Sowing Seeds Of Success


Success pic


A garden is a wonderful thing. It’s a labor of love from seed time to harvest but the end results are worth it! There’s nothing quite like sitting down in summer for a meal with a truly crisp, straight out of the ground fresh salad.

The wonderful aroma of sautéed veggies fills the air during barbeques and people are wiping the juice of a watermelon you grew off their smiling faces. It’s a satisfying thing to know that others are eating well because of the labor of you invested!

The decision to grow your own food poses many questions such as:
How do I plant a vegetable garden? Where should I plant it? When is the best time to plant? How much sun does my garden need? Which vegetables grow well together? And of course…where did all these bugs and pests come from? I never had single one of these around my house until I started sowing seed!

I’d like you to join me on my journey of growing my garden this summer because along the way I’ll share some gardening tips along with valuable lessons about success. Our lives are much like a garden and as you follow this series you’ll see what I mean. Principles for succeeding in life are all around us and I’m going to help you find those hidden gems. I’ll give you an example…Look closely at the paragraph above this one and see if you can find 6 principles a garden can teach you about success.

Did you see them? Look closely! I’ll give you the first one..

How do I plant a vegetable garden? The principle –
A plan. Knowledge helps you grow…or as I like to phrase it know-how gives you grow-how…oh wow…I better stop now!

Doing some research, reading, and reviewing some video on gardens will help you get greater results for the effort you put in. Learn those basics and then apply them…just like in life…


Knowledge Is The Foundation To The Life You Want To Build.


It will give you confidence. Let me explain.
I was never confident speaking about a subject that I didn’t know a lot about, BUT…get a topic that I did know a lot about and it was on! I spoke with confidence because of that knowledge.

In fact, the more I learned…the more I discovered about myself. My view of life began to change. I discovered something a lot of people live without – purpose.

I realized that knowledge is powerful and will raise you up to places that you’ll only dream of reaching if you don’t apply yourself.

Is the same true with you?

Plan Your Work…and Work Your Plan

As I thought about what I wanted to grow in my garden I decided that I needed to draw it out on paper. I wanted to have an idea what the end result will look like (and help me remember what I planted where)!

Setting goals and then breaking them down into smaller steps on paper always helps me stay focused and moving forward.

How about you?

If you want to be better at basketball you don’t sit around hoping it will happen do you? No, you study plays. You watch film. You train, and train, and train till every muscle in your body hurts…and then you train some more!

You don’t become an amazing pianist by sitting down at one do you? No, that’s only the first step. You have to learn how to read music. Listen to different techniques, get yourself a teacher if you can, and then practice, practice, practice until your fingers feel like they tied together…and then do it again!

The end result will be amazing!

Right now, you have the ability to achieve anything you desire to. You’re not just a game changer…NO!
You’re a world changer!

Research! Read! Learn all you can! Your future is the sum of the decisions that you make…choose to invest in your education! Knowledge Is Power!


I have much to share in the days and weeks ahead so stay on the lookout for the next post. I want you to succeed but I must ask you…Are you Brave Enough To Grow?!

Sowing seeds for your success,

Wayne Winsley


Brave Enough To Fail Awards $2,000 in Scholarships to Faith Preparatory School



Brave Enough To Fail has added yet another “Brave” school to it’s growing ranks.  Students at Faith Preparatory School in New Milford Connecticut received a big dose of motivation and inspiration to “Be The Boss of Their Dreams” along with some scholarship money help launch them toward success.

Jaclyn Mattison, principal of Faith Preparatory School said,

“We could not be prouder to be a Brave Enough To Fail school. We are beyond blessed to have this program and the scholarships made available to our students.”

New Milford based nonprofit provides motivational presentations and scholarships to schools nationwide at no cost to schools or students.  It is being called a new and innovative way to help narrow the student achievement gap.

Wayne Winsley, executive director of BETF says,

“A positive message can change the trajectory of a child’s life. I’m living proof of that, and its why this organization exists. To change children’s lives for the better.” 

A one thousand dollar scholarship will be awarded to a member of this year’s senior class and a second one thousand dollar scholarship has been designated for a member of next year’s senior class.

The Scholarships, which are paid toward expenses at any accredited college or trade school, are awarded based on financial need, grade point average and other criteria.

