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Facing the Facts of Failure

Failure is an inevitable part of entrepreneurship and well… just life. The highs and lows come
evenly, but what makes it worth it is how much those highs outweigh the struggles. Anyone
would be lying to claim entrepreneurship didn’t come with tough moments. But, processing
them is critical for strengthening yourself and your business moving forward.

There’s one moment of “failure” in particular that has stuck with me over the last couple months.  In February, I decided to do a Reddit AMA for my book, Stories of Elders.

For those of you who don’t know, Reddit is an aggregate forum with unlimited communities, a sort of “front page of the internet”.  An “AMA” stands for “Ask Me Anything”, an opportunity for users to
understand more about a topic and, in my case, my book and experiences.  My experiences with
AMAs on other platforms were really positive, and it felt SO great!

My Reddit AMA, however, left a lot to be desired…

Responses were sparse and those who did engage were critical, posting to ask questions like “who
do you think you are?” or “how do you think talking about technology saves lives?”. I never
claimed to be saving lives! But, I am an author who had hope of sharing with those interested in how tech changed everything and what our elders know.

After everything going so well with my book and opportunities continually arising, I felt so crushed to not be able to share this excitement further. I felt as though I failed, like no one actually cared about my book at all.  It truly made me sad.  I know that’s not true, that I really have reached so many people based on the amazing responses I’ve gathered, especially in response to my Ted Talk! I know what I have done and know the experiences I have had, and that matters more in the grand scheme of everything than this one flop.

It may be hard to take yourself out of it in the moment. You may be left sitting there asking yourself, “what am I doing?” or “WHY am I doing this to myself?”.

This will happen, and it’s ok.

Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes there are setbacks that make us want to give up and question it
all. Sometimes we need to take a break and come back for a minute. But, entrepreneurship
wouldn’t be what it is any other way. There will be something that will make you want to quit it
all. But, don’t be so quick to follow, this is only temporary. Your success isn’t achievable without
failure.

So let’s face the hard facts. Failure is good.  It teaches us a lot about ourselves and our values.  It helps us focus on what matters, and can lead to some pretty great self discoveries (like, why do I care what Internet trolls think, anyway…???).

Watch my latest YouTube video to hear more about the experience.