Saturday, January 3, 2015

"Success Is Having The Courage To Try"

Recently I caught a few minutes of an interview with Janie Pauley. I remember her from the Today show and that she is married to the Far Side guy. After her success with the Today show, she was given the opportunity to do a daytime talk show, similar to Oprah. It was cancelled after a year. How did she look at that? She said, “Success Is having the courage to try.” Isn’t that the truth? How will we ever know the answer to what could have been? if we don’t try something. 

If you are like me, you’ve only done a fraction of the things you’ve really wanted to do. Often what holds us back is fear of failure or fear of the unknown. But the only failure  is in not trying, not doing, or not going. I admire the go-getters, and the doers in the world. Some of the people I admire most are my own children. They both are doing incredibly difficult things, but right now I’m focusing this on my daughter for reasons that will be clear. 

We knew early on that she was no ordinary child. She walked at 8 1/2 months and ever since then you couldn’t stop her even if you wanted to. But why would you? She always has been a force of nature, full of creativity and ideas, always thinking about some new dream. If she wanted to do something she usually found a way. Once she started earning her own money and once she was 18, she was off to see the world. Scuba diving, rock climbing, canoeing, and kayaking and what ever adventure she could find. She’s either worked, studied, traveled, and lived in Guatemala, Denmark, Alaska, Argentina, Thailand, Cambodia, Spain, France, Germany, and on and on—something like 19 countries. I remember when she decided she wanted to live in Argentina. Basically it went like this. “I really want to learn Spanish better. I’ve never been to Argentina and ticket prices are cheaper there than other places in South America.” She lived and worked there for a year. When she ended up in San Francisco, I breathed a sigh of relief. I could drive there and did. Then off to NYC where she lives now. Which is still ok, because I can fly there and not go completely broke. But the thing is, I regret that I let fear and money stop me from seeing her when she was in some of those other places. Remember the saying, “You can’t take it with you.” Now I'm still just as broke as I ever was and have never been to South America, Central America, or Denmark. 

I’m super proud of Ginger’s latest endeavor. She had a goal to have a restaurant by the time she was 30. And when her 30th came around last March, she was fully engaged in making that happen. She and her business partner renovated a space in Brooklyn. Learning as she has always done, by doing, they conquered numerous setbacks and finally opened a very charming place called Brooklyn Proper. I love eating in NYC, but admitting bias just a little, had my very best meal at her restaurant. Everything was going great. She was working 24-7, but had made the dream, the goal of a restaurant by 30, a reality. They were on their feet, getting great publicity, reviews, and business. Then more financial setbacks and rent increases, and she and her partner made the difficult decision to close. I’m so glad that I got to see this wonderful little space with my daughter at the helm. Food and wine expert, designer, creator, business manager, accountant. She crammed a 4-year business degree in one and did it all. She succeeded. I look forward to seeing what she’ll do next. But no hurry! Life is always an adventure but sometimes a slower pace is just fine. I once asked my daughter is she was ever scared. She never seemed to be to me. She said, “I’m often scared to death, but I just go ahead anyway.” Just think what we could do if we stepped into the unknown and just tried.