Please make a donation today. Support our mission to raise student achievement by inspiring kids with the courage to believe and trust in themselves.

Brave Enough To Fail Awards Six $1,000 Scholarships to Danbury High School

DHS Kiwanis

Thanks to our partnership with Kiwanis Club of Greater Danbury, the generosity of Union Savings Bank, and the hard work of the Key Club of Danbury High School, Brave Enough To Fail was able to deliver a powerful message of motivation, inspiration, and achievement to over 600 seniors at a recent presentation.

The speaker, Wayne Winsley, shared how being raised by his great grandmother, then living in an orphanage and foster homes took him down a road where he faced a crossroad with the options being the cemetery or prison.

After hearing someone say, “Always strive for excellence” something clicked and Wayne paved himself a new path, enjoying decades of success as a radio announcer and now spreading motivation with his story.

He went on to give the students relevant, and specific way to overcome adversity and be the boss of their dreams.

That message was backed up with five $1,000 scholarships to help those motivated students achieve their dreams.


DHS 1The message must have been effective because after the announcement of the scholarships a BETF supporter, who was attending the presentation as a guest, spontaneously stood up and shouted
“Can we make it six scholarships? If we can make it six, I’ll take care of it!”
And just like that, five scholarships became six scholarships.



Wayne Winsley and Michelle Bonvicini, Director of Community Relations Union Savings Bank

Michelle Bonvicini, Director of Community Relations Union Savings Bank says,

“Motivating and encouraging our young people to be the best they can be is vitally important and we are very happy to be a part of this effort.”



Wayne Winsley, Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail commented,

“This was truly a team effort. The Kiwanis Club of Danbury saw the possibilities of this program and paved the way for us. The Key Clubbers did the logistical work of putting the event  together and generating enthusiasm among the student body. And of course none of this would have been possible without the generous support of Union Savings Bank who made the investment in the dreams of all these young people. I am sincerely thankful to everyone on the team.”

Hopefully this is only the beginning. The list of schools that have already requested the Brave Enough To Fail program spans twenty states.

Wayne Winsley says,

“Just imagine how many young people we can impact and how many dreams we sow into. We can help close the achievement gap and strengthen communities across America. All we need is the support of great people like the ones who made this event possible.” 

Brave Enough To Fail Inc, is a 501 ( C ) 3 nonprofit that provides free motivational presentations and scholarships to schools.

Learn how you can help bring this program and scholarships to a school near you.

visit our website or email

Union Savings Bank Invests in New Effort to Narrow Achievement Gap

Bank promo


Union Savings Bank of Danbury has granted $6,500 in funding for a Brave Enough To Fail program and five $1,000 scholarships for Danbury High School.

The audience will be approximately 600 seniors who will not only get a big dose of motivation to pursue their dreams but also have someone actually sow into their dreams with resources to help them get started.

The mission of Brave Enough To Fail is to help students get better grades in school by inspiring them to pursue their dreams.

Wayne Winsley, founder and executive director of Brave Enough To Fail says,

“We are attacking the education achievement gap by working directly at the student level.” 

The event is April 12th at 9:30AM at Danbury high School in Danbury Connecticut.
Media is invited to attend.
To learn more about bringing the Brave Enough To Fail program and scholarships to your school Click Here

Helping Students Close The Achievement Gap

Sadie New Britain 2


The Battle over how Connecticut pays for public education has been going on for years and it continues with no end in sight.

In 2016, a superior court judge ruled that the state’s funding formula was “irrational” and unconstitutional, and failed to adequately fund urban and poor school districts.

In 2018 that ruling has been overturned by the state Supreme Court. The ball has now been punted back to the politicians and advocates for them to quickly and efficiently come up with a solution to the largest achievement gap in the nation between students in the richest districts in the state and the poorest districts.

We all know that the “fix” won’t be quick and efficient and any solution at all is still years away. Which brings up some uncomfortable questions.

What about the students who are struggling in our schools right now?

How can we help all of those thousands of children who are currently in our schools and on the losing side of the educational achievement gap?

Is there anything we can do immediately to positively impact even some of these students and increase their chances of not only graduating, but of achieving positive, productive, and even profitable life outcomes?

The answer is yes.

