Mike, "The Successful Failure"
It is a little off the landscape topic today… but not by much. I am so excited to be writing this blog today. I had an “AH-HA” moment last night when I was listening to Mike Rowe live at the FFA National Convention. If you don’t know, Mike Rowe is the apprentice on the show “Dirty Jobs” and the national spokesperson for Ford Motor Company. I say he is the apprentice on his show because that is what he said he is. He goes across the country letting regular people host the show to tell their story and explain their ‘Dirty Job’. He talked a little bit about how he grew up with his dad who could do absolutely anything on their farm. Mike said that he was always embarrassed because he could never do anything his dad could do and did not know for a long time where his place in life was going to be. He somehow fell into the tv world and decided that he wanted to pursue that even further. He had pitched his dream job to the “Discovery Channel” and they bought it. Mike was out shooting for the opening season of the show, when he stumbled into interviewing these regular people doing the job that they love. The Discovery Channel loved it and here he is today. He is not doing what he thought was his dream job, but he is loving what he does (and is really good at it I might add).
I tell you that story to say that Mike saw an article calling him a “Successful Failure”. Mike had his ‘Ah-Ha’ moment when he read that title. He said that he has actually succeeded in life because he failed. How many times he has failed is not countable at this time.
He then got into talking about at many of the factories he has gone to visit have that infamous sign posted everywhere “Safety First” He started asking the manager people if that sign was true and applied to everyone. Most everyone of them, after the cameras were turned off said, “Mike, Risk comes first, Safety second!” They proceeded to talk about the fact that the employees, etc. had to understand the risk before they could understand the safety. Without taking a risk, there is no need to worry about the safety part of things.
That lead into his story of being on a crab boat in the middle of the ocean in a massive storm. Mike was up on some boxes holding down nets or something and the boat was just going everywhere. Mike went to the crab boat captain and was asking what the captain was going to do about the roughage out there. The shrimp boat captain said something that made Mike a different person for the rest of his life. He said, “Mike, as the captain of this boat, it is my job to bring you home rich, not alive!” Mike was like Ah-Ha! He got it. The risk is on him, not the captain. Mike said when he went back to his post, he held on tighter, he positioned himself better and was more alert, knowing that his life was in his hands, not anyone elses.
In relating this to the landscape world. You must take a risk in starting a garden or planting a plant. You must start somewhere and take a RISK! Don’t be scared, hold on tight and control what you can control. Be a SUCCESS by having some Failures!