Cerie White

Episode Description

How To Use Failure For Success: With Cherie White

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much we plan ahead. Life is, at its core, simply trial and error. And that’s perfectly fine. But what happens when we get easily frustrated, especially when it comes to our job? What we’re not aware of is that there’s a (not so) secret formula to leverage these frustrations and failures to get us more wins.

Today we have the wonderful Cherie White on the show! Cherie is the CEO at Steadfast Developments, a real estate development company that revitalizes impoverished neighbourhoods through social enterprise developments.

Cherie is noticing that something is not quite right in the financial area of the job. Some investors say yes, some say no, but she has no way of knowing what to expect. In this conversation we take a closer look at why this is happening. And what Cherie hasn't done yet is gather the pertinent data.

What does that mean? It means that Cherie needs to pay attention to what worked and what didn’t work, what led to success and what led to failure. With that tangible and intangible data she’ll be able to understand what’s happening, and be able to plan for future wins.

Do you have a challenge you’d like to talk about? Reach out! If there's any issue you want to share here on the podcast or privately, please send me an email:


I’d love to hear from you!

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades and I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to get coached live and in person, right on the show.

[00:00:19] Today, I have a guest from Vancouver. Her name is Cherie White, and she comes to us from a company called Steadfast Developments. Cherie, welcome.

[00:00:29] Cherie White: Hi! Thanks so much. It's great to be here.

[00:00:32] Kim Ades: So you're in Vancouver. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do? What kind of developments are you into? And tell us a little bit about you personally as well. Married, divorced kids? Give us the tea!

[00:00:46] Cherie White: All right. Great. So, I live in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. It's known as one of Canada's poorest postal codes. I would describe myself, from a business perspective, as a social justice land developer. We are focusing on mitigating poverty through a preventative model. So, we are trying to focus on women particularly, and families in the neighborhoods, before they get to a homelessness situation.

[00:01:18] And so, we do that through six main ways. One is providing affordable housing. One is through education. One is through social enterprise. I mean, I can go on, but basically we're a holistic land development company. We're not just looking at housing, but we recognize-- as someone who's lived in the neighborhood for 18 years, we recognize what the problem is and why wouldn't developers come in and just build houses, why the neighborhood isn't changing.

[00:01:53] So we really want to revitalize this neighborhood and I've done a lot of research around successful revitalization neighborhoods. And so I'm excited to get going on those projects.

[00:02:06] Kim Ades: So, I do want to jump into asking you about your greatest challenge, but before we do, I'm a little bit curious to learn about what you've discovered. So, what is typically missing from land development where development companies are just putting up houses? What's missing? Why are those formulas not enough for these communities?

[00:02:31] Cherie White: Yeah. It's because our government is looking at it from a housing first perspective. The idea is once you have a home, then all the other things will fall into place. Now, there is some truth to that, but our company is looking at it from a community first perspective. And I get that because when I found myself into trouble, it wasn't my home that kept me together, it was my family and my community. And so I think that if you're only looking at housing first, you're missing a big, big piece of the puzzle.

[00:03:05] Kim Ades: Okay, good. I'm very glad I asked you that question. So tell us, what is your greatest challenge? You alluded to getting in trouble in the past. You're in my interest.

[00:03:15] Cherie White: [Laughs]

[00:03:15] Kim Ades: But what's going on now?

[00:03:17] Cherie White: Yeah. I seem to have a PhD of getting myself into trouble, but right now I have got myself out of trouble. But one of my greatest challenges seems to be the finance piece.

[00:03:31] So I have a very clear vision. I have a wonderful team, and I know there's three pieces that you need for success, and it's that financial piece. And so I seem to be drawing the right people, I seem to be doing the qualifying that I need and I think my challenge is to... when people say, "yes, I'm interested", I find a lot of investors say yes, and then maybe five days later, they're like, "yeah, no, this isn't for me".

[00:04:02] So I think there must be something wrong. I must be doing something wrong because I noticed a pattern in that.

[00:04:12] Kim Ades: Here's a question for you. Are you collecting data?

[00:04:19] Cherie White: In some senses, yes. So when it comes to doing research around successful revitalization projects, I have spreadsheets, I've been collecting that data, so that I'm up to date and current and know what's going on in that industry. So, yes. I guess the short answer is yes.

[00:04:43] Kim Ades: So I'm going to ask a different question, or the same question associated with a different endeavor. Do you have any current investors or are you still looking?

[00:04:53] Cherie White: The answer is yes. So yes, I have some current investors and yes, I'm still looking.

[00:04:59] Kim Ades: Okay. Good. Both on both fronts. Okay. So when I ask about collecting data, what I'm really interested in is the data you're collecting with respect to your investor acquisition process.

[00:05:11] Cherie White: Okay.

[00:05:12] Kim Ades: Like religious data.

[00:05:14] Cherie White: Okay. So... No [Laughs]

[00:05:17] Kim Ades: Okay. So what I mean by that is, who are you approaching? Let's figure out some things about them. What makes you approach them? What the experience was like? And then when they say no, I'm interested in an after meeting that really helps us understand why the no was a no.

[00:05:43] Cherie White: Right.

