It started with two people. The year was 2007, Cameron still had hair, and Griz had bangs– and they also had a business idea.
They were worlds apart in personalities and hairstyles, so, what did this unlikely pair have in common? They had a vision. Their vision was to create a premium consulting agency in Australia that specialised in leadership, sales, client experience and presentation skills.
Both Cameron Read and Grazina Fechner came from pharmaceutical sales backgrounds, and it was safe to say they had experienced their fair share of facilitation programmes. But, after each programme, they weren’t left wanting more, and they never felt inspired by monotone voices and repetitive training exercises.
So, future bald-man and regrettable-fringe-phase woman had an idea, which was as simple as, “We can do this better”. Two great minds shortly became four, as Karlyn Read and Dean Fechner joined the team, in what would soon become a dream turned reality. And there you have it, Front and Centre Training Solutions was born.
Most small businesses in Australia will fail within the first three years. An ABC article recently revealed that in 2017, 54,992 small-Aussie businesses went bust.
With the odds against them, Cam, Griz, Karlyn and Dean took a chance and now, twelve years later, Front and Centre is bigger than ever and are flourishing in both Australia and overseas. With an expanded team across Australia, Front and Centre offer sales coaching and management programs for leading industries and work with a diverse clientele including Channel 9, Bendigo Bank and the healthcare industry.
While they have been very successful in keeping their doors open, that doesn’t mean they haven’t encountered a few failures along the way.
As a society, we’ve become impeccable at hiding our flaws– Instagram has a lot to answer for when it comes to this, portraying a highlight reel of our life.
And let’s be honest, it makes sense to share a throwback photo of yourself in the Greek Islands with a glowing complexion, rather than one sitting at your office desk with skin as white as an A4 sheet of paper.
We’ve become scared to share our failures because we live in a world that doesn’t accept them. We want to hide our blemishes, show off better angles and add filters. Although we shouldn’t be ashamed, failures are what make us who we are– because no one got to where they were without a few hurdles. You need to talk about your hardships because people connect with these stories.
I asked Grazina about some of the failures she’s experienced in the past twelve years as Director of Front and Centre,
“When we started Front and Centre, we had no idea what we were doing. We had a great vision, but weren’t entirely sure how to put it into practice.” She laughed.
“We had a terrible website, our pitches consisted of a lot of blank stares, and we were rejected multiple times. There was a point where I asked myself, “Can we do this?” I lost belief in myself and the company Cameron, and I had dreamed of. “
“But what got me through was knowing I didn’t want to end up as a failed business statistic. So we persevered, we failed, again and again, got back up and learnt from our mistakes. “
“And to be honest, I wouldn’t change a single thing– OK, maybe the bad-fringe phase”.
Therefore, we need to revel in our failures and mistakes. You will be more successful if you share your vulnerabilities with others because this kind of transparency connects with people through the universal tale of falling down and getting back up again.
Still don’t feel inspired? Take these famous examples:
- It took five years and 5,126 failed prototypes for James Dyson to develop the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner.
- A dozen publishers rejected J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter manuscript; one finally agreed to publish it. But the publisher told Rowling that she needed to get a job because there’s no money in children’s books.
- And Michael Jordan: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”