My first time renting an exhibit booth to sell my self-published gift basket manual at a business event was a disaster.
I didn’t know how to calculate potential sales, and in the end I made less than $100 after spending thousands of dollars travelling round trip from New York to San Francisco.
Staying at a cheap motel and eating substandard food every night added to the dismay. I cried all the way home on both connecting flights. My tear ducts were in overdrive. I even cried in the car as my husband drove me home from the airport.
It took 18 months of credit card payments to recover from that loss. Needless to say, I will always remember that blow. However, it’s now a good memory. Rather than vowing to never again exhibit, today I have better results because the past experience allows me to more precisely calculate the expectations.
I’m betting that you have experiences in your past that help you, today, to make smarter decisions.
A written message about recalling the past that I often see shared on social media places those memories in a negative light. It’s says:
“Don’t look back. You’re not going in that direction.”
The statement is meant to be positive, encouraging you to focus on your future and reach your goals. That’s agreeable, but my question is:
What’s so taboo about recalling the past?
- If you burned your hand on a hot stove when you were a child, that memory guards you from repeating the harm.
- The splitting of a tree you stood under during a lightning story reminds you to find safer shelter in the future.
- Loosing lots of money at a business event encouraged me to pursue exhibition education before trying it again.
One of my favorite books is Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins, by Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes. I found the book priced at $3.00 in a Barnes & Noble clearance section. The book encourages you to experiment, learn, review, try again, and continue the process as much and as often as possible to achieve success in whatever your passion.
Can you imagine if inventors gave up the first time something went wrong? There’d be no access today to the things we count on for convenience and safety. Those inventors looked back over and over again, consulting their journals and blueprints and adjusting experiments according to results.
That’s what I did to dive back into exhibiting, and the results have been better; at least it seems better because even though I continue to make adjustments, there are no more tears!
One habit that the mind recalls all too often is unfortunate situations from the past – twisting an ankle, car trouble in the middle of nowhere, ridicule of any kind – something triggers that recall. It happens to me, too, and that’s when the “don’t look back” phrase is your best medicine. I snap out of those sad memories by saying “focus, focus!” aloud, and I counter the negative with a happy memory.
- Visiting Coney Island with my dad
- Seeing a live performance on stage
- Watching my daughter run into my arms
Looking back helps you to recognize achievements even if it’s just one step forward. That’s progress.
I’ve shared a great memory that would still be negative if I had not pursued more knowledge. What do you remember that helps you to keep going forward?