Learning how to handle failure is one of the only reasons I’ve been able to build my business. Sure, we all have failures, I definitely struggled with some pretty devastating ones when I was younger (as I’ll share here!). But I’ve never failed more than when I’ve, ironically, built my successful and thriving business.
In today’s vulnerable episode, I’m sharing some of the biggest failures and defeats I’ve faced in life and business. I’ll also share what happened in the aftermath and what I’ve learned from them. Most importantly, I share how these taught me to handle failure.
This episode is for you if…
- You feel like something is not working in your life and/or business.
- You’re wondering how failure can actually make you more successful- in practical ways!
- You’re wanting to be an entrepreneur, which inevitably comes with failure
Facebook Live on How to Handle Failure
Transcript of Episode
Speaker 1: (00:02)
Hey everyone, my name is Leah. I am the founder of Urban 20 Something and take out therein and I’m so excited to be here with you guys. Today is the your biggest vision episode every Monday at 10:00 AM I’m here with you live and then the episodes are released on my podcast later in the week and today we are talking about something pretty personal. Today I’m sharing my failures. So the reason I decided to open up about my failures, even though it’s a little bit vulnerable, is because I feel like in entrepreneurship you’re told a lot that it’s good to fail, that you should fail, that you have to fail, that failure is part of the the process, but it’s so much easier to say that than to actually experience it. Of course. And it’s also really easy to hear people that have succeeded or that have, you know, they’re accomplished something you’re working toward.
Speaker 1: (00:49)
Talk about how failure is part of the game. It’s okay to fail, et Cetera. Because from what you see there sort of on the other side, like they’ve gotten over that failure. So I want it to be really transparent and pull down the curtain on some of the things that, that came to me about my biggest failures. I’m more so actually in my life in general then just my business. But I’m also going to share two big failures that I had in business that I’ve, I don’t think I’ve ever publicly shared before. So you guys probably don’t know about them. So let me go ahead and start. Uh, I want to just start by saying that I am very lucky to have, have grown up in a family that really encouraged failure. My Dad was an entrepreneur and my mom wasn’t an entrepreneur, but her and my dad worked very closely together in his business and in sort of the bigger pursuit they had for the vision of their life.
Speaker 1: (01:39)
It wasn’t all about business for them, but business, their life goals, their family, money, et cetera. It was all very intertwined. And so because of that, I consider my mom sort of having an entrepreneurial spirit as well because for her and my dad, they were sort of cocreating all the time. Um, this vision that they had for their life. My Dad just happened to do a bit more of the business part of that creating. But needless to say, they failed a lot. Um, we were, you know, they risked a lot when we were younger and, and even as we got older, but they really did not shy away from how important it was for us to fail. And they were always encouraging us to try something new, to put yourself out there, to not care what people think, to not be too hard on yourself if you fail, et Cetera.
Speaker 1: (02:23)
So I’m really lucky that I grew up with that mindset because I do think that this would be a bit harder for me if I didn’t have parents that encouraged risk from the beginning. So I want to just start by saying that if you feel like you grew up in a perfectionist type family or a family that had a whole lot of pressure or a family that didn’t talk about failure or risk, then this stuff can be even more work that you might want to focus on every day. For you for a little while. It might take you a longer time to adapt to how okay it is to fail. Um, and it might not even sound like something you want to do. You might be thinking, Leah, I don’t want to spend my time becoming better at failing. Right? I want to become, become better at whatever it is that I’m trying to do.
Speaker 1: (03:04)
But if there is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far in business and being able to build my own business, to work for myself to generate the income I have, it is that the more I succeed and the more goals I achieved, the more I fail. So if you are trying to do any sort of transformation in your life, really, um, it doesn’t have to just be about business, it can be about your career, uh, relationships, weight, health, et Cetera, then failure is going to be probably part of the equation. And I really think that the bigger the goal, um, the, the more the more failure will probably happen. And so one of the things that I, that really stuck with me my whole life about encouraging me to fail, actually not my whole life because it only, it wasn’t that long ago, but it was my college graduation.
Speaker 1: (03:52)
So I went, I went here to Nyu in New York and um, at our graduation from the school that I went to, one of the speakers was John Bradley, who is the screenwriter for 12 years, a slave. And he is an alumni of the school. I went to Nyu, so he was our speaker and the school I went to it, Nyu was a individual study school. So you kind of got to shape your own major. Um, every student had a different focus. It was really cool in that way. Now no two of us were alike. And, um, you know, that was something I really liked about it. And looking back, I know that I’ve always had an entrepreneurial bone. Like I look back at some of the things I tried to do in high school and college and even, uh, you know, when I was a lawyer and are not a lawyer, but when I was working as a, as at a law firm, um, I always had these kind of flickers of idea.
Speaker 1: (04:41)
Like I started to try, I start, I started a nonprofit at one point when I was working at my law firm. I tried to write a book about my scoliosis, which I have very bad scoliosis when I was a in college. So I’ve always kind of had these, you know, uh, glimmers of entrepreneurship. And I think that that’s one of the things I really loved about the school I went to at Nyu. And so, anyway, fast forward to that graduation night and this speaker comes out who had gone to this school, this school of individualized study, and he gave an amazing speech. And I know that there’s so many cliches that come with these commencement speeches or speeches with any sort of, you know, big transition like that. And I get that. But for some reason, one of the things he said really just, I think I just needed to hear it at that time I was really ready to receive it and it didn’t feel cliche to me at all and, and I know that it really stuck with me because I hear it in my head all the time and that’s what I want to share with you.
