Dealing with Failure in the Floral Business

The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


It was an ideal day for a wedding. The sun was shining and was seventy degrees on top of one of downtown Cleveland’s taller rooftops. The airshow was to my right, and the entire span of the Cleveland skyline to my left. The wind died down as we placed decadent white flower boxes overflowing with hydrangea at either end of the aisle overlooking the city. I went down to the ladies' dressing room and gave the bridesmaids their corsages and the bride her bouquet. The bride was overjoyed, ecstatic. And I, as the head of business operations for a fledgling floral business, was happy things were going so well.

Fast forward seven hours later. The last of the guests were leaving the wedding reception while Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing escorted people out of the ballroom. I, on the other hand, had stopped believing. During the seven hour gap of time between the set up of the reception and the tear down of the reception I allowed two of our employees (who are also seniors and my friends) to go to their last season opener football game. They promised to reappear a half an hour before the tear down. As a friend, I thought I was being understanding, and as a boss I thought I was being reasonable. Meanwhile, it was midnight and countless...

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