“Failure is relative to expectations. It doesn’t really exist if you don’t let it. Therein lies happiness. I’ve lived through so much in 15 years of startups, businesses, entrepreneur ups, downs, wins, losses — If I ever feared failure or even allowed it to enter my mind, I’d have gone and gotten a job long ago.”
In my time becoming acquainted with the tech community and during my work with The Next Web, I’ve dined, drank, met, and “kicked the shit” with several entrepreneurs who, as I mention in the journal entry above, are people who I’ve grown to both respect and admire for their successes in combination with their very human failures.
To echo the ideas of my previous blog post, I tend to respect those who have a certain ambitious quality about them; a free-thinking, off-color and unabashed ability to shamelessly go after what they want while seeming completely oblivious to failure. This unconcerned mindset should not be confused with ignorance, of course, because in order to reach this level of oblivion, one must first overcome again and again this demon called “fear”.
Being someone who has obviously had to overcome fear and failure on several occasions — my decade-long history in blogging providing several examples of this, I’m sure — I’ve developed my own line of thinking when it comes to the subject. On my Facebook profile, for example, you will find the following quote:
“The people who we perceive to be the happiest are those who go about their lives as if unfazed by failure, and who strive with an astonishing regularity towards improving themselves while in the presence of negativity. Not to mention the fact that not only do they appear to be getting better at whatever it is they are doing, but they also seem to stop and help others along the way.”
*This quote is something I drummed up through my own rambling ages ago, then tucked away in the digital space for reminiscing at a later date. Like right now, obviously. And yes, while I’m sure it’s quite vain to sit around quoting myself when I’m suddenly struck with genius, I argue: what is writing if not the constant quoting of oneself?
Reuben, who I only happen to know through a chance meeting with his Co-Founder, Christian Sanz (we shared hot tater tots and Chardonnay at Town Hall Restaurant while discussing the future of Geeklist), saw my quote when I tweeted it out earlier today, and responded in kind. And as most of you probably realize by now, I am obsessed with constantly quoting and analyzing the objectively amazing things that other people say, and desperately felt the need to write down Reuben’s words of wisdom.
Again, just the — and I’m quoting the reviews of my readers here when I say this — “prolific writer” in me acting out.
Now, the reason I am sharing Reuben’s quote with you is to add weight to the same philosophy that I am constantly preaching here on my blog while also hoping to drive it home a bit deeper. That is, you hold the reigns to your life, and you are in complete control of your future. The decisions you make on a day to day basis are what will determine your path as you age, grow in success, or “fail” (if there is such a thing as failure, really). This is the same for the every day man, for the would-be entrepreneur, and even the CEO.
“Power is not something that is had and given—it is something that is negotiated through everyday actions. [Be] strong and conscious of your own agency and your ability to negotiate power.”
XOXO Cheri XOXO