Speaker 1: (05:32)
So when he was talking about the type of school we went to and how it’s the school of individualized study, what nerve it takes to think that you have enough self identity at 18 years old to create your own major and not do something prepaid for yourself is something that we didn’t really reflect on and not for that. We didn’t really realize how powerful that was. And he talked about how it’s going to make me tear up because he teared up when he said that the only success in life is when you’re happy to be yourself. And I’m going to write that in the comments of this Facebook group because I think it’s such a great quote. The only success in life is when are happy to be yourself.
Speaker 1: (06:15)
Isn’t that beautiful? And he said right after he shared that, he said, you know, if you are not failing, you are not trying, again, a very common phrase, but it was just the right timing. Looking at his career and knowing he had gone to Gallatin in the same school I went to, et Cetera, that it just really lined up for me and I have never forgotten it. And in fact, I actually wrote my law school admissions essay on how impactful that speech was to me. But that’s a different story nonetheless. I wanted to share that with you because that was a really profound moment in giving myself permission to fail, seeing failure as a good thing, et cetera. And um, from then on, you know, I’ve really tried to incorporate that every time I have fallen flat on my face. Every time I’ve embarrassed myself, which I have way more times than I’ll be able to say in this one episode.
Speaker 1: (06:56)
But, um, it’s what I’ve always come back to. And so I’ll probably reference it as I share my five biggest failures now. Um, and I hope that it resonates with you as well. So my five biggest failures, I’m going to share what they were, what I did after, and it’s not all the time. Was that sort of pretty or you know, I didn’t always handle it well right away. What I learned from it and what, how, how it helps me handle now or handle failure now, but I really want to share what I learned from it because as I was going through this and preparing for this episode and looking at the five biggest failures, I genuinely, not in a corny way, but I genuinely can say that I am so grateful each one of them happened because I can’t imagine how my life would look different if I hadn’t had those quote failures.
Speaker 1: (07:44)
And those things have not worked out for me. And you’ll see what I mean here. But it’s not even just me saying that, you know, everything happens for a reason because I’m trying to make myself feel better. I really genuinely know my life would not have turned out the way it has if these failures hadn’t happened. And I’m sure you’re going to resonate with this too on some level. So here we go. The first failure, I don’t talk about that much because it was such a heart devastation for me was that when I was in high school, I had dreamed of coming to New York my whole life. If you guys have heard any of my shares about this, I had a big mural of New York City on my bedroom wall, uh, since I was 13. I had my dad painted. He didn’t like hand paint it, but he put the wallpaper up there and he, uh, you know, it was just there and I would dream every night.
Speaker 1: (08:30)
I would go to sleep looking at it thinking, I can’t wait to live there. I can’t wait until I’m there. I can’t wait til, that’s my view and spoiler alert, that is my view now, not, not even that many years later, but a big part of that plan was that I really, really wanted to go to Nyu. I knew I wanted to be in the village. I knew I wanted to be downtown. I knew I wanted to be right in the city. I didn’t want a college experience. And you can imagine the failure I felt when I didn’t get into Nyu my senior year of high school, I did not get in. I tried really hard, you know, I studied for the sat, I tried to take AP classes. I thought I did a lot right and I didn’t get in. And it was devastating. It was completely like my world had fallen apart.
Speaker 1: (09:10)
I had worked, I thought for years to do this. And um, you know, I’ve, of course I could’ve worked harder. Like I, I, there’s a reason I didn’t get in, but I just, I really felt in my heart like that was the school I was going to go to and it was really hard to just not go. And I didn’t really want to go anywhere else. I was so sure that that’s what was right for me. And you know, it just really, uh, flipped like my sense of self trust and my intuition because my gut had just been so strong that this is what I was going to do. And when it, when it wasn’t, when it wasn’t an option, it was sort of like, well, not only do I not know you know what to do next, but I feel like I don’t even know myself that well anymore because I just had really thought that this is what I was going to do.
Speaker 1: (09:54)
So after that I was pretty upset obviously for awhile, you know, luckily, well not luckily, but the reality is there’s a lot of kids in high school that don’t end up getting into their dream schools. I wasn’t alone. People were understanding at the time. What I did was I went to a couple teachers at my high school that I really trusted and who knew that that was what I wanted and they helped me through it and they talked me through it and they talked me through how truthfully insignificant something like this really can be in the bigger course of your life. They pointed out how young I was and how I could really still live the life I wanted. This was not going to be a defining moment for me. So it took me a while to really come to terms with it and accept that that’s what had happened.
Speaker 1: (10:36)
But in the end, what ended up happening is I went to a much smaller school. I’m still in New York. I still wanted to get kind of to the east coast, I guess. I don’t really know why I chose this school. Um, but they ha I got a very big scholarship to this school. Um, I also was able to get on their dance team, which was one of the best dance teams in the country. So that was fun. And you know, long story short, I ended up going to this school. I saved a lot more money than if I would’ve gone to Nyu for all four years. I got good grades because I was so driven and I was able to transfer to Nyu my sophomore, junior, and senior year. So, you know, looking at how much I freaked out and how much I thought my world had crashed when I didn’t get in.
