“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston S. Churchill
When I think of fall, I think of one of the most beautiful aspects of life – failing.
Hear me out. I promise this isn’t going to be a Debbie Downer type of post lol.
Fall, which began on September 22 and will end on December 21, is a season of transition as we move from the heat of summer to the cold of winter. It represents the period of time during the year when the color of leaves and trees evolves and for many regions around the world, harvest begins.
Transition. Evolution. Harvesting. Preparing for colder, sometimes challenging times ahead.
It truly feels like a season that was created especially for entrepreneurs.
When it comes to the idea of failure, we as a society have turned it into this supposedly elusive thing that only happens when we need to learn a lesson; a rare occurrence that’s often viewed negatively as some sort of punishment for something we did wrong.
But to fail at something is the greatest gift that we could ever receive from the universe. Why? Well, because it’s the ultimate sign that we’re fully participating in life and that we haven’t given up; that we’re still “in the game” and that we still believe… in something bigger than ourselves.
“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” Lance Armstrong
I have followed Sophia Amoruso for many years.
Her meteoric #Girlboss ascension served as a constant source of fuel for my own entrepreneurial aspirations. When she made the cover of Forbes, I was elated for her in the way that I would be for my own sister. But at the same time, I worried for her too. We live in a culture that celebrates success only to quickly dismiss and tear it down.
But despite the big successes, naturally there were mistakes. And eventually losses. With an over reliance on advertising and marketing, baller spending and not enough focus on long term culture building (IMO), Nasty Gal’s once bright, shining light began to dimmer in 2014. And in 2017, the company announced a $20 million dollar sale to a U.K. competitor, Boohoo.
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Paulo Coelho
The same magazines that celebrated Amoruso’s millennial, kicka** brilliance were quick to condemn her for fulfilling the entrepreneur’s ultimate prophecy and life cycle – transition. evolution. failure. rebirth. growth.
Nasty Gal lives on but in name only. Amoruso. however, continues her fascinating journey of transition and evolution with the announcement of her departure as CEO of the #GirlBoss movement she founded and the debut of Business Class, an eight-week course for female entrepreneurs boot-strapping their visions. Business Class in a sense is a masterclass built on the ups and downs, highs and lows and successes and failures (there’s that word again) that have served as the backdrop for Sophia’s business and life.
Rebirth….Growth. Seasons change. The cycle continues.
Sure. There are a list of things that Nasty Gal could’ve done differently, better. There will always be a plethora of experts and blogs imparting “after the fact” type of wisdom that can only come from people on the sidelines and not actually playing the game, taking the chances needed for real innovation.
It’s easy to say what you would have done once someone has already built the stage for you.
Sophia started Nasty Gal when she was 22 years old. Twenty. Two.
Sophia’s story will continue to evolve. I’ve booked my seat for this flight and looking forward to seeing what comes next from her.
I congratulate her and every other person willing to go after something, to take a chance at creating a life on their own terms. This sh$t is hard, but once you’ve gotten a taste of this beautiful insanity, you know that failure is just a part of the journey and as painful and embarrassing as they can be, you welcome them.
“I’m not sure what’s next for me, but what I am sure of is that I’ll always be a champion for Girlboss. I’ll always be ‘the’ Girlboss. And I’ll keep harvesting my learnings for all of you as much as I can, wherever I can.” – Sophia Amoruso