While the grownups are trying to figure out what to do, we can empower our children with motivation and some financial help to take charge of their own destiny, seize whatever opportunities are around them and pursue their dreams.

Brave Enough To Fail Inc. is helping students begin to close the achievement gap by inspiring students with the courage to pursue their dreams and to to see their own education as a way to get what they want out of life.

Brave Enough To Fail Inc, is a 501 ( C ) 3 nonprofit that provides free motivational presentations and scholarships to schools.

We believe that by offering students a compelling reason to fully invest themselves in their own education and by providing a tangible and achievable goal, we can and will raise student achievement.

Does Brave Enough To Fail institute effective education policy? Does it ensure more highly trained and qualified teachers in the classroom? Does it remove the family and social challenges that many kids face? No, no, and no.

Brave Enough To Fail does however, provide a lifeline of support for “a number” of students in the total absence of additional help from anywhere else.

It can inspire “a number” of students to achieve better life outcomes by choosing to remain in school rather than drop out.

It can, over time, inspire and motivate “a number” of students to achieve their absolute best in school, no matter where that school happens to be.

We believe that “number” of our children is worth saving. No matter how large or how small that number is.

Local businesses are getting involved

Happily, there is a growing list of courageous companies who are Brave Enough To Fund (smile) this investment in the future of our children.  They believe our program is making a difference, and can see how it will help the future of our workforce – the future of our nation.

Preferred Utilities   has stepped forward to sponsor scholarships

Kiwanis Foundation of Greater Danbury has partnered with us to provide presentations and scholarships to as many as seven area high schools

Union Savings Bank has boldly contributed funding to provide a presentation and full set of scholarships to an area high school. 

These companies and others like them are taking action to help students close the achievement gap in their own lives by providing them with a message of motivation backed by resources.  They are sending a message to the children, “Your dreams are important enough to be invested in and pursued.”

By the way, it works.

I myself am living proof that the power of positive message can change the trajectory of a child’s life. At age 14 I made the choice to go back to school after hearing a message about striving for excellence. That choice saved my life. And I am not the only one.

When speaking about the question of whether kids are able to overcome circumstances like poverty and achieve at the highest levels, Jennifer Alexander, outgoing chief executive officer of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now says,

The fact that there is even a discussion in here suggesting that schools can’t be expected to overcome societal ills is unacceptable in 2018.”… “We know what’s possible when kids are given the opportunity and the support. We just have to have the political will to do it for all kids.”

We agree, and we hope you will too.

Wayne Winsley Founder and Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail Inc.



4 Guaranteed Ways to Recruit Millennials for Manufacturing Jobs



Below is an excerpt from Michael O’Donnell of The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Networkoriginally posted back in February of 2017  

Create a clear and compelling picture of advanced manufacturing.
Because most millennials are digital natives, technology is a cornerstone of their way of life. It’s essential to show young workers that today’s factories do not house traditional equipment, but instead play host to innovative tech like 3D printers, CAD software, robotics, and IoT devices. You’ll also be more likely to generate interest if you open your doors for a plant tour, participate in community outreach, and act as an ambassador for manufacturing.

Provide opportunities for growth and leadership.
Due to the 2008 recession, repeated downsizing, and other socioeconomic factors, young employees are often worried about instability in their careers. The chance to develop professionally and move up the ladder is valuable, and many will respond positively to a company if they’re given the chance to grow and upskill in CNC machining, welding, and other disciplines. Giving employees chances to lead or hash out new ideas not only helps them stay happy and engaged, but also benefits your business by giving your company new ideas to help it grow, succeed, and stay relevant in a changing world.

Offer paid internships.
Internship positions and youth apprenticeship programs are a worthwhile investment for your company. Not only are you giving students on-the-job training in a real-world environment, but you are actively grooming the next generation of employees. You will have the chance to develop a working relationship with them and, if all goes well, end up with a full-time employee that works hard, knows your business, and may be the first in a sustained pipeline of young workers.

Present flexibility and work-life balance.
As millennials get married and acquire other priorities outside of the workplace, there is more focus on maintaining a healthy balance between careers and home lives. Making this idea a linchpin in your company’s foundation will not only attract more skilled workers, but also keep your existing employees from becoming unhappy, disengaged, or looking elsewhere for new positions.

