“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
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I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life. Have you?
I’m not saying this because I am proud of my mistakes. I’m not, but I will tell you what I am proud of.
I’m proud of taking chances. I’m proud of bouncing back from failures. I’m proud of continuing to experiment despite the setbacks. I’m proud that I can say I tried.
If you’ve been paying attention to all the talking heads in the startup and business world, you might believe failure is a good thing. I can tell you this much: failure sucks. Failure does not make you better at business. Failure does not pay the bills. Failure is demoralizing. Even so, the truth is failure is inevitable.
If you want to achieve something great, you will also face failure. It’s not because you are dumb. It’s not because you don’t deserve it. It’s not because you aren’t special.
It’s because you don’t know what you are doing. None of us do when we begin our journeys.
It also doesn’t matter how much you follow an expert’s suggestions. You will still encounter failure. You will make mistakes. You will find obstacles all along the way.
The good news is, you will learn from your mistakes. You will learn what to do and what not to do. You will make tweaks to your process. You will adapt and change until you discover what works for you.
That is why we must embrace experimentation. We must embrace taking action despite the fact that we will run over speed bumps along the way. We must be willing to embrace the unknown.
If we don’t, we will never achieve anything. If you want to go through life without any blemishes on your record, you might as well give up now because the only people who don’t make mistakes are those who don’t do anything.
Photo by Pach Brothers
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We’re willing to fall because we’ve learned how to rise. – @BreneBrown (Brené Brown)
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Do you let the fear of failure prevent you from succeeding? Are you unwilling to take risks because you are afraid of the results? Do you stand by while it feels like everyone around you is doing so well?
If you said yes to any of the questions above, you are not alone. We all have these thoughts. We are all afraid of failure. We are all scared of taking risks. We all feel inadequate when we compare ourselves to others. These are all normal feelings.
So how do you find success while these thoughts plague your mind? The answer is simple, but not easy. You have to go on despite your fears. You have to take risks knowing you might fail. You have to stop comparing yourself to others.
Success is a funny thing. In school, there is only one right answer. We make sure kids know when they’ve gotten an answer wrong. Red ink is abundant. We make students feel like a failure if they get anything below a B. It’s no wonder we’re all afraid of failing.
In the world after college, everything changes. People no longer expect us to find the one right answer. We are expected to experiment and figure things out for ourselves. We have to re-calibrate the way we approach problem solving.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned while trying to build my website and audience, it’s that there is no right answer. If your ideas succeed more than 50% of the time, you are doing an incredible job. That same score would flunk you out of school.
One of the most important lessons you can learn is that failure is not the end of the world. Failure teaches us lessons that success never could: It teaches us how to be resilient. It teaches us how to learn from our mistakes. It teaches us how to experiment and test things out for ourselves. It teaches us how to make it in the world as creators.
As artists and creatives, we must be willing to fall. It’s going to happen. A lot. So get used to it. The most important thing is that you learn how to rise too. You shouldn’t strive for failure, but it comes with the territory. The only way you will learn that lesson is if you are willing to try.
Photo by Unsplash
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Something a little bit different this week. Instead of a one way interview, I had a conversation with Ryan Hildebrandt of The Maker’s Journey podcast. In it we talked about starting our podcasts, why you should provide value, writing a book, building a TEDx event from scratch, and much more.
Dr. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan were both on extremely successful career paths. Matt was working for a seven-figure chiropractic business and Charine was offered a lucrative management position at her company. On the outside, everything looked great. But internally, they both felt they were living a life of complacency.
The tipping point came when they took a sabbatical to wine regions around the world. That’s when something struck Charine. She believed they could build a business around wine and travel. So they built up enough run way to quit their jobs and started their journey as the Exotic Wine Travelers.
In this episode, learn why experiences are better than having things, why you should invest in yourself, and why communication is the most important skill you can learn.
“Dream big and dare to fail.” – Norman D. Vaughan
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I have to admit that I’ve been holding back. It’s easy to give advice or prescriptions, but it’s much harder to do it yourself. That’s why I want to put myself out there.
For the most part, my dreams have been small. I’ve self-published one book and have another one on the way. I’ve started up a podcast, built this site, and an e-mail list, and I’ve had some wonderful conversations with artists and creatives. But none of these things are part of my ultimate goal.
I’ve heard multiple times, in several conversations, people talk about what they would do if they had a magic wand and could do anything at all. All I know is, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now.
