5 Things Failure Has Taught Me
5 Things Failure Has Taught Me
“Failure is a lesson; segments of education spanned over time to teach us how to manage success one day”
It’s my mission in life to succeed and to help others succeed. I have always been motivated and driven to be successful but I didn’t always know what that meant, or how I would get there. I am sure that when I read this 5 years from now, I will have a completely new set of leanings and lessons, but I wanted to share what failure has taught me. I wanted to be vulnerable and help inspire others to accomplish their own goals and not let failure scare them. Here are 5 Things Failure Has Taught Me:
- Failure is just difficult learning: don’t look at failure as simply winning or losing. Over time I have learned to walk away from “failure” with my head held high. In my very first startup business I was designing T-shirts and selling them to friends and eventually I made connections with stores to carry a few as a test. I spent every dime I had producing 60 shirts that my dad still has in a box in the basement. The manufacturer butchered the product and killed my dream when there was no way to get the money back or the product redone. When most people consider this failure, this was actually some of the best years of my life. I learned to graphic design, manufacturing, market and advertise, budget and plan and at 19 years old I was driving across the country visiting screen printing shops; true story. I learned all of the skills I have today to design and brand my business.
- Outsourcing drastically increases risk: if outsourcing is part of how you are going to start up your business I would highly encourage you to think about that decision. In one of my greatest failures I invested $33,000 into the production of a website, at 22. The issue was that I didn’t have a web design partner. I can’t stress this enough, if you are going to pursue a business, have an expert as a partner. Outsourcing is incredibly expensive and you lose immense amount of control over the process.
- Collaborate: remember that website business I just referred to? That was one of the most difficult times in my life. Many people crammed into my studio apartment on a Wednesday night to pursue a dream. My initial idea of this business was nothing compared to the output of what our collaboration group created. Surround yourself with incredible dreamers and your chances of succeeding go up exponentially. After 3 years of relentless effort I was unable to continue to fund this startup and due to delay in production I lost my mental drive for the business. In case you were wondering, the main picture was our logo from the website.
- Figure it out: I have said this so many times over the last five years it drives me crazy. There are going to be a million reasons why something won’t work. You are going to get people that genuinely love you and want you to be cautious, you will have people that are envious and don’t want you to succeed, and there are people that literally think you are crazy – but they will all tell you your dream won’t work. The truth is that they are almost always right- it won’t work. The beauty is you receive your bachelors in failure over time and then eventually return to master success. Listen loudly to wise people and then do what your gut tells you to do. There will always be competition, there will always be risk, and there will always be potential.
- Inspire: your success is determined by your ability to inspire. You will one day inspire investors, family, employees and hopefully one day clients. Surround yourself with those who believe in you, belief is the most powerful gift available. To inspire is to move others toward action. Entrepreneurship is immensely difficult and requires powerful individuals to achieve success; sometimes the only person left to inspire will be you. I have a ring of incredibly wonderful and talented people that have helped me along the way. Remember to give back.
Each one of those paragraphs represents years of hard work and effort. Failure has taught me everything I know about business and has given me all the skills to pursue my dreams. I am blessed to work for a great company that supports my dreams and has helped me grow along the way. Work hard, learn from everyone around you, always be passionate, and never fear failure.