Are You Willing To Fail?

Last week I attended a great conference called NY Moves that is focused on women’s rights, social fairness and equal opportunity. The day was filled with amazing speakers, including an interview with Maggie Siff from the Showtime show Billions, on being a working mom and the decisions she has made.

The speakers were powerful and, of course, I took pages of notes. One of the comments that truly impacted me was when Elizabeth Bierman, Senior Technical Manager at Honeywell Aerospace said,“Put yourself out there and be willing to be uncomfortable.”

This came out around a conversational topic of FAILURE. Several of the ladies spoke about the importance of failing and being willing to fail. A great quote mentioned, “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” – Brene Brown

If we think about all the inventions, advancement and growth from people who have been willing to fail, it’s pretty extraordinary.

Success takes time to achieve.

-Steve Jobs being fired from Apple before his return years later that completely transformed the brand.
-Bill Gate’s first company Traf-O-Data failing, before finding massive success with his next company, Microsoft.
– Thomas Edison trying 1,000 attempts before his successful creation of the light bulb.
-Vera Wang, who didn’t make the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team so she took a position at Vogue and ultimately went on to become an iconic fashion designer.
-J.K Rowling, who received 12 rejections to the first Harry Potter book, before creating a beloved franchise that now includes books, films and theme parks.

The stories go on and on.

One of the women at the event shared a quote I really liked by Mae West, “An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”

Are you willing to be in action and be uncomfortable? Are you willing to fail?

I know in my 25 years as a business owner I have made plenty of mistakes or “failed” many times. I have also been willing to be in action.

When I was in printing, I had mere minutes to make a decision for a deadline.
I made the best decision in that moment.
In less than two minutes, I knew it was the wrong decision.
It resulted in a loss of $60,000.
The next step was getting into action and seeing what options I had to course correct.
It took me about a year but I did course correct and made back $85,000.

Are you willing to fail, be uncomfortable, and be in action, no matter what?

That is the definition of success.