I remember when I first tried out for the volleyball team in high school.
I was on the recreational basketball team during the spring. You know, the team created for those that just enjoy the sport? I never actually tried out for the high school basketball team. Probably because I didn’t think I would make it.
But I did decide to try out for the volleyball team.
You see, after two years of playing recreational basketball, I was ready for a new challenge.
I wanted to reach for something more, just to see if I could do it.
So I researched all of the information I needed to know about volleyball. I learned how to bump, set, and spike by practicing at home the same way that I did with basketball.
I practiced alone and I used some tips that I had found in books and on the web.
I even went out of my way to start becoming friends with the girls that were already on the volleyball team.
When the Saturday came for tryouts to begin, I was so confident that I would make the team.
I looked the part.
I felt like an athlete.
I was ready.
After about 2 weeks of tryouts, the coach made the cuts and posted the final team list on the gym wall.
I was so scared and nervous but confident.
I walked up to the list to find my name.
And it was there!
LaTisha Styles- Team Manager
Wait a minute. Team Manager.
What the heck does that mean?
I don’t remember there being a game position with that name.
And then it hit me. I didn’t make the team.
Well, not the team that would play on the court. Not even the back up team.
I was the team manager. My responsibility was to keep everyone organized, support the team, and make sure the girls had water.
My heart dropped.
I realized that I didn’t want this consolation prize.
So I walked into the coach’s office and said, “Thanks but no thanks.”
She tried to convince me that if I stuck with the team this year and continued practicing that I would be a much better pick for the team next year.
I politely declined.
I was pissed.
I tried my best and I failed!
That’s not what I expected to happen.
I was pretty disappointed but thinking about this memory made me realize that there was a lesson in all of this. Because I found a much better use of my time and talents.
I had my eyes set on joining the volleyball team and I had no idea that I would be much better suited for the yearbook staff.
And that was the final outcome.
I joined the yearbook staff, made amazing friends, and learned great skills that I still use today. I don’t know that I would be able to say that about skills learned in volleyball.
So what’s the point of this story?
The point is, you’re not going to win every race, make every team, or succeed at everything you decide to do.
However, if you try your best then you can at least say that you gave it your best effort.
Maybe I would have been more successful if I had found a coach.
Maybe I would have made the team the next year.
But instead of dwelling on my failure to make the playing team, I moved on to the next best option.
And I was an amazing yearbook staffer.
That was my talent.
I simply redirected my energies. That’s what entrepreneurs do right? Entrepreneurs are adaptable.
Throughout life we are constantly looking to match our passions with our talents. I find that I am good at many things if I try but I don’t especially have a passion for those things.
You can try your best but sometimes it’s not enough.
Don’t allow a failure to be the end of the story. Realize that you are more than what you produce or what you can do. You have the talents that you have for a reason. Don’t let them go to waste.
Here’s to your continued success!