They say “Failure is not an option.” They are totally wrong. If we’re being honest, it’s an integral part of entrepreneurial life and finding your footing in something new. It’s part of growth. It’s part of being a total badass.
My favourite quote about failure comes from my favourite movie, Elizabethtown. It’s about a guy who failed big professionally in the middle of major family turmoil and has to figure out for himself how he was going to move past it. It’s dark and twisty but awesome and this is what it says about failure and moving past it:
So you failed. Alright you really failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You think I care about that? I do understand. You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you’re still smiling.
Entrepreneurship is a very complicated dance of getting back up and making it look like it was part of the choreography, and dancing in the rain. This is much easier when you’re from the West coast like me. It’s always raining here. Maybe that’s why we make so many entrepreneurs.
In the world of business, it’s tempting to relay the pristine facade of the “Everything’s fine show.” It’s machismo to avoid showing weakness. Don’t let them smell blood in the water. Don’t tip your hand too much, they say. It’s so seductive to wrap yourself up in a warm blanket that doesn’t show the spots where you bled a little but didn’t actually die from it. I think in doing so we are hiding the best parts. It’s a way of life that actively challenges you to be a badass. You can pretend it didn’t happen but it did. You can dust yourself off and get back up but remember where you came from as you ascend.
I have failed and I will fail again and I will fail some more, God willing, because I’m trying. I’m in a relationship with failure and it’s complicated but it doesn’t really have to be. I plan to fail big and stick around and make them wonder while I’m still smiling. I’m going to dance in the rain, because I live on the West coast, and that’s just how it goes around here. I hope you stick around for the show!