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  • Writer's pictureLaCora Stephens

I'm So Glad I Got a Chance to Fail.

During a conversation with a friend, he said, "Why is it people tend to remember the negative more than positives." In our current world, we can see a mix of greatness and failure, yet failure seems to be showcased more on your highlight reel. For example, I saw the New Edition TV Film and loved it! Did you you? Bomb, right?? Like the edits, the style of storytelling, the wardrobe and talent...WHAT! #NewEditionBET, y'all did that!

...Yet, the aftermath of social media memes seemed to focus only on Bobby Brown's negatives. I'm like golly people...that was years ago. He's clean now. Can Bobby, just be Bobby? I mean, Whitney even said he was the King of RnB, so we need to put some "respeck" on his name. lol...Seriously. I think he redeemed himself. No? I mean, if you disagree, at least remember that the man lost his daughter not too long ago, focus on the positive shifts he's made in life. Dang.

I get it, the simple truth of any matter is that, there is no great success without failure. Failure will exist and you must ask God when they come, that you recognize it and learn from them. Ask God to show you the silver lining in the situation. Live your life thanking God and believing that everything is worked and built for your favor. That even when you lose, you WIN. Let me say that one more time, cause Lord knows I believe this myself. Even when you lose, you better believe that you are still winning!

Case in point: I had a vision for a web series. Wrote it down, made it plain. Characters, names, some plot was already written, but I figured two are better than one. So I called a girl I knew, told her about it, asked if she wanted to join me on this venture, she said Yes. Told another young lady and I should have realized that two is better than too many, but I didn't, sooo, when she showed interest in writing, I said let me consult my partner. She agreed. I thought...Three Musketeers honey! Dorothy, Blanche and Rose baby! Charlie Angels girl! ...Chile... I WAS ALL KIND OF WRONG. It was more like Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins and Ralph Tresvant! HA!! (Watch the movie and you'll get it) It got so ugly, petty and plain ole stupid.

However, even when they thought I was losing, I was still winning...correction...I'm still winning. I have charisma like Bobby, business like Bivins and talent like Ralph, so when people tried to cut me short in the project, I held a discovered trump card. It's currently in my back pocket, staying warm for a rainy day. Despite all of that, the bottom line is: I have a mediocre project. A project that I worked on for two years, that's a "C" movie. A project that's cool to watch but not really memorable. That sucks right? I've advertised the film, gotten sponsorship and donations, told my friends and family to support, yet I'm left with something I'm too embarrassed to share. Don't get me wrong, the cast and some crew were awesome! The message is universal and can inspire others. And there are some funny moments in the film, but in my opinion and in a few people in the industry that I surveyed, the film is just...yeah.

I've learned many things from this failure. This was my first film on a small budget, so thank God I learned business moves and decisions now on a smaller scale instead of producing something major with huge names attached. I HAVE LEARNED HONEY. I've also learned the biggest difference of booking someone for hire vs. partnering with someone. IF you decide to partner make sure:

1.) There is balance. It's best if a creative partners with a numbers person or business determined person.

2.) Know their work ethics. Know their work habits. If they're a lazy lima bean now with excuses and time limits, most likely they'll remain that way.

3.) Know if they're an opportunist. Chances are, if you know them to be that way in their circle and people have called them out on it... it's most likely going to be that way in business. But some of you are saying, "Wait, that's no so bad though LaCora, because if you're partners, s/he can bring about opportunities which will ultimately work out for the whole team. Right?" Wrong. They will only try to work everything in their favor. At least that was my experience.

4.) Don't hire their friends as a director or anyone that can make major decisions. There's a bias that unfortunately isn't professional. Look, I'm just calling a spade a spade. People don't like to step on their friend's toes, even if it's truth. I don't mind because it's business. Don't bring in anyone that knows anything about anyone within the partnership UNLESS you've seen them work before and they know how to separate business from leisure, go for it!

5.) Voice. There are times when tension and issues will arise. But if your partner doesn't have a clear concise voice for the betterment of the FULL project...not their own desires, aka selfish. They should not be on the project.

I know what you're thinking, "If you knew someone like that, why have them on your project?" Great question, thanks for asking. I had my reasons. You want people to fulfill their YES! in life, so you extend a hand. You want to prove that women CAN work together... you call other women and say, "Let's work together!" You want to see black women succeed, you call other black women. But it didn't go according to plan. I was upset in the beginning, but cool as a cucumber now because this failure has only strengthened me. This failure has taught me how to consider one's past when working with them. It has taught me the value of "work for hire". This failure has taught me that I need more patience. I need to be more in-tune with my discernment and never betray my heart. And I MUST PRAY MORE. Pray for direction, clarity and wisdom.

#Word: Romans 5:3-5 (ESV) Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame...

P.S. Ingest, digest and process this here: “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” - Denis Waitley

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