January 14, 2014

Trim the Fat

One of the most powerful business conversations I’ve ever had, took place on the rooftop of the Pinnacle Building in Nashville in 95 degree sweltering heat with Abby Larson while we were arranging centerpieces for the Style Me Pretty “Inspiration to Reality” real wedding shoot that we photographed for them a few years back.

We were trying not to lose our minds from heat delirium, so we turned the topic of conversation to business to take our minds off the 52 centerpieces that we still had to make. And I asked one of my favorite business questions, “What has been one of the top 3 things you guys have done that has been responsible for your success?” Her answer floored me.

She said, “We’re not afraid to trim the fat. We’re not afraid to throw something out there, see if it works, and if it doesn’t to just take it back down and keep on moving without missing a beat.” In other words, she said they’re not afraid to make mistakes. They’re not afraid to try something and have it fail. Because they understand with utter certainty that that THING they tried might have happened to fail….but that doesn’t mean they did. So they just trim the fat and move forward, making the next thing they try even better because of that learning experience. That hit me like a TON of bricks…because here all along, I had been telling myself that every single step had to be perfect before we could move forward. And that if we had even one single misstep, the whole thing was doomed to failure. I realized in that moment, I had been terrified of making a mistake. I had been terrified of looking stupid.

Over the past few years, that advice has stuck with me so much. And when I look around at other successful people like Abby & Tait, I see that they all have that in common too. They’re not afraid to put themselves out there, they’re not afraid to take a chance on something and have it not work out. Because if it doesn’t, so what? There’s another thing they can try tomorrow. I hear SO many people in the workshops & mentoring sessions we do say, “But what if I try that and it doesn’t work??” And my response is always the same: Ok, so imagine that it doesn’t? Then WHAT? You stop doing that thing, you pick yourself up, and you try something else the next day. Because here’s the thing you guys: even if you are always taking two steps forward & only to have to take one step back, you’ll still always be further ahead than if you just keep standing still. So today, try something you haven’t tried before. Throw it out there & see if it sticks.

And if it doesn’t, just trim the fat & try again tomorrow. You’ll be better off for having tried.

Go DO something about those dreams of yours!

  1. Urška Majer

    I love posts like this from you! It’s such a great advice and a true one!

  2. Brandi Major

    I love this Mary! Thanks!

  3. Laura

    I really needed to hear this today – thank-you!!! :)

  4. Anna K.

    Love this! Thanks for the little pep talk, I needed it! Xoxo!

  5. Katie Vander Velde

    I love this!! It’s exactly what I’m trying to do in 2014. No more fear, just doing. Thanks for the great reminder and challenge!

  6. Stephanie Stewart

    Thank you, Mary. I really needed to read this today! I’ve recently tried some new things to see if/how they stick, I’ve taken some leaps, and now I’m excited to see the results, moving forward no matter what they may be. Thank you!

  7. Betsy McCue

    Once again you two speak to me with something that is SO on point at just the right time. Thank you for sharing as you do and making us all feel like we are not in this alone! Xoxoxo

  8. ashleygoodwin

    I mean, so freaking true. I have always considered myself an all or nothing kinda gal, and I realized that has been my fatal flaw in a lot of things. Just because it doesn’t feel perfect doesn’t mean I shouldn’t just give it a shot! Thank you for the always poignant reminders–and swift kicks in the ass! :)

  9. katie

    love this!! love you!!! xo

  10. Cathy

    Oh my gosh-SOOO needed this today-thank you thank you thank you! Also-love that image you shared. Pretty sure I’ve got it pinned on my quote board already :-) AND-thank you for the 10 Things you posted yesterday-you’re on fire with exactly what I needed to hear to get my butt in gear this week/month!!!! Thank you for always being awesome :-) Hope you guys are having an incredible week!

  11. Scarlett & Stephen

    Beautifully said. Come back to Nashville! It’s 28 degrees right now, not 95 degrees. :-)

  12. Katelyn James

    Definitely needed to read this one today! :) Thank you!! Love you!!

  13. bethany cox

    Reminds me of our "move" to hawaii just to have to come back. Its all a part of the chasing of the dream and its ok.

  14. Jamie

    So powerful.

  15. Dan Ward Photography

    Always nice to read stuff like this – good to get yourself rared up and inspired! :)


    needed this SO MUCH today!! xo

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