If you've been following my blog for a while, you are probably used to me talking about treating life, and especially the big, challenging, scary, change-making parts of life, as an experiment. "Just try something," I say. "Move into action and see what happens," I encourage.
I like to take my own medicine, and in truth I write because I need to talk myself into advice I know is good for living a big, bold, authentic life. So operated under the notion of treating a new endeavor I had, a video series called "Courage Conversations," as an experiment.
I lined up a couple people who I think are authoring their own courageous lives and asked them to join me for a conversation. I set up the camera, captured some incredible content, and got stuck. Everything was right about the content and everything was wrong about the format. I found myself at a stand-still not knowing how to move forward.
I called a friend of mine who is a wonderful video-based storyteller and confessed that I tried and failed. Instead of mocking me for trying to encroach on his craft, he said, "Why didn't you call me sooner?"
"Why didn't I?" I wondered. I didn't want to bother him, or diminish his craft by asking for free advice. But he was genuinely happy to help. He proposed an entirely new format that will foster the kind of intimacy I'm looking to build. He gave me technical details about how to create the effect. And he offered to be a resource for me in the future.
We are in this life together. If we're lucky, we build a community of people around us with different gifts and talents. Sometimes we forget that to get where we want to go, we need to ask for help. And guess what...most times the person you ask is thrilled to offer it. It is a gift to contribute to another person's success.
You'll notice I put the word "Failed" in quotes in the title of this post. While I didn't hit the video style right the first time, I learned what I don't like and was able to express that to someone who could help. So I'm not sure I can really call this a failure. In fact I wouldn't call it a failure at all. It was, perhaps, the only way to proceed.
The next time you try an experiment that has you reaching out of your comfort zone, think about who is in your network that can help you understand the variables and optimal pathways toward success. Take their advice, but don't slow down for it. Keep putting yourself out there and trying new things until you find what clicks.