My Darling, My Dear: Guaranteed Failure

by lizclark on October 30, 2014


My great-grandfather died long before I was born, but my grandmother remembered him fondly.

He was a hard-working man. He worked with type setting for many years. It was honest, hard work and he developed a reputation for his excellent quality.

As time marched on, industrial innovation marched in: big machines that did all kinds of fancy new things faster and “more efficiently” than my highly-skilled great-grandfather. The machines were quite impressive – and not at all something that he understood.

My grandmother said he tried. He worked to try to understand these new machines at first. But he couldn’t adapt. He began working less and drinking more and – years later – became very ill and passed away well before his time.

My grandmother said she believed he really died of a broken heart.

She watched her father change from a big, joyful man who carried himself with pride and a twinkle in his eye – to a shell of a man who lost the will to live.

So why the heck am I sharing such a sad story?

I’ve been feeling strangely akin to my great-grandfather these days.

For years, I’ve been working in a primarily “brick-and-mortar” business. Learning to do business and “build a brand” online is an entirely different beast.

Some days, I look at this big machine called the internet and I think – “Wow, that’s impressive. But I don’t know how to do what I do best on that big machine.”

And all at once, I understand my great-grandfather’s struggle.

I’ve studied, watched countless “how to” videos, even taken classes. I’m not totally inept at this interwebz thing (I mean, I am writing a blog post on my very own self-hosted WordPress blog).

But it does feel as though as soon as you learn the “rules” – they all change. At a frightening pace.

We all face walls in our lives – changes to which we have trouble adapting.

How do we deal with it?

Do we keep moving forward, keep learning, keep hustling?

Or do we pull another seat up at the proverbial bar (for me, it’s always been overeating) and indulge ourselves in the sorrow of inaction?

Or maybe it’s some combination of the two? (Hey, I’m learning this! Wait, no I’m not…time to eat 42 Oreos!)

I think that if my great-grandfather were here, he would pat my hand and give me a few thoughts – I think they might go like this:

  1. My darling, open your eyes to the possibilities. Even ones you thought you’d NEVER consider. Sometimes new seasons bring new courage and new grace, and things you “couldn’t do” before are now possible. Work hard at what’s working and let go of what’s not.
  2. Sweetheart, you’re not alone. Don’t pull away from the people who are cheering for you! Find help, do whatever it takes. There might be people out there who are waiting for you to fail – but there are more people out there who want to see you succeed.
  3. My dear, dnot lose hope. When you lose hope, you’ve lost the air your weary soul needs to breathe. No amount of man-made momentum or “hustle” will pull you out of hopelessness. Losing hope is the surest way to guarantee failure. Our stubborn refusal to change will ironically be the very thing that changes us into people we no longer recognize – lesser people.

So, my darlings, my dears – whatever difficult change or circumstance you’re facing – you know that one that makes you want to lose hope? Please, listen to my great-grandfather. :) You’re really not alone.

Let’s work together to find a better ending, shall we?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Ham October 30, 2014 at 6:34 AM

Liz, last week I spoke on faith, and how it related to business and leadership, to a group of college upperclassmen. I love that word hope.

Excited to watch as you walk your road!


lizclark October 30, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Thank you, Matt! What a wonderful opportunity. It’s so crucial we pass along the message of faith in those areas, which are often overlooked. Thanks for your encouragement.


Scott October 30, 2014 at 6:48 AM

Wow, powerful hon. Your right the industry is constantly changing. I think “you’ve got it on the ropes” now all you need to do is land that critical blow to win this thing. Hope is the will to keep pressing on.


lizclark October 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Thank you! I appreciate your encouragement and support more than you will ever know! :) <3


Michael October 30, 2014 at 7:25 AM

I’m going through the process of trying to understand and maximize the use of the interwebs in my yet-to-be-launched blog, while at the same time trying to deal with emotional personal issues. The encouragement I get here and in the FB group helps me maintain my focus. Keep up the good work.


lizclark October 30, 2014 at 9:55 AM

It’s so true, Michael! Starting anything new (a business, a blog, a relationship) will invite us to examine personal emotional issues. I encourage you to face them and grow through them – keep pressing in. You can do it!!


Rick Theule October 30, 2014 at 10:49 AM

“Or do we pull another seat up at the proverbial bar (for me, it’s always been overeating) and indulge ourselves in the sorrow of inaction?”

Yep. The “sorrow of inaction” is my greatest enemy. Thanks for not giving in to it Liz. You inspire me to keep moving forward. Keep up the great work.


lizclark October 30, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Thank you, Rick! You do the same for me – spurring me to keep putting one word in front of another…so thankful for you! #blameRick


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