Speaker 1: (11:16)
And then realizing that just 12 months later, not even, I would be receiving an acceptance letter from someone about my transfer really goes to show that nothing is as bad as it seems and nothing is not something that you can get through or that you can figure out or that you can address. And almost nothing is permanent. I mean, I really thought that I wasn’t going to go to college there and like I said, I had really felt in my heart like that was the school for me, that that was where I was going to be an alum of that. That’s how I was going to get to know New York. And you know, as we all know, the end of the story I did. I did do all of that. I was able to graduate from Nyu. I do have my best friends in the whole world from that I went Nyu with my friends from and why you were going to be in my wedding this fall.
Speaker 1: (11:57)
Um, you know, so the outcome was still the same. Really. The only thing that ended up happening is I had to learn a big lesson in failure and how to deal with it. I had to be embarrassed. It was embarrassing that I didn’t get into the school that I had paraded around my high school. Exclaiming I was going to attend for years. Um, I had to, you know, go somewhere else, but I saved money because it wasn’t as expensive as Nyu. And I got good grades, which was helpful for my GPA. So, you know, on paper it was a net when it was probably the right thing for me to do. Obviously I do believe it was the right thing for me to do, but in the time it was hard and I felt like I had failed. I felt like I had worked towards something that was just taken away from me.
Speaker 1: (12:38)
I felt like I didn’t trust myself anymore, et cetera. So what did this particular experience teach me about failure and how I handle failure now? Well as you just heard, it’s a great example of how things can have so many silver linings. And I am a believer that not everything happens for a reason, but you can find a reason in anything. I especially believe that now more than ever after. I’ve gone through some pretty traumatic things over the last year. So this is a great example. I did. It wasn’t meant to be that I didn’t get into Nyu. I Dunno, you know who’s really to say, but in the end it doesn’t matter because I was able to look at the silver linings that came with that failure and make them into prose. I was able to get my GPA up. I was able to see safe money.
Speaker 1: (13:22)
I was still able to have the end outcome and you know, all things considered, things pretty much turned out the same way they would have for me. So that was a tough one. Maybe you have some thing that has happened to you like that. If you didn’t get into a school you wanted or you didn’t get a job you really wanted or you know, something that you’ve worked really hard for, didn’t end up happening for you. It can be hard, but there’s always, I really believe if there’s a will, there’s a way and a big theme that I want to incorporate throughout this show in a big theme of why I started your biggest vision is because I want to do anything I can to support you, my listeners, uh, to train your brain to see obstacles instead or to see opportunities instead of obstacles.
Speaker 1: (14:03)
That has been the biggest mindset shift to help me get to my business that I have now. And this is a good example. I could have seen that I didn’t get into Nyu. I must not be meant to go there. Something else must be going on. Woe is me. I don’t, you know, I don’t know where I’m going to go. This isn’t really going to workout. Now Trust me, I cried plenty. It was, there was some pity parties, but because eventually I was able to see the opportunities, I was able to see that I could, you know, save money. I was able to see that I could transfer. I was able to see that if I got in the honor honor’s program, which I did at this first school, then I would have an easier time getting into Nyu. And that’s exactly what I did.
Speaker 1: (14:38)
So that was failure number one. Failure number two is, let’s see, um, when I didn’t get a job out of college, so you know how in senior year of college everyone is like freaking out, completely freaking out for like a year or at least the last semester, I just wasn’t, I honestly wasn’t. And I think I got a little more nervous there at the end, but I just had this gut that things were gonna work out. I just couldn’t imagine how, you know, something that literally every single person goes through. Like every single person that is in the workforce had to get their first job. I could not really pick, wrap my head around how it was worth freaking out about, like the world is going to end. It’s sort of like the Sunday scaries, which I admit I’ve had, but it’s like, are we really all as a society that all experienced Sunday going to let the Sunday scaries get to us?
Speaker 1: (15:33)
Like, I’m not here for that, you know, stress to me, like it’s a choice always and it should especially be a no when it’s something that literally everyone else is going through and we all can handle. So all this is to say, I did not have the whole freak out about getting a job and maybe I should have because when I graduated I did not have a job. And after that for the summer between, uh, well, the summer after senior year, I applied to jobs all the time and I didn’t get any. Um, it was really hard. I was bartending at a place that I had been working at in college. And from there I just kept trying to meet people. I tried to apply for jobs in between, you know, my days off. Um, I traveled for a little while. I thought about leaving New York, I thought about volunteering, et cetera.
Speaker 1: (16:18)
And at one point, you know, I had my lease through the summer and I was up then about half to have to either renew my lease or find a new apartment and it was going to be very hard to justify, not to mention financially make sense if I didn’t have a job that I was going to do, you know? And then, and that’s what, um, and, and then that’s what would make sense for me to stay in New York. So it was getting to be crunch time and now is when I was starting to get a little bit more nervous and when I was starting to really wonder what was I going to do? And so I felt like I had failed at that point. I felt like I should have been a bit more proactive. I felt like maybe I should’ve had more internships in college. I didn’t have a good enough network.
Speaker 1: (16:58)
Maybe I should leave New York, you know, it can get ugly really quick. Like when one, you guys know how your head can go crazy when you have one little thing that doesn’t seem right about your life and all of a sudden it’s like every other decision you’ve ever made is contributing to the one thing that’s not going right right now. Like that’s what happened to me. And so what ended up happening is, well I kind of want to start with how did I deal with this? So, um, I tried to just take a lot of action. That is what I, you know, was, I was just trying to continue applying to jobs and that’s kind of my nature. I one of those people that if I feel like something’s not working or if I feel like I need to create some sort of income or I need to reach a goal, I will just go into action.
