A Lesson from Jared: Don't Be Afraid to Fail

This column aims to share about philanthropy within the floor covering industry and the people who are leading the way in giving back and improving lives. Today, I want to introduce you to Jared Warnack, who taught me a lesson about the fear of failure.

Jared shared with me his favorite quote: “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” — Theodore Roosevelt

How many times do we not start something because we think we will fail? Jared’s quote was a lesson for me personally. In the past few months, I have started two activities at which I don’t excel. My office formed a co-ed softball team organized through the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department. I was excited about hanging out with my co-workers in the sunshine, but that feeling quickly faded when I realized I was the team’s weakest link, and I don’t own cleats or a glove.

The second activity is a little bit of a better story. Last summer, I took a staycation. I delivered my only child to resident summer camp, took off from work and sat down on my couch to take serious deep breaths. I decided to focus my week on developing an exercise plan and putting it in to action.

I tried yoga, after all I, like most women, owned yoga pants, so I had the right gear for the activity. After realizing that that activity was too slow paced for me and the July weather was too hot for other outdoor sports, I joined the Bradley Wellness Center. I made a playlist of my favorite jams and went to town on the elliptical. A few weeks later, I switched to the treadmill and eventually started running outside. I just completed my first 10K two weeks ago and ran it at a pace of around an 11-and-a-half-minute mile. No one brags about running that slow.

In both activities, I was not best. Jared shared with me his philosophy that “you are going to fail, and you are going to succeed, but the only person keeping score is you.” His thoughts were reassuring to me as I have found value in these activities where my performance is sub-par. They’re not black and white, failure and success. There is a whole spectrum of joy gained in trying new things. For me, I gained: fitness, mental health, fresh air, team building, humility, laughter, grit and new friends.

Jared went on to share this: “My advice to the next generation is very simple, only three things matter in life: your God or faith, your family, and work.”

Jared is the senior director of sales support services at Phenix, a Pharr Family company, where he has served for 12 years. At Phenix, Jared sponsors corporate food, clothing and coat drives to help deserving families meet their basic needs. All donations are given to local food banks and resource organizations. Phenix, along with Brown Industries, has co-sponsored “Make a Difference Day” for the past two years. Phenix is a member of CARE, Carpet America Recovery Effort, that redirects used or discarded carpet out of landfills through recycling.

Corporately, Phenix participates in the Hero Project with Lowe’s Home Improvement, Home Depot’s Veteran’s Transition Homes project, and Habitat for Humanity. In addition, Phenix gives back as a donor to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, where Phenix CEO Mark Clayton serves on the board. Jared is a member of the United Way Corporate Volunteer Council and Murray County’s United Way Resource Committee.

Personally, Jared volunteers to coach football and baseball, and he mentors youth about the importance of conservation and safety through hunting and fishing trips. He and his family are members of Central Church of Christ in Dalton, where they have been Care Group Leaders and Sunday school teachers. Jared grew up in Varnell, has lived all over North Georgia and currently resides in Chatsworth. A graduate of Northwest Whitfield High School, he holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Covenant College. He and his wife, Jennifer Warnack have two children, Ethan and Emma.

Thank you, Jared, for your service to the community, leadership and making me appreciate my own failures. Let’s all try something new this summer!

This column by Andrea Dobbins was published in the Dalton Daily Citizen News on May 27, 2017.