After being left emotionally, physically and financially stressed following a failed online teaching program in 2014, Kerry Spina had vowed she would never create another one.
The passionate parent educator has put her own teachings into action and found the courage and resilience to move forward from her “best and biggest mistake” to launch the Can-Do Growth Mindset Online Toolkit.
As the owner of the successful Kids In Harmony music and values program and author of parent resources, Kerry saw an opportunity in the budding online market and had launched a 12 month parenting course which resulted in over 40 participants signing up. On day 21 of the course being live, Kerry pulled it.
“Leading up to the launch I had feelings that it wasn’t right. So many things went wrong. I felt like they weren’t aligning,” Kerry recalls. “But I kept going because I felt so invested. I’d put so much money and time into launching this and felt like I had to commit, and because I am so passionate about parent support, I felt pulled along for the ride.
“I got to a point where I was ready to quit,” she recalls. “I had a choice to keep going, keep pouring money at it, but I knew I couldn’t fund it anymore because I had to outsource so much.”
Kerry recalls it was one of the most stressful and saddest times of her business life.
Deep within you already know what you need to do
“It was heartbreaking,” she said. But rather than blaming the platform or making excuses, Kerry was upfront with her clients who in turn offered unwavering support, embraced her honesty and became more loyal than ever.
“I told them the truth. That it wasn’t how I wanted it to be, it wasn’t the standard I wanted for them, and that I would refund their money. They were amazing and their support was exactly what I needed at that time.”
“Being able to tell the truth was healing for me. If you’re lying to your customers, you’re lying to yourself.
Your business isn’t authentic, it’s not a reflection of who you are.”
Despite the support, the experience was painful and humiliating, and it took Kerry three years to bounce back financially from the lost investment. Kerry poured all of her energy into the existing Kids In Harmony business to up-level what she already had, and started to write a book on Growth Mindset for parents and educators. A colleague encouraged her not to give up on the idea of an online course and recommended a platform that Kerry could manage herself.
“This gave me back control,” she explains. “Now that I understand the back end of the online course systems, I can do it myself. This meant that I had the funds to outsource things I needed done professionally, like design and promotional videos.
“Using the power of reflection and feedback from what went wrong last time, I changed the course of how I did it, the planning, connecting with the right people and setting aside money for videos and design work so it was first class, beautiful work.”
The Can-Do Growth Mindset Online Toolkit has been received with much enthusiasm and positive feedback, with the course now available for enrolment.
Kerry’s story is a powerful reminder that knowing when to quit is not a sign of weakness.
“Quitting can be a very powerful action step,” she says emphatically. “It’s not about persistence or perseverance. It would have been foolish and idealistic to continue. It was absolutely sensible and empowering to quit and I am so glad I did.
“Deep within you already know what you need to do,” she smiles. “If you are brave enough to go there, when you know it’s not going to work, then I am a firm believer in the failing fast theory, but you’ve got to be prepared for the recovery and consider if you have the energy for that. We can all repair and recover, and in some cases, thrive because of it.”