Speaker 1: (17:38)
And looking back, I think one of the things I did wrong during that time, and one of the things I think I’m better at now is realizing that if you are experiencing some sort of challenge or obstacle, you’re going to have a much easier time solving it. If you sort of set center your inner turmoil first and then do the sort of external action steps. If you are taking action from a place of stress, fear, um, you know, like being kind of maniac or frantic or something, then you might have some wins but it’s likely not going to last. And especially if you’re building a business, I really, really recommend not making decisions when you’re in a frantic or stress state because you don’t want to be building blocks or foundational parts of your business based on fear or based on, you know, frantic ness or something like that.
Speaker 1: (18:23)
So the same kind of applies when you’re looking for jobs, right? Like you don’t want to get a job out of desperation, out of fear, out of just complete mania or you know, craze states of mind. Uh, you probably won’t, like the job would probably won’t be that much fun. And I know you’re thinking Leah, Leah, like I have an income though that I need to have for either, whether you’re building a business or you’re getting a job, you have an income that you need to create. And I get that. However, your financial future is going to be much better off if you can take a step back and do a financial move that has your bigger picture in mind, that has you coming from a state of creativity that has you coming from a state of alignment that is not coming from you. Totally freaking out.
Speaker 1: (19:05)
Really think about that. It is in the best interest of your bank account to do your self, to calm yourself down first and do something out of alignment. Then to get a quick buck right away that’s not really helping you in the longterm. So I didn’t really handle this that well, but I do think that the eventual lesson I learned, cause you know, just like what happened with Nyu, everything always works out. Everything there, there is, there is opportunity everywhere that there’s an obstacle. So everywhere that you feel like there’s, um, a hump you can’t get over, there’s actually 17 different ways to get around it. You’re just looking at the one way that you can’t get over it. So that that was true with my Nyu situation and that was true here. So I thought that I didn’t have a job. I thought that I failed.
Speaker 1: (19:43)
I thought that I really messed up by not being more proactive, et cetera. Um, and the ending of the story is that I, uh, was on, I was with a very good friend of mine and I told them that I was a little bit stressed and I wanted to work at a law firm because I thought it was going to go to law school and I just told them that I felt like I kind of needed a break to clear my mind. So he and I went to Nantucket for the weekend and uh, we were with some of his family and uh, while we were there, we were walking around. And long story short, I met in Nantucket, a lawyer from New York City. We had a really great conversation. I sent in my resume. I came in and he interviewed me and spoiler alert, that was my law firm job that I had for years in New York.
Speaker 1: (20:27)
So, you know, you never know how things are going to work out. And sure enough, that was like one of the best jobs I could’ve had that taught me so much. I am very close with this man still. He’s coming to my wedding. So if I would’ve just like, let fear take me over and not said, you know what, I need to do a little bit of internal work right now. I need to leave New York. I need to step away and I to really cleanse my mind then I would, I probably would have left. I probably would have moved. I probably wouldn’t have made it because I would have given up because I only would have seen the obstacle. So this example is actually one where I don’t feel like I handled it very well. I mean, in the end it all worked out, but mentally I think I could’ve saved myself.
Speaker 1: (21:04)
I Dunno, years off my life if I wouldn’t have freaked out so much like that. Um, and if I wouldn’t have, you know, just not trusted myself like that. You know, this stuff really, I don’t get where we get this complete lack of self trust from, but I know that I would have been a lot happier. I would have enjoyed the time a lot more and I would have just been in more alignment if I would have trusted myself more. I think this is what really so much a failure it comes back to is, is, is trusting yourself. And that was a huge lesson in it. You know, when the going gets tough sometimes that’s when the most amazing things happen. Okay. Failure number three. I want to just catch up on your guys’ comments really quick. Thank you so much for tuning in. Yeah. Zayna it isn’t an amazing story. It really, it blows my mind when I really think about it and I just, it’s so, um,
Speaker 2: (21:49)
Speaker 1: (21:49)
it’s just so meant to be, it’s just such a reminder that that the universe is always conspiring in your favor, Catherine. That’s so true. I definitely felt like I was a little more desperate when I agreed to take my first and last job and yeah, right, exactly. So you don’t really want to make any decision based out of stress, fear, anxiety. I’m thinking that it’s going to be a bandaid on whatever you’re stressed out about. I know, I know it’s easier said than done and trust me, I have been guilty of doing that and I probably will again sometimes because we’re only human. This isn’t about getting mad at yourself or thinking that you’re cowardly, but it is about being aware of the things that have happened in your life and wondering, you know, what can I extract from that? How can I learn more from that?
Speaker 1: (22:27)
How can I be more trusting of myself and of others so that I don’t have to experience, this is grief. And you know, if I would have gone to, even if I would’ve gone to Nantucket in that place of just pure terror, so much stress, so much unknown, I probably would have been in, you know, like blinders and wouldn’t have been able to really see what was around me. Probably never would have talked to this person. I wouldn’t have been so open. And the next thing I knew I had a job. So it all comes back to your belief in yourself. Let’s go on to number three. Let me just take us it. Well, thank you so much. Yeah, this is, this is a little nerve wracking to talk about. I’m not going to lie. It’s not the easiest thing to come up here on social media and be like, here are the biggest ways I failed. So thank you guys for bearing with me. But I think it’s important to share because I didn’t, you know, get to where I am and I still fear, I still fail all the time. And so I really want to share how I’ve dealt with this in my own life.
