Why I Love Failure, And Why You Should Too
Warning: The video above is slightly NSFW, but highly recommended.
"I hope that you fail."
Not something you think you'd hear from the person that wants to see everyone succeed in life, but it's something that I'll say to people who tell me that they desire success. And here's why: I think that the most attainable path to success includes failing - a lot.
I've personally failed more times than I can count, and if you worked with me at my old job, you know that's a fact. (I was terrible at pretty much everything - sorry guys.) And even after I found out what my true passion was, I still failed to a great extent.
One of the most vivid memories I have of my own failure was my very first sales pitch. I had no training on how to sell anything, I had no idea what to say, I had no idea what to do or how to present myself - it was all a big mess. After my very poorly structured conversation with the gentleman, I stayed awake all night trying to figure out what I did wrong (literally everything, in case you were wondering). But that night was a huge eye-opener for me. Here's what I learned:
Embrace Your Failures
It may sound weird, but I'm incredibly proud of myself for failing that evening. What if I never had the guts to go through with it? What if I never tried?
The sooner I embraced my own failures, the sooner I fixed the mistakes I made during that pitch. We live in a society that looks down upon failure - failed startups, failed ideas, failed job interviews, failed innovation, failure within education, and the list goes on. When you learn to embrace your own failures, you'll not only be much happier as a person, but you'll advance your own personal development faster by learning from your mistakes.
Learn from them, but don't let them define you
I had a hard time accepting my own personal failures for a while. I messed up a lot, and I felt that I could never get away from that. And eventually, I felt that the failures became a part of my identity. Every move that I made was executed with failure in the back of my mind.
That's where I went wrong.
Here's the thing - failure teaches me that I'm human. That I've got room to improve. You'll be much better off as a person when you separate your failures from your identity. I definitely can't say that I won't fail again in the future, but I sleep much better at night knowing that who I am isn't defined by my past mistakes.
There is no failure that you can't recover from
Ever heard of that really popular alternative to hotels, known as Airbnb? If you haven't heard of it, Airbnb is an online network that connects the owners of residential properties to people looking for short-term accommodation in places other than your typical hotel.
Basically, if you want to live in a lighthouse for the night, you totally can.
Anyways, when Airbnb first started, they reached out to 7 different investors around the country looking for an investment - $150,000 for 10% of the company, which puts the company's valuation at $1.5 million.
They got 5 emails back. Here's 2. (You can see the rest here.)
They failed big time. The lack of investment meant they might not be able to make their idea work - leading to another failed startup. But they learned from their failures, recovered from them, and kept on pushing through.
Airbnb is now worth $30,000,000,000. Billion...with a B. $150,000 just became pocket change.
So... yeah, there's that.
The way I view failure is not the way most people would, because I think failure is a beautiful thing. I truly wish I took the time to learn from my mistakes sooner, because I think I would have advanced a lot faster both personally and professionally. Personal and Professional Development is always my goal for you, whether you're running a small business, trying to form a start-up, getting a college degree, or anything in between.
If you liked this blog, I'd love to hear about it. If you didn't like it, I'd really love to hear about it.