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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gile

What I Learned by Losing

This year has been full of surprises!

Adjusting to life during a pandemic was a surprise. Figuring out ways to connect with customers through the madness took a lot of commitment and thought. And I even experienced the ultimate surprise of being nominated for the prestigious Current Young Professionals Entrepreneur of the Year!

Future 15 Young Entrepreneur Finalist | Julie M Gile Photography

At the end of March, I was all glammed up and ready for the big awards ceremony. Because of COVID concerns, I wasn't able to celebrate with the other nominees at a big fancy event - but my friends and family gathered at our own private ceremony in Downtown Green Bay. As the virtual event started, I was tucked in the back bathroom hallway of my favorite local restaurant watching everything unfold live on my iPhone. It was too loud to be in the restaurant with the rest of my watch party full of my friends and family, and I was afraid I would miss my live interview cue.

With the help of my friend Kelly, she trained the camera on me for the live announcement of the Entrepreneur of the Year. As I virtually watched the location of the host, I could tell from the live feed they were not in the city. No visible street lights. No traffic. It wasn't me. I wasn't the winner.

After this moment of realization, I bravely put on a fake smile and took a deep breath. I knew I had to go in and face a whole group of people who knew I was not the award winner and my heart started to sink...but then it stopped sinking and I called bullshit on myself. I stood up and walked right into the middle of the restaurant and those special people at my party cheered for me BIG TIME.

Being authentic is the biggest win of all because it means I left nothing on the table; no regrets. As I've evolved as an entrepreneur, I realized you have to define your own success. The drum beat of a person blazing their own trail comes with highs and lows, and it also comes without any kind of measuring stick.

When I looked around the room at the people I chose to surround myself with I found two things everyone had in common. First, each person has experienced real life: the grit, the ugly, the darkness. It's not the story of success I find heroic, but the story of resilience and what we choose to make of the mayhem life throws at us. These are the people who inspire me, and out of these stories passion is born. Second, each person has indulged me when I came to them with a creative, whacky idea and met me with equal enthusiasm--family, friends, colleagues, heck......even my mother-in-law. This is the very best of Julie M. Gile Photography, and it's because these connections are built authentically.

Nothing was left on the table. There is nothing I would have done differently, and the future of Julie M. Gile Photography shines bright and I look forward to creating more connections with fellow trail-blazers, rule breakers, survivors and dreamers.

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