Speaker 1: (23:24)
Okay. So the next failure that I had in my life and then I’m doing two businesses, one’s after that. So for those of you who are entrepreneurs and you’re like, let me like, let me hear how you can build failure in your business. We’re getting there, but right now I want to talk about one more real life failure. And this one’s like so exciting because you guys probably know the ending, but I scored about four points lower on the El Sat. Then I had when I was taking the tests, l sats. Now I know for points might sound like not a whole lot. I don’t know how much you guys know about the El Sat, but when you, first of all it’s out of 180 points. So when you get into the higher percentages, the points do matter a lot and when you’re looking at specific law schools, they’re pretty strict on who they won’t accept below a certain point or a certain score because they don’t want their averages to go down.
Speaker 1: (24:15)
So four points was kind of a big deal and the biggest disappointment, the biggest reason it felt like a failure was because I had been averaging a much higher percentile and a much higher point average for months leading up to the time taking meal sat. And I’ll never forget when I would, when I got the email, I was at dinner after a work one day. I didn’t know that I was going to get my all sat score that day and I checked my email and sure enough there it was and there were those points and I just like completely burst into tears in this restaurant. I felt like I had just worked so hard for months and months and months. I had applied to all these schools based on the average that I had been doing with my El sets practice tests. Um, you know, I was worried that I was too late to apply to other schools that were a little bit lower ranked that we’re more likely to take me.
Speaker 1: (25:04)
I didn’t know if I wanted to go to those schools. You know, I went into this like existential crisis in the middle of this time square restaurant because I wasn’t sure what to do with the four points that I didn’t have on my LSAT score. And I also just knew that I had done so much to, you know, I took like this big l sat class. My parents had given me a little bit of money to do that. They had believed in me, my all my recommenders had believed in me. I had really leveraged so much of my, my connections and my personal life to make, make this happen and I felt like I let a lot of people down. I know hearing this now you might think like, okay, lay people have better things to do than worry about your L’s at score and you’re right.
Speaker 1: (25:43)
But in the moment, I’m sure you can relate when you feel like you have, you know, really put so much into something and the those around you, whether financially or just emotionally or whatever the case may be, time wise, have invested in your success and when you feel like you don’t succeed, you feel like you don’t only let yourself down but that you let everyone else around you down. And that’s how I felt and I felt scared because I didn’t know what other law schools I should be applying to. I felt like it was too late. I didn’t know if I should do this again. You guys. I even looked into quitting my job, moving home to Colorado for a couple of months just to study for the Lsat on interrupted because it was so strenuous to study for it around a nine to five job. Like that’s how, where my mind went during this time.
Speaker 1: (26:25)
Now it’s kind of funny as I say this out loud, I’m like, oh, this is probably what made me such a good side hustler. Like I was so used to doing things around my nine to five job for like 20 or 30 hours a week. Um, but it was really still hard to do around my nine to five job. And the Elsa is something that you really sort of need to be on your a game to take. So even when I study after work, I, it wasn’t good, you know, it was always really hard. So I was getting up really early and on weekends and Blah, blah, blah. And it was right when I was meeting my then boyfriend, now fiance. So I was like, no, I want to see him. It was just like that. It just wasn’t working for me. So it was really painful to see that score and to see that I had not done as well as I had hoped and as well as I had thought and as well as the schools that I applied to were going to expect me to.
Speaker 1: (27:10)
And so what ended up happening at that point was I think I took about two days to wallow and I got really sad and I felt really down and confused and wondered what wasn’t clicking about this, you know, and something just feels off and that’s how this ended up feeling. It’s like I didn’t feel like I was unable to take the Lsat or that like something weird happened. It was like something was off or this wouldn’t feel so forced. This wouldn’t feel so confusing. I wouldn’t be going to all these really dark places. And I that, that exact gut voice is what ended up coming up. You know, months later when they declined my acceptances. But I really started to listen to that and really started to take note of that. And that’s when I started to Google what other people my age in their twenties that thought they wanted to go to graduate school and then ended up not, we’re doing.
Speaker 1: (28:02)
That’s when I started seeing an incredible lack of content out there for that type of advice at the time. I think now people do write about it a bit more, but I felt really alone and I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. Even in my day to day life, my boyfriend was a lawyer, so like he did it and he went to school. Um, my parents were supportive no matter what. But uh, our parents’ generation, for the most part, graduate school is a good thing in their eyes. And so, you know, I really didn’t know who to talk to. Everyone at my work ward were lawyers. Um, and that’s when I started getting the flicker of ideas for starting urban 20 something, a website for, for millennials that were confused about their, their path that they wanted in life and knew that they wanted something different, something more, but they weren’t sure what and they weren’t sure who to talk to you about it.
Speaker 1: (28:45)
And I like was the furthest from being sure what I was going to do or how I was going to get there at the time. You know, it’s so amazing how it’s all unfolded. But for those of you that have been on this journey with me since when I started, you have seen me go from completely confused on this quest to find what was fulfilling in life, a career that was suited for me in life. What, what ended up clicking for me? Um, you know, should I or should I not go to graduate school to now I have the most fulfilling career I could have ever dreamed of. I can’t believe the work I get up. Get up, I get to do everyday when I wake up. Um, and you know, it’s much more financially stable than if I would have gone to law school and had all this debt and it’s just amazing how it’ll only an old lien couple of years I’ve been able to find that.
