Publicly Losing a Competition… #humiliating

I basically acted like a 1996 soccer dad, complete with a camcorder recording every move. I shouted for her, gave pump up speeches, and insisted we take deep breaths together.

Rachel is an entrepreneur and owner of Dry Goods Refillery. She's also my mentee for INC Magazine and The UPS Store's Small Biz Challenge, where she has the chance to win TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS for her business.

Rachel is competing against two other business owners, so for the last six weeks, we've been meeting to strategize her business and social marketing, completing Challenges along the way for judges to assess and for the public to vote.

Two weeks ago, the finalists and mentors flew to New York City for the Final Challenge and a winner to be declared.

I excitedly packed our bags (yes, Luna and JD came with me!) and my vlogging gear (cue the soccer dad yelling WHERE'S MY CAMCORDER, here).

I've documented the Small Biz Challenge in a series of vlogs on YouTube and will debut the final installment once INC Magazine publicly announces the winner (…coming soon!).

But this note? It's not about the Challenge. It ain't even about the winner.

I'm writing with just one question: What happens when you lose? Not in, like, an esoteric way, but a legit I-didn't-win-25-grand way?

What happens when judges simply don't rule in your favor?

What happens THEN?

Allow me to share what the host of the Small Biz Challenge (Nastia Liukin, U.S. Olympic Gold Gymnast and Entrepreneur) said…

“There will be days when you did your best and the judges felt otherwise, but you should never quit on a bad day.”

That's it. You don't quit on a bad day.

You give it your all and—regardless of the outcome—you choose not to quit.

I don't know what type of week you've had (or, heck, month), but I hope this note is my version of shouting for you, giving you a pump up speech, and insisting we take deep breaths together.

Today isn't the day you quit.

We have work to do,