I never told this story before but I think it is an important one: behind my extreme (apparent) confidence, I failed big time -more than once.
Two years ago with a friend, we partnered up to create a company called “Keadz”. The aim: create a platform that sells online courses to help parents to teach the important things of life to their kids (around fun family activities).
It was a great idea on paper and we went for it…FULL BLAST FOR A YEAR.
One thing led to another and we realized we had made all the mistakes in the book when you have a startup. We didn’t explore our concept and launched marketing fast, we hired before we validated our business model hypothesis, and so on. We also understood that we were in a position that we didn’t like and when it was time to invest most of the money, we stopped.
And so we miserably failed. Wait, did we really?
After we stopped, I was on my own, facing my negative thoughts: disappointment, shame, frustration… and overall tiredness. But a nice little voice in my mind told me: “you didn’t do this for nothing, you’ve learned so much”. I was just not in this mood to listen to that.
Because here is the thing: we hear a lot that it is important to fail because it is the best way to learn, but the truth is, you feel really horrible when you do.
You are the opposite of an improvement mindset. You want to stop it all.
So for 2-3 weeks, I took a break. I told my team I needed some vacation and that I trusted them to run BUTZI while taking some time off from Keadz (because they also worked for nothing).
As I got back and took the time to digest this. I was ready to listen to this little voice again.
In my Keynotes & workshops, I talk about being in an improving mindset. I do say that we never fail, we always learn. And integrity being one of my top values, I couldn’t just stop there and let myself get depressed.
So I took an A3 paper and without any specific goals, I wrote everything I had learned in one year.
From hard to soft skills, business skills, management and leadership first-hand experience, entrepreneurship, self-motivation, and introspection, to talking more effectively to an administration… I filled up that paper. This was the business education I was lacking. I still have so much to learn but I dived deep into a world, 10 hours a day, 6 days a week for a year.
Now I have perspective. Doing this showed me it was a FACT that I didn’t fail but learned.
Today (one year after our little fiasco), I am happy to tell you that I had put it all to use for my new company Windshift, a corporate hybrid training company.
The idea was this: after a keynote or training, we usually forget a lot (check out the original forgetting curve study) so I wanted to create a company that would find a solution to this flash in the pan effect.
So, in the end, it isn’t entirely true, I didn’t fail miserably. I actually didn’t fail to my eyes. I’ve learned. The hard way: through a fast-paced, condensed, emotional rollercoaster. But I’ve learned.
So what now? Well, first of all, you can check out my new company Windshift, there could be amazing synergies … but more importantly, start something. Do you have an idea, a project? Anything, start. Because that is how we learn. You are going to ask yourself questions, fail and try again, learning so much in the meanwhile.
And if you need more inspiration, check out the other articles in this blog!