Speaker 1: (29:29)
But I digress. The point is that obviously the [inaudible] not working out for me was a blessing in disguise because I didn’t even end up going to law school. So it wasn’t actually even a blessing because it didn’t actually even matter. Um, I didn’t get into one of the schools that I had really wanted to, probably because my score was a bit lower, but I did get into a two good schools. I’m still even with my relatively lower score. So I guess this example, you know, in the end it truly didn’t matter because I didn’t end up going to law school, but I really felt the, the, the feeling like I let everyone down from this experience probably more than anything else. This is when I felt like I let everyone in my life down, including myself. And this also was the first failure that really made me see.
Speaker 1: (30:13)
Um, but it was hard to accept that the reason I was failing was because I was self sabotaging myself subconsciously. So maybe you’ve had a failure like that or maybe you’re sort of feeling like that right now, but it’s a powerful thing to experience when you sort of can, you know, come to terms with the fact that like I really did start realizing that I think I did poorly on that test because my subconscious mind was not cooperating. It did not want me to do this. I did not want to go to law school. And that’s a really hard thing to wrap your head around at first because it makes you feel like you should have known better. It also makes you feel not and made me feel not that strong because it made me feel like I should be able to do anything if I work hard enough.
Speaker 1: (30:51)
Um, and I shouldn’t be, you know, self sabotaging myself in that way. But it actually, there’s nothing strong about going against your own intuition. I think that listening to your intuition is the strongest and most briefing you can do. I just didn’t know it at the time. Um, so this failure has helped me really think every time. Now I fail. Did I fail because I didn’t know how to do something right or did I fail because I don’t actually want to do this. And I think that this is an important distinction that you make, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, but really anytime you fail, really reflect and think, you know, what, what did I learn that I could do better on next time from this? Or do I actually not want to do this again? Because that information can be just as much, if not valuable, then learning what you quote did wrong.
Speaker 1: (31:33)
Uh, and I think a lot of the times our failures are coming from either like society or yourself more often than not. Like your subconscious telling you that you don’t actually want to do this or this isn’t really right for you. Maybe you should have someone else do it, et cetera. Um, but other times failure can be like, well, what did I do? What could I do better? And that’s what we’re going to talk about here. But, so that’s what I want you guys to take away from this is asking yourself when you fail, did I do this because I leaned to learn something different or did I do this because I don’t actually want to do this? All right, let’s get into my business failures. I’m going to take a sip of water. It’s kind of a long one. You guys are troopers. Thanks for sticking with me.
Speaker 1: (32:11)
Okay. Then first big business failure I could think of was when I released my first ecourse. So this was, I mean years ago I released any course that I had worked really long and hard on. I had hired a, um, blogging coach for about a month to help me prepare it to help me lay out the, you know, uh, material itself and programs, et Cetera. And so I was really excited about it and I had a Wii. I had a pretty big email list at the time. Like, what this, what this coach had told me was big enough. So I thought that this was a good course. I’d put a lot into it. I did a lot too to make it happen. And I did just looking back now, like a pretty basic launch, you know, now I do much more sophisticated, complex things when I put something else out there.
Speaker 1: (33:01)
But back then I just send a couple emails. I think I did a couple of webinars that week and I wanted to sell, I don’t remember how many, but the failure came when it was, let’s see, I think I put it on sale either a Monday or Tuesday of that week and then the doors close Friday night. And by the time I got to Thursday I hadn’t sold anything and I had gotten lots of unsubscribes on my email list and back then I was really attached to unsubscribes. I was also really attached to my email list. So I completely felt like a failure. I felt like not only did I not sell anything, but I’m also repelling people that have been following me for a long time. Now they’re leaving me. Uh, you know, all of this work was for not, I put, I put all this behind the scenes work out there for no one to even buy it and for me to even actually undo some of the things I had worked really hard for him.
Speaker 1: (33:51)
I remember coming home from my job because at the time I was still at my nine to five job that Thursday and my then boyfriend was here at our apartment and I just like laid on the floor and cried and I just was on the carpet crying and I just thought, and I remember crying to him thinking like, I just don’t have what it takes. I’m just not one of those people. Have you ever felt like that? Like have you ever looked at people online or entrepreneurs you look up to or maybe you feel like you’re an athlete or some sort of person at your job that you look up to and you’ve seen their accomplishments and then you try and it doesn’t work for you and you think, I’m just not, then I just don’t have what it takes and just not as good as them.
Speaker 1: (34:28)
That’s how I felt. And I remember bawling in saying like, it’s just not right for me. Like I just don’t think I can do it. I want to do it so bad. You know, I want this to work so bad, but it’s just not. And I remember, um, Adam telling me, you know, do you really think that, do you really think these people are any better than are smarter than or, or you know, bigger than you or whatever. Or like whatever lies you’re telling yourself. And I was, I remember in the moment kind of being, feeling like, I don’t really think that, but look at that, look at the results, look at what I don’t have that other people have created. I did everything right. Like I hired someone, I followed the steps, I got my email is set up. I did this really great content, you know, and it still didn’t work.