[00:05:44] Kim Ades: Right? The flip side is also true is understanding why the yes was a yes. Who these people are and really understanding why the yes was a yes. So my experience in coaching is that people aren't often familiar with why they succeed and why they don't, because they're not collecting data. They're not analyzing the process that leads them to success and the process that leads them to failure or the gap that is missing in the process that ends up creating failure.

[00:06:17] Cherie White: That makes a lot of sense.

[00:06:18] Kim Ades: So they do it haphazardly. And they're not really paying attention to "here are the elements for success and here's what I missed in this process". And perhaps you're targeting the wrong people. Perhaps you're missing this piece in the presentation, perhaps you're not bringing the right people to the table, perhaps you're not tapping into the investors' value set or their beliefs. Perhaps you're not looking at their history well enough.

[00:06:47] Maybe you're not connecting the dots between their interest in your projects. Maybe you're not doing your homework well enough about who this investor is. I'm not sure. I don't know. I don't have the data. But my kind of directive to you is to say it had some level of success, let's really critically analyze the success. Who were the investors that bought in? Why did they buy in?

[00:07:12] I would go back to them and say, "I want to study this, help me figure this out". Because when you say there's a pattern, there are always patterns, patterns to failure and patterns to success. And a lot of times our blind spots are in not noticing the patterns. And I would suggest to you that there are two kinds of patterns. One are hardcore databased patterns that say, "when I have these elements in my presentation, I win. And when I miss these elements, I don't win as much or it's harder to win".

[00:07:51] But there's another type of pattern that I'm interested in is the thinking patterns of leaders as they attempt to reach their [00:08:00] goals.

[00:08:01] Cherie White: Right.

[00:08:02] Kim Ades: Right? And so, when we coach leaders, we're looking for those patterns. Patterns of success and the patterns of failure and what thinking led to the success and what thinking led to the failure. So in addition to examining the data of both cases, right? "Every time I approached these people, they said no, what's common about these people? What was my approach? What did I miss? What did I do? And then every time I approached these people, they said yes, what's common about these people? What was my approach? What did I do?"

[00:08:34] I also want you to start to capture a different kind of data, which was "what was my thinking when I approached this group over here versus this group over here? How did I go into these meetings? How was I feeling when I went into these meetings? Did I expect to lose? Did I expect to win? What was my relationship like with this group versus that group?"

[00:08:58] And not only examine the facts, but examine your internal process to say, "did I show up differently? Was I more confident? Was I less confident?

[00:09:11] Cherie White: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.

[00:09:13] Kim Ades: Did I interact differently in this situation versus that situation? In what situations do I feel like I'm winning more and why is that?

[00:09:23] Cherie White: That's fantastic. I now want to go back and analyze all of that [laughs] because you're right, I've had successes and I've had failures and there are times where I'm like, I thought this was a shoe in, I did my research, I was ready to go, positive thoughts... And then it just, like, in the middle of it, crash and burn, like, I just want it out of the room. [Laughs]

[00:09:52] And then there were times where I thought, "you know what? This is a waste of my time. Yeah, I'm prepared. I do everything else" and I've gotten a win, you know? So, I want to definitely thank you. That's fantastic advice. And I want to go back and look at those wins and failures. Yeah, definitely. Thank you.

[00:10:15] Kim Ades: Yeah. And again, remember that there are two types of data points you're looking for, right? The tangible data points: what did I do? How did I approach this? Who were the people? What were their profiles like? What were their interests like? What business are they in? And all that kind of thing. So the tangible data.

[00:10:33] But also the intangible data. Which was: how did I connect with these people? How did I feel about this? How was my level of confidence? What was I telling myself before I walked into this meeting? And that's where journaling plays a really, really important role is to actually spend a few minutes before every meeting to capture your thoughts.

[00:10:54] What you're also comparing in terms of data is, how did I walk into this meeting? How did I feel about it? How did I feel about them? How did I feel about myself? Start comparing that data as well, and looking for patterns there too.

[00:11:08] Cherie White: Fantastic.

[00:11:10] Kim Ades: Amazing. Thank you! That was a good one. I liked that one. For those of you listening, you know, there are clues that we leave behind in both our success and our failure, and you want to start to pay attention to the patterns that you leave behind and the clues to try to understand why things work out the way they do, both the failures and the successes.

[00:11:33] So go back and analyze the data. Sometimes the data is tangible. It's in your numbers, it's in your spreadsheets, it's in your Excel work files, but sometimes the data is actually stored in your brain. And what you want to do is find a way to capture the feeling, the emotion, the thoughts, the experience you're having as you're winning and as you're losing, and start to pick up the patterns that happen in that data as well.

[00:12:00] That's what we do at Frame of Mind Coaching is we analyze data that comes from your thinking, from your emotions, and from your experiences. So that's kind of the recommendation that I'm giving to Cherie today.

[00:12:12] For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you want to discuss on the podcast, please reach out to me. We're always looking for willing and interesting guests.

[00:12:23] My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.

[00:12:27] If at the same time, you have a challenge that perhaps you're not so willing to discuss on the podcast, but you want to discuss privately, reach out to me as well.

[00:12:36] My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.

[00:12:40] Thanks so much Cherie, for joining us today.

[00:12:43] Cherie White: Thank you!

[00:12:45] Kim Ades: Bye guys. See you next week. Have a great day!

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