Even though I’ve enjoyed the work I’ve done up to this point, I think I can do much better. I want to visit creatives and see what it takes to create beautiful works of art. I want to help artists grow their businesses. I want to bring artists and creatives together so they can help each other.
I’ve been able to complete my smaller short term goals, but I need to reach much farther. I need to dream big. I need to dare to fail.
We only get so much time on Earth. Which means we need to take some chances. What’s the worst that could happen? Even if you fall on your face, you can always get back up and try again.
It all starts with having a plan. What would your ideal day look like? What would you be doing? How can you begin to make your way towards that ideal life?
I want to live a creatively fulfilling life. I want to spend my days exploring what it means to live life to its fullest. And I want to help you do the same.
So, this is a call to you. What are you struggling with? What is your big dream? Are you pursuing it? If not, I want to know why.
Photo by Unsplash
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Nicolas Cole looks like someone out of a fitness magazine, but it hasn’t always been that way. When he was growing up, he was sick almost every day. By the time he was 17 years old, he weighed less than 100 pounds. He missed school a lot and didn’t have many friends. So he turned to World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft became his escape from life. He played so much that he was one of the top players in the entire game. That is until he was faced with a tough decision. He could either continue to pursue his video game career on his own or receive his parents’ help and go to college. He chose college.
It was at this point that Nicolas took the principles from gaming and applied them to fitness. He went from less than 100 pounds to 170 pounds by gamifying his workout routines. He also wrote about his fitness routines and his journey on Quora and became one of its top writers.
In this episode find out why you should learn from everything you do, why you should help others, and why marketing is not your enemy.
The Unmistakable Creative is just that: unmistakable. If you have not heard an episode of the show, stop reading this post and look through the archives. Listening to an episode of Unmistakable Creative is an absolute joy. I am not the only one who thinks so. At the moment, the show has over 550 five star reviews on iTunes and over 650 reviews overall.
Srini Rao, the host of the show, makes sure each episode is interesting and informative. He does not settle for the ordinary answers you hear from most podcast guests. He gets some of the world’s most interesting people to open up about topics they normally wouldn’t talk about.
In fact, without the Unmistakable Creative I might not have my own podcast. Srini showed me what is possible through the wonderful medium of podcasting. His thoughtful interviews are one of the main reasons I wanted to get into podcasting myself.
Monica Kang knew early in life that she wanted to work in international affairs. Her upbringing in two countries compelled her to understand how people related to each other, and steered her towards her role working with the government.
Monica worked for years in international affairs, and even though she loved her job, she still felt something was lacking. She saw that people weren’t creatively fulfilled at their jobs and knew she wanted to help them. She knew she could fulfill that gap, so she started up InnovatorsBox.
In this episode learn why you should think link an outsider, the importance of asking questions, and how self-awareness can improve your problem solving.
Speak your truth even if your voice shakes. Live your truth even if your body breaks. Spirit survives. – @katyperry (Katy Perry)
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What are you afraid of? I ask myself this question a lot.
It’s not because I’m afraid of scary movies or video games. I am not afraid of heights or tight spaces. My biggest fear is often being my true self.
What does it mean to live truthfully? After all, we are supposed to present multiple versions of ourselves to the world. You wouldn’t act around your parents like you would with your closest friends. You wouldn’t act around your co-workers like you do with your family.
We are all chameleons adapting to our environments. But the question is, Do we have to be? I often wonder about this, and I still don’t know the right answer. Is there even a right answer?
I think the problem is, I haven’t defined who I truly am. What do I believe in? What values are important to me? What kind of person do I want to be?
It’s okay to act differently in different situations. We don’t necessarily need to be the same person at every moment in our lives, but we should always hold the same values.
We need to ask ourselves what we stand for. We need to live up to those truths no matter what. Because no matter what everyone else thinks about us, we are the ones who have to live with ourselves every day. If we can’t live by our own truth, what kind of life are we really living?
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Kaitlyn Guay grew up wanting to be in Broadway. She grew up in a household where she wasn’t allowed to watch TV and could only watch movies on the weekends. She grew up in a cultural bubble where she entertained herself by writing poems and song lyrics for fun.
While she wanted to be an artist and entertainer, those around her thought it would be too risky, so she became a musical teacher. This allowed her to share her passion for the arts with others. That is until a severe case of Chronic Lyme Disease forced her to change her path. Instead of letting the disease break her, she leveraged it into creating a young adult book series and jewelry line.
In this episode, learn why creative growth is an evolution, how to find beauty and gratitude in every day life, and ways you can overcome Resistance.