Speaker 1: (35:10)
I must, it must just be me, you know, because these sort of recipes that they were giving me was still right. And so I don’t think in my core, I thought that it wasn’t right for me. But I think that in, um, but I think I was looking too much at their results to determine like my own self worth. So I remember the next morning, that Friday I listened to a podcast episode that was quite old. I don’t remember whose podcast it was. If I can think of it, I’ll put it in the show notes or below this video. But the podcast talked about the importance of 11 11th hour miracles and 11th hour miracles are sort of just like the sound when the going gets tough, when things aren’t working. When you quote failed, when things didn’t work the way you wanted, 90% of very smart people will, will take the brakes off.
Speaker 1: (36:06)
They’ll say, this didn’t work. I’m going to stop spending money on Facebook ads. I’m going to stop spending my energy emailing more. I’m going to, um, you know, just be okay with it. But just kind of like go back to the drawing board, see what didn’t quite click, um, assess everything that I did right and wrong. And um, we’ll, we’ll try again next time. But this podcasts episodes, so episode said, that’s what good entrepreneurs do. But great entrepreneurs know that when things aren’t going right is when you need to believe more than ever, that they’re, that they’re happening for you. That’s when you need to spend more on Facebook ads. That’s when you need to send extra emails. That’s when you throw in an extra webinar. That’s when you opened the car for another 12 hours. That’s when you believe in your soul. You still can’t just like do these actions, you know, with no organization or no, no rhyme or reason or no, uh, intention.
Speaker 1: (36:59)
But you need to get yourself to the place where you know completely and wholeheartedly that this is still gonna happen for you. And I remember listening to that on the way to work that Friday morning and being like, you know what, I’m, I like challenge accepted. I’m going to do that. I am going to believe and I’m going to believe and I’m going to believe some more. And I really, you know, it took me a couple hours. I didn’t take action during that time, but I just really got to the place where I think what I did that was really helpful as I wrote down all the reasons why this was still going to work. So I started really looking at all the emails I had sent. I started looking at the webinars I had done, the people that I had reached out to, the people that were reading my emails.
Speaker 1: (37:37)
The reason like how I had been blogging for like a year before that, you know, all the things I had done, all the reasons why this was supposed to work. And once I got to that place, once I really, really bought it, once I believed in myself that this was the case, um, I started taking a bit more action and sure enough, I made all the sales that I had, you know, or that I made from that whole launch within the last like 12 hours. Now I don’t think I hit my goal. I don’t think I’m sold as many as I wanted to, but that’s not the point. And even nowadays, I, I always set my goal, you know, much higher than I probably will because I would just rather retire. Um, so yeah, that is not the point here. The point is that I, because I gave, I didn’t give up because I decided that instead of accepting this as a failure, I was going to treat it as an 11th hour miracle.
Speaker 1: (38:26)
I was able to pull through and I have thought about that every time. Still those day on my entrepreneurial journey, when I do something, I remember that the end, that’s when the goods quit and they go analyze and that’s when the greats turn turn to like the higher powers or what have you. They’re themselves, you know what’s inside them, when, when it’s sort of like all hands on deck, that’s when really magical things can happen. And I’ve seen it happen over and over again and I wanted to share that with you because I hope that you can take the same learning away in your business as well. Okay. We have one more. I’m going to take a sip of water. I’d love to know how you guys doing. Those of you that are still live with me, does this resonate with you? Does any of this, has any of this happened to you? What is a big takeaway you’ve gotten from any of these so far?
Speaker 2: (39:14)
Speaker 1: (39:16)
All right. Feel free to update me, but I’m just going to keep moving. And by the way, if you guys ever have any questions on these lives, I’d love to hear from you if we have time. This is kind of a long one, but if you do have questions, let me know and I’m happy to answer. So the final business failure I did was that I, let’s see, I don’t exactly remember when it was, but it was relatively or, oh, I’m, yeah, I love that 11th hour miracle story too. That’s like one of my biggest business lessons. And so the last failure, also a business failure, and it was a launch after that first launch. Mind you, so not everything is a complete uphill, right? So it was a launch after that first launch when I actually did sell nothing, not one thing sold. Now, this was very early on for me, you know, so it was after the first, it might’ve been my second one.
Speaker 1: (40:05)
I don’t exactly remember, but, and it wasn’t like, it wasn’t a huge launch, you know, I’m not sure. Like it wasn’t a, like I had put all my eggs in this basket basket kind of thing, but there is still there. It’s the only time this is still ever happened to me where I put something out there. I had the timeline, I did it right, I did all the emails, Blah Blah Blah. And it didn’t sell at all. Not once or, yeah, not one of them sold. And so that was really hard. That was straight up a failure. Like I spent all this time on something, I launched it the way I was supposed to and nothing, nothing sold. And so at this point, you know, I didn’t go into like the dark depths of the soul that I had during that first time because I was like, well, you know what? I have done it. I, I know I can do it. Just something must be mismatched on this one. Maybe this isn’t like,
Speaker 1: (40:49)
it’s just not resonating with people and maybe I need to do more market research. Maybe like who, there’s a whole number of things. That’s a thing that I want all of you to remember when you’re launching something. It’s like, it’s very, very hard to like, don’t get mad at yourself because there’s can be so many different reasons why things don’t work out the way you want them to because there’s so many different factors that go into launching something. You don’t know what your audience is doing the time of year, it could be different. The price could be wrong. Someone else could be doing something similar. You could have done all these typos that like, who knows? You know? And so yes, it is good to go analyze, but just not beating yourself up for something that is, could take you forever to detangle and not always be, be worth it.
