A Quick Note On Failure and Feeling Good Anyway


Several weeks ago, I met with Simon Horowitz, the British muscle man behind the name ‘FitBritVienna,’ to offer up a collaboration to start U!Shine Vienna’s spring season. The two of us came up with what we thought to be a good idea, got our details straight, and set the bar at a limit of thirty participants. My co-founder, Michelle, put it up on Eventbrite and we, as always, eagerly awaited for the ticket sales to come rolling in.

But to our dismay, there was no “rolling” to be seen. We pushed and promoted like we always did, and it just didn’t take. So, on the day before when the event was supposed to take place, we refunded the tickets to those who had registered and postponed the whole thing. It was not a great feeling, and we felt like we’d hit a low point in our U!Shine Vienna journey. Admittedly, we kind of wanted to wallow a little bit, hang our heads, and take a break.

Thankfully, someone much wiser than us was nearby Michelle and me as our event fell apart, and he offered an ear and comforting presence so we could voice our disappointment. As a seasoned entrepreneur, he listened with empathy as we told him how this experience felt. We talked about failure and how it feels terrible, and then, with a cue from our mentor, we stopped our moaning and listened as he encouraged us to press forward.

“Stuff happens. Things get canceled. Ideas don’t work out. But keep going anyway because you believe in it. Because you love it. Because you’re having fun for the right reasons.”

We do believe in U!Shine - so much. Maybe I’ll tattoo ‘U!Shine Vienna’ to my forehead one day. Who knows. But we believe in U!Shine, its message, the hope it gives to others, and the awareness it spreads to end stigma. And above all, we believe in its ability to bring people together.

That said, we were down at the bottom, but now we’re here! And feeling good - real good. So good we’re changing the event’s price tag to FREE. Sure, we charge for our events here and there because, as a non-profit, we need it to continue. But we believe in this ah-mazing event with FitBritVienna so much that we just want to give it away. So, here you go. You get a ticket! And you get a ticket! And you get a ticket!

So, our event with FitBritVienna was merely postponed to a TBD date, possibly in June.

The weather will likely be more agreeable, anyway ;-)


About the Author

Holly Kooi is co-founder of U!Shine Vienna and lives in Vienna with her husband and two kids. She is a certified Character Mentor, and her heart is with the refugees and those on the fringes of society. She's passionate about loving people well, writing, mental health, and good coffee. To connect with Holly, visit her blog or follow her on Instagram.