Why I Embrace Failure (But Don’t Accept it)

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*This post first appeared on Medium.

I can not count the number of failures I have had in my life. Some have come in the natural evolution of life while some have been earned. But all have been worth it.

I quit playing baseball when I was just a youngster. I couldn’t have been older than 11 or 12 and I had a coach who ruined the game for me. He took the fun away. I know his intentions were good, but it did not work. But from that moment forward, everything I have done in life has been all about chasing goals while having fun.

My First Digital Agency

When I joined Vaynermedia in the spring of 2011, I had no idea what I was getting into. As employee №16, none of us had a clue. I must say, it was an absolute blast.

I sat next to AJ and Zhang, got to know Joe really well, and enjoyed Marcus’ passion for sriracha. We were a family. But we were all navigating this weird, new space and changing strategies as we went.

Most of the team were young and Vayner was their first job. I had five years in communications and marketing under my belt and was aiming for larger things.

That attitude and approach was the beginning of the end of for me at Vayner. I was impatient with my own career path and my work suffered as a result. I’m not proud of that.

And a year after I started, I was let go. In a way, it was mutual. I needed a reset and they needed someone who was committed.

A few weeks later, I met up with both AJ and Gary (separately) to talk over what happened and what was next for me personally and professionally. They didn’t have to do that, but those meetings taught me kindness and humility in business. I still count them both as friends and long-distance mentors.

I was young and dumb. With each experience I’ve had since then, I have remained focused on learning and finding ways to grow each and every day. In a message about a year ago to Gary I told him I was sorry for how it ended but that I was thankful for our paths crossing. Perspective.

A Massive Breakup

About the same time I was recovering from my exit at Vayner, I ended a five year relationship. Relationships are a challenge in the best of times but we had never had an easy go of it.

For the majority of the relationship we were long-distance and maybe that was our largest obstacle, but our personalities also created friction that never seemed to soften.

We fought (not physically) a lot. My husband will tell you he witnessed one of those fights. He (the ex) and I just had the ability to push each other’s buttons and not in a good way.

In ending that relationship, I went down a rabbit-hole of emotions and soul-searching. There were dark nights and even darker days. I tried to go see a therapist.

Through the months the followed, I learned a lot about myself. I learned strength. I learned freedom. And I learned how to love myself without having to prove anything. Perspective.

A Content-Driven Media Company

Sometime in 2017, I started to talk about an idea that I’d been thinking about for a long time: a media content company. I continued to do research and found that there was a lack of high-quality content for Gen Z, Millennials, and young parents about life, dating, finances, and health.

There is One37pm.com, mom blogs, Buzzfeed, GQ, Martha Stewart Living, and many more.

Our mission was clear: An Empowered Generation.

And our vision clearer: Tell stories to empower the Millennial Generation in life.

We launched in January 2018 and less than 12 months later, we were winding down. We struggled to gain writers, advertisers, and ultimately, a returning audience.

Through it all, I still believe our mission and vision were spot on. Maybe our website was bad. Maybe our timing was off.

Either way, I’m ridiculously proud we launched this project and for what we learned and experienced along the way. Perspective.

Even with all of these failures, I’ve learned along the way. And I’m not afraid to fail again.

Most recently, I worked with my husband on launching his t-shirt lifestyle brand, Bruck & Co. It’s been a dream of our for years and despite COVID-19, we decided it was time to launch.

Life is all about living; mistakes and all. And if it’s all the same, I’ll keep making mistakes and living the best life possible.

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