Speaker 1: (41:25)
So anyway, all this is to say that at this one time I launched something and it didn’t sell at all and I lost you a little bit differently than the first. I sort of like, okay, well maybe that’s why it didn’t sell us because, you know, I didn’t do it exactly the right same way. Um, but the takeaway that I finally learned from that, I remember I cried. I cried. Like I’m the first to admit it’s not fun when you feel like you fail. And I remember crying to Adam then just saying like, um, you know, this really sucks. I feel like I, I did something well and right. And I really tried and, you know, maybe I don’t, I don’t know what to do. And he’s like, all right, well what, what do you want to happen? And I remember that’s when I started getting serious about thinking like, okay, you know what?
Speaker 1: (42:03)
This isn’t just my side hustle. This isn’t something I want to just be for fun. If this was just for fun, I wouldn’t care this much. Um, you know, this isn’t something that I would be so attached to. And that’s when I started to get my wheels turning about really turning this into a business, maybe making it my full time thing. Um, this was, you know, pretty early on. I hadn’t like decided I was going to leave my nine to five job yet when I had, by the time I had decided I was leaving my nine to five job, I had kind of gotten sales. I was better at sales. I, I wasn’t going through situations where I had, you know, no sales anymore. Um, but it, that conversation with him and my own reflection on how upset I was, uh, made me realize that I was taking this seriously and this wasn’t something for fun for me.
Speaker 1: (42:43)
And guess what that made me do? It made me start hiring more people. It made me start investing in my own knowledge and it made me realize that why shouldn’t I be learning from people that know how to do this? And once I started, I think the first thing that I started hiring someone for was like a lead generation, Facebook ads and marketing mastermind. I joined and from there things took off so quickly for me. From there, my email list started growing really quickly. I started learning Facebook ads. I started hiring other people to mentor me. I started adding different components of my business. I started launching different things and very quickly from there it’s, it’s snowballed. And I’m honestly still in the moment and from that time period, um, but it was really that sort of rock bottom. I literally sold nothing that made me realize I didn’t know how to do this all.
Speaker 1: (43:30)
I can’t do it alone. I need to learn from someone who has done what I want to do. And now I, you know, have been able to take so much of what I’ve learned from so many different people because I’ve had different priorities at every time along this journey. And I’m able to teach other people the things I did right so that you don’t have to go through all that trial and error. I did. And you don’t have to go through those launches where you know, you, you’ve tried to sell something. By the way, the thing I was trying to sell was not much money. It was like $200 or something. Um, this was not in the days that I did, you know, programs, coaching, et Cetera. That stuff’s kind of a different beast. Um, so I was like, not about money, I just had done it wrong.
Speaker 1: (44:09)
And so you don’t need to make my mistakes, don’t do this alone. Uh, you know, know that there are people out there that want to help you, that can help you. And most importantly, the biggest takeaway I hope you guys get from this episode and from all of the failures I’ve shared with you today are that they are never ever enough to define your success, your worthiness, and your potential to succeed. Um, I mean, I look at this list that I’ve prepared and I don’t want to sound braggy that that’s not the point of this. Obviously just shared all my failures with you guys, which was a bit hard, but I look at every single one and I am, I know that my life has turned out better because of it. I didn’t get into Nyu. That was hard, but I still ended up going there.
Speaker 1: (44:50)
So that wasn’t really a net failure. I didn’t get a job out of college, but then I did end up getting a job at a law firm and thank God because that made me realize I didn’t want to go to law school. I got four points lower on the all set. Again. Thank God cause I didn’t end up going to law school, which was like the best decision I’ve ever made. Um, I didn’t sell anything on my phone or I uh, yeah I didn’t sell anything until the end of my launched during my first program launch. A huge lesson in the 11th hour miracles and the importance of really having faith in yourself till the very end and always and knowing that action will not work unless you are in belief and in alignment first. And then the final thing, um, made me realize that I wanted to take my business more seriously.
Speaker 1: (45:31)
I wanted to get help. I wanted to learn from the best because I wanted to be the best I was done with, you know, having um, like, cause at that point I would take like Udemy courses, you to me however you pronounce it, you know, so I like would invest in myself, but I would like wait till all these courses would go on sale for $10 and then buy it for $10 and then try to go through it. And it didn’t really help that much. Like that was my idea of investing in myself and I, I really had to step back at that point and be like, you know what? I don’t want just a blog or a business. I want to have a professional, very elite like business. Because I knew that I had, I had what it took. I knew that this could be my job.
Speaker 1: (46:09)
I knew that I could really help people if I stopped playing small with myself. And you know, that’s not what I’ve created. And so that was a huge lesson too. If you want to make elite money, you need to have an elite business and you need to learn from the best. So all of these were huge lessons. All of these were huge blessings. Failure’s not fun, but it is never the end. It is usually a comma onto a much better ending of your sentence, of your story. And remember, wherever ever always you see an obstacle, there are 15 different opportunities to get around it. They’re probably more fun to have fun with this. Let’s all remember that this is about enjoying our lives, enjoying our businesses, enjoying whatever it is we’re creating and tried to just be as light hearted with it as you can and know that I’m here for you. If you guys are going through anything tough, I hope that you guys liked this episode and, and do you have any feedback or if there’s any other things that you’d like to hear on the your biggest vision show, I’d love to hear from you. You can comment below or you can always email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
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