End of excerpt. Read the full article here

We’d like to add a 5th guaranteed way to recruit millennials for manufacturing jobs.

Give young workers entering the workforce a compelling personal reason to choose your company by investing in their success.

We believe that there are companies that would gladly support a motivational program that inspires and challenges students in their hometowns and that points them to possible careers in local industry and manufacturing IF they knew the program existed.

We are doing just that, and invite you to join us.

Brave Enough To Fail Inc, is a 501 ( C ) 3 nonprofit. Our mission is to raise student achievement by providing free motivational presentations and scholarships to schools nationwide, and then point those inspired and motivated young people toward rewarding careers at great companies like yours.

Contact me, Wayne Winsley, Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail inc. to learn how your company can help develop tomorrow’s workforce today by sponsoring scholarships, materials, and school presentations.


The Solution To The Skills Gap May Lie In Creating Apprenticeships.


GWEN MORAN, writing for Fast Company, published a great article on January 25 2018.

She writes,

“In spite of shrinking unemployment numbers, many companies say they’re still having trouble finding workers with the skills necessary to fill specific roles. An April 2017 survey from CareerBuilder found that 60% of U.S. employers across a wide range of industries have job openings that stay open for 12 weeks or longer. The average cost of extended vacancies is more than $800,000 annually, and this inability to find candidates takes a toll on productivity, morale, and revenue, to name a few areas.

Apprenticeships have long been used by manufacturing and the trades to give workers the skills, knowledge, and on-the-job training they need to transition seamlessly into specific roles. Now, in an effort to bridge the skills gap and tap new talent pools, more companies are using the apprenticeship model, partnering with community colleges and four-year higher education institutions as well as nonprofit community organizations, to find workers and ensure they have the precise skills they need to do the job.” Read the full article here.

Ms. Moran makes a great point, the skills gap is real and it will take work and creativity to fill it.

We are doing just that, and invite you to join us.

Brave Enough To Fail Inc, is a 501 ( C ) 3 nonprofit. Our mission is to raise student achievement by providing free motivational presentations and scholarships to schools nationwide, and then point those inspired and motivated young people toward rewarding careers at great companies like yours.

Contact me, Wayne Winsley, Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail inc. to learn how your company can help develop tomorrow’s workforce today by sponsoring scholarships, materials, and school presentations.

Nonprofits Team up To Motivate Students

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Brave Enough To Fail and Kiwanis Club Foundation of Greater Danbury are extremely pleased to announce our new partnership.

The two organizations will work together in providing motivational programming and scholarships to area high schools.

Area Key Clubs will be invited to sponsor BETF presentations at high schools in Danbury, Bethel, New Milford, New Fairfield, Brookfield, Redding, and Ridgefield.

Danbury Kiwanis Club President Matt Bartelme commented,

“We are definitely excited about this opportunity to work with Brave Enough To Fail. They are another nonprofit that is as passionate as we are about enriching the lives of children to build stronger communities.

Wayne Winsley, executive director of Brave Enough To Fail says,

“I’m honored and humbled to have the support of such a great organization as Kiwanis of Danbury. This partnership will strengthen our ability to raise student achievement and promote leadership through service.”

Kiwanis member Foster Crawford, a former assistant superintendent of schools in Waterbury and Stamford indicated that,

“Brave Enough To Fail is an excellent motivational tool to help students believe in themselves and to set and achieve high personal goals.

The goal is to begin presentations and award the first scholarships this school year.

to learn how your Kiwanis and Key Leader Clubs can work with us in your area contact:

Wayne Winsley

Learn more by clicking the link

How To Develop Your Next Generation Employee


We believe that there are companies that would gladly support a motivational program that inspires and challenges students in their hometowns and that points them to possible careers in local industry and manufacturing IF they knew the program existed.

We are doing just that, and invite you to join us.

Brave Enough To Fail Inc, is a 501 ( C ) 3 nonprofit. Our mission is to raise student achievement by providing free motivational presentations and scholarships to schools nationwide, and then point those inspired and motivated young people toward rewarding careers at great companies like yours.

Contact me, Wayne Winsley, Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail inc. to learn how your company can help develop tomorrow’s workforce today by sponsoring scholarships, materials, and school presentations.

This article was written by Peter G. Martin, Ph.D., vice president, business value solutions, Schneider Electric.

