Introducing: The F-Word
The English language is chock full of unspoken, taboo words. These words have a way of making people feel uncomfortable. For some, they can evoke feelings of disgust, rebellion, or even deep-seated rage. But in our modern culture, a handful of words get swept under the rug for very different reasons. One such word? Failure.
FAILURE IS A DIRTY, DIRTY WORD.
Or rather, society would have us believe it is. Failure gains its power by flying under the radar and hiding in the shadows. It’s a vicious cycle, as not speaking of failure (or my personal favorite technique of rebranding failures to be something softer, like “pivots”) simply lends the word more power as something worthy of a shame-induced spiral. This makes it harder to get back up and dust yourself off from what’s ultimately a temporary setback. It can force you to deny that the failure even occurred in the first place, robbing you of your most valuable learning opportunities. Failures isolate you. Indeed, many are so afraid of failing that they never really try at all.
Playing it safe is no way to live. In the life of the entrepreneur, taking risks and exposing yourself to the possibility of failure is simply a necessity of the job description. Being self-employed puts you in a constant state of vulnerability. It forces you to fight for what you want. It forces you to take the leap, even if you don’t know where you’ll land.
My name’s Mara and I fail. A lot.
Let me take a quick step back and introduce myself for real. I’m a born and raised Northern California ambivert who’s been struggling her way through grey winters and loving her way through gorgeous summers up here in Vancouver for over four years now. Lucy and I met when were both freelancing for the same rad agency (shoutout to Flipside Creative!) two years ago. We’ve grown a strong bond through our love of hashing out life’s messy topics, thinking creatively, and eating lots of delicious food along the way.
These days, I spend my time crafting up creative copy and content strategy at the tech startup ShareDesk, where I’m the Content and Community Manager. I came to this company through freelance, as a regular client of mine quickly yet organically evolved into a full-time job. I love seeing the parallels between Daphne and Lucy’s agency work and my own experience with managing a specific pillar of the business at a scrappy startup. Both paths take a whole lot of grit, passion, and courage to ask for what you want, put your foot down, and fuse your vision with the desires and needs of your colleagues or clients.
Lucy and I had been thinking about a way we could collaborate on a side project, which led us towards crafting an interview series for the Salt Blog. After a slew of brainstorming sessions, trying to decide on the perfect topic, ultimately one topic won out--we’ll be talking about all things failure.
So in the coming weeks, stay tuned as we bring you interviews with solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, freelancers and the like as they speak with me about the sometimes harsh, yet always rewarding realities of failure.
WE'LL BE DIVING INTO SOME JUICY TOPICS, SUCH AS:
- How do you define failure?
- How does being deep in the throes of failure feel to you on a physical and emotional level?
- How did your parents teach you about failure as you were growing up?
- How do you cultivate resiliency so you can bounce back from your failures, ready to take a new risk?
We can’t wait to share these interviews with you. It’s amazing where you can get with such a messy, complex topic when you speak with individuals who offer their full, whole-hearted selves and speak candidly about a topic that many shy away from.
Stick with us. Join us as we work to break down the stigma associated with the word ‘failure’ through hashing it out with some vulnerable, courageous individuals.. It’s about to get raw, wonderful, and real beautiful. Welcome to The Other ‘F’ Word.