Failing your way to BLOOMIN’ SUCCESS or the little engine that could

Failing your way to success. Yup. That’s how it’s done. It takes a LOT of support and a pretty great attitude too. That’s hard to do on your own. Kind of like weight loss I think. Best done with a herding mentality. That’s why Weight Watchers has been so successful. They understood the power of a “herd” early on.

But since I began 6 years ago- reinventing myself from my spare bedroom blogging to an audience of none- to where I am now?  I have to say it has been littered with set backs and disappointments that I could have allowed to loom larger than life and stop me cold in my tracks. AFTER ALL THIS TIME  I really never thought that the IAE WOULD STILL NOT HAVE the funding resources we need to achieve the grand plan. Love is blind! Thank God for my clarinet customers who are supporting me. Every customer who buys an instrument from me is donating $50.00 bucks to my school. Last year Lisa’s Clarinet Shop donated $27,500 to the IAE and my husband and I and a few others donated again 2 times that sum.

Lisa’s Clarinet Shop is the little engine that could. My husband has been out of work- downsized from one of those big corporate jobs- for over a year and my clarinet customers just keep coming and coming to support IAE. It’s like a miracle. Really.

This is the power of small business. Of passionate purpose driven living. ANYTHING IS possible. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN if you know who you are and what you simply MUST express with your time on this earth. ANYTHING is possible but you have to have the ability and DESIRE to sustain your effort and to never EVER give up.

And I believe the future is bright. Not just because I am an optimistic person, but because so many people around me are increasingly excited to see what is happening with our students at the IAE.

Every rose began hidden under the mud before it revealed itself and BLOOMED. My dream to realize the IAE does not get to skip any of the steps to Bloomin’ Success. We are walking the walk just like our students and I am searching for another little steam engine to help me over the hill…



(Watty Piper)



A little steam engine had a long train of cars to pull.

She went along very well till she came to a steep hill. But then, no matter how hard she tried, she could not move the long train of cars.

She pulled and she pulled. She puffed and she puffed. She backed and started off again. Choo! Choo!

But no! the cars would not go up the hill.

At last she left the train and started up the track alone. Do you think she had stopped working? No, indeed! She was going for help.

“Surely I can find someone to help me,” she thought.

Over the hill and up the track went the little steam engine. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo!

Pretty soon she saw a big steam engine standing on a side track. He looked very big and strong. Running alongside, she looked up and said:

“Will you help me over the hill with my train of cars? It is so long and heavy I can’t get it over.”

The big steam engine looked down at the little steam engine. The he said:

“Don’t you see that I am through my day’s work? I have been rubbed and scoured ready for my next run. No, I cannot help you,”

The little steam engine was sorry, but she went on, Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo!

Soon she came to a second big steam engine standing on a side track. He was puffing and puffing, as if he were tired.

“That big steam engine may help me,” thought the little steam engine. She ran alongside and asked:

“Will you help me bring my train of cars over the hill? It is so long and so heavy that I can’t get it over.”

The second big steam engine answered:

“I have just come in from a long, long run. Don’t you see how tired I am? Can’t you get some other engine to help you this time?

“I’ll try,” said the little steam engine, and off she went. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo!

After a while she came to a little steam engine just like herself. She ran alongside and said:

“Will you help me over the hill with my train of cars? It is so long and so heavy that I can’t get it over.”

“Yes, indeed!” said this little steam engine. “I’ll be glad to help you, if I can.”

So the little steam engines started back to where the train of cars had been standing. Both little steam engines went to the head of the train, one behind the other.

Puff, puff! Chug, choo! Off they started!

Slowly the cars began to move. Slowly they climbed the steep hill. As they climbed, each little steam engine began to sing:

“I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I think I can – I think I can – I think I can I think I can–“

And they did! Very soon they were over the hill and going down the other side.

Now they were on the plain again; and the little steam engine could pull her train herself. So she thanked the little engine who had come to help her, and said good-by.

And she went merrily on her way, singing:

“I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I-thought-I-could! I thought i could – I thought I could – I thought I could – I thought I could – I thought I could – I thought I could I thought I could –“


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