There has been considerable discussion of late about the mass retirements of baby boomers from the industrial workforce and the lack of appropriate talent to fill the gap. Many baby boomers believe that the younger generation—the millennial generation—is not up to the task and that young people have no interest in taking on the challenges. I believe the millennials are up to the task, but unfortunately I have to agree that they do not appear to have the interest.

I have noticed some very positive attributes of the millennials that align with the requirements of industry. They tend to be very altruistic. They are as technically savvy as any generation ever has been. They tend to like collaboration and are very comfortable with social media. All of these attributes are exactly what is needed in industry at this point in time. It is up to the soon-retiring workforce to recognize and capitalize on these attributes as the younger generation is assimilated into the industrial workforce.

The challenge of the lack of interest in industrial careers by millennials is much more daunting. Members of the younger generation who have a competency in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) seem to have a negative perspective of careers in industry. They see industrial careers as undesirable, dirty, and lower-tech and would much rather pursue careers in video-game software development.

Perhaps the solution to this challenge is focusing on the “altruistic attribute” of millennials. Millennials seem to desire careers that truly have a positive impact on the world. Industrial production is the key to solving many of the most challenging problems humankind is facing. It is through industry and industrial automation that world problems regarding energy, clean water, hunger, housing, and health can be improved and—in some cases—solved. What young idealistic person would not want to be part of that? Additionally, although in the past a number of industrial practices negatively affected the environment, today industry is seriously taking on the challenge and succeeding at cleaning the environment. It is up to us, those currently engaged in industrial careers, to start reaching out to millennials to share our accomplishments and the improvement potential.

With the effective use of automation technologies over the past three decades, careers in industry and industrial automation are as high-technology as any in the world. And the technology deployed in industry does real work to improve the condition of the world. Additionally, most industrial work environments are considerably nicer than young students believe, and with the further application of technology these environments will continue improving.

Engineers, as a group, tend to be among the most self-critical people I know. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in daily challenges that we forget to take a step back and look at the importance of what we have done and continue to do. Engineers are problem solvers. We have taken on some of the biggest problems society has encountered and developed very effective and clever solutions. We need to remember and communicate our contributions to the millennial generation. We must get them to understand the importance of what we do, so they will join us and produce even greater outcomes.

ISA; the Automation Federation; the Measurement, Control and Automation Association (MCAA); and others have joined to lead the effort of educating young students about the value of careers in industry and industrial automation. In fact, MCAA recently developed some videos to distribute to colleges and high schools across the globe with the intention of encouraging students to consider industrial careers. These are on the MCAA website. We need to continue and advance the great progress that has been realized, but can only accomplish if the most talented STEM students coming through the school system join the cause. Let’s start talking up what we have done, what we continue to do, and what the next generation of industrial automation professionals have the potential to accomplish. Humankind is depending on us.

About the Author
Peter G. Martin, Ph.D., is vice president of business value solutions for Schneider Electric. He holds multiple patents, including patents for dynamic performance measures, real-time activity-based costing, closed-loop business control, and asset and resource modeling. He authored or co-authored four books, most recently The Value of Automation. Martin received an ISA Life Achievement Award.

A version of this article originally was published at InTech magazine.

Contact Wayne Winsley, Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail inc. to learn how your company can help develop tomorrow’s workforce today.




Jessica Rathmann Takes 2nd Nationwide in Short Story Contest


Jessica Rathman

Jessica Rathmann is a 14 year old writing & reading fandom fan of San Antonio, Texas. She has always enjoyed writing and has taken it seriously for the past two years. She admins a young writers group on Facebook and her favorite authors currently are Sarah J Maas, Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu, and J.K. Rowling.

Her contest entry, The Story Gets Harder with Every Word is a cautionary tale that could come straight out of today’s headlines. It is written with a depth of emotion and gravitas that belies the author’s young age. This may be a fictional story but it delivers a message that is all to real and that EVERYONE should hear.

In the eyes of the judges, Jessica’s story stood out above all the entries in her category but one, and earned her second place the 17 years old and under category of the Brave Enough To Write, short story contest which benefits Brave Enough To Fail Inc. a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit that provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here  and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!

Read The Story Gets Harder With Every Word

You can also follow Jessica on her blog, Here