never made anything –  you lost all that money.

Hm. True, I guess. I never did make a dime.


I made connections with people in this community who have shown me what generosity, acceptance, and respect looks like up close.

I made myself proud – creating & executing procedures, infrastructure, and communication to run a 9,000-square foot fitness facility with over 35 staff members…which I’d never done before!

I made it through two incredibly difficult years of being partners with my best friend – learning how to navigate impossible and unbearable conversations – coming out the other side with a stronger friendship than ever.

I made an impression on myself, my husband, my family, and my friends about what I am capable of.

I made myself into an entrepreneur, learning how to lean into discomfort and recreate myself when it’s time.

Yeah, yeah – that’s great, Jen. [Insert eye roll emoji here]

Most people get pissed off about the money when they hear this story. They have strong opinions about are curious about my lost $225,000.

Know what I got for a quarter of a million dollars?

  • A hands-on, personally-designed, just-for-me M.B.A. with ass-kicking real-life tests & rewards
  • A Ph.D. in myself – pushing me to the limits of my own expectations & ability
  • A 2000% increase in confidence, purpose, and mission

The last one alone was worth the price of admission.

Going through burnout, terror, fear, and lack of confidence was the price I paid to get where I am now. Without that business, I’d literally be unable to help the clients I help now.

Fer Sher…There are so many things I could’ve done better. Smarter. Faster. Easier.

But I still don’t see any of it as a failure. If I’d learned better, smarter, faster, or easier, I would not be where I am now.

Is there a failure that you’re holding on to?

A story you have about something that didn’t work out the way you wanted it to?

Or the way you think it should have?

I ask you to process it. Don’t let it fester. Don’t let it live under a rock.

Shine the light on it – explore what it taught you.

  • What were your wins?
  • What were your challenges?
  • And what were your wins within those challenges?

I could write a book on the challenges we endured at Method 360 Fitness. I could have a hundred chapters on the mistakes we made, the stupidities, the hubris, and the conflicts.

Within each one, there is a giant lesson. A win. Something to take away that I use now in my business, life, relationships, and mission.

It all had to happen – because it did happen. What’s the point of regretting it?

If you’re holding on to a past experience and calling it a failure or feeling regret, it’s time to ask how that’s serving you.

Is it keeping you from your next great thing?

Are you ready to explore the other side of the failure?

If you don’t know how – or it doesn’t feel safe to do it – I know someone with some perspective. 😉

Reach out. I’m here.


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