I failed 15+ times in business and life (yet no reason to be depressed)
All fuck-ups and failures in my life. Not to depress you but to encourage those who bought into the belief that failing is shameful and to be avoided. I once did, too. Here’s the (long) list after 34 years of life experience:
- No sports career (esp. soccer). I had talent though.
- No singing career. A children’s dream of mine inspired by watching Dutch Marijke Amado’s „Mini Playback Show“.
- Failed in media design. I never got accepted for a media design apprenticeship which is why instead I was trained as a salesman (finished best in class) and studied Int’l Media & Computing after. Gave me some satisfaction!
- Failed 4x in serious relationships with a German, Polish, Kazakh and Colombian (longest lasted 2,5 years).
- Several friendships.
- Project listing photography events in Berlin. (lasted 3,5 years)
- Cooperation with Berlin-based design agency. (lasted 3 years)
- Startup with ex-girlfriend (lasted 3 years)
- App both for Android and web (1,5 years) that even had to pay back 50 % although I had the UI design done
- Two online shops (client work) never went online despite months of work
- Collaboration with storytelling agency ended in the agency going down due to agency-internal communication issues. I revealed the issues, didn’t cause them. Ironically, it was my last and probably best job as a designer in those 8 years designing.
- Bought several courses worth $ 5,000+ and never applied the knowledge. A reminder to learn by doing and learn to learn by figuring it out yourself in the first place.
- Daily motivational series on Instagram (lasted 6 months) though I enjoyed doing it, only at some point I didn’t how to leverage everything I said there.
- Thought I would want to get into copywriting as a client service but lost interest (paid $ 1,000+ for courses)
- Thought my path is client work working in a physical space but actually it’s building products while traveling slowly, meeting people (especially locals) and sharing what I know.
- I never fully accepted failure #1 which made think how I could apply my sportsman attitude to other areas of life. Not that easy. And it often meant that I became impatient doing small tedious tasks that made me lose interest in the project - especially sitting in front of the computer when I felt I wanted to move my body. The problem was: I neglected that uncomfortable tasks while building are necessary to ship something shiny eventually. So, my solution to this problem is usually to take a walk (30–60 minutes) or doing sports.
- Didn’t use my potencial because I didn’t how to apply or direct it well
- Didn’t use energy because I didn’t how to apply or direct it well
- Do overthink and overanalyze (being too theoretic), as a consequence I procrastinate, don’t get done what I wanted and disappoint myself - which is the worst when I’m my worst judge. I was afraid to either lose my time or fail without receiving recognition (praise) for my doing - see the introductory paragraph above.
- Am super lazy when I don’t know exactly what to do or am confused about what to do (analysis paralysis).
- Lack of focus and concentration. Contrastring that, see here a phase when I had focus.
Having written down all the things I failed at I’m feeling better. I know it’s personal but I hope you can get something out of it.
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