High-Five Your Failure


I have been reading The Startup Playbook by David Kidder and I loved this excerpt about Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx and youngest self-made female billionaire. What a wondeful lesson her father taught her and perhaps one that is never too late to learn. This week focus start asking yourself, “What did I fail at?”


When I was growing up, my father would encourage my brother and me to fail. We would be sitting at the dinner table and he would ask, “So what did you guys fail at this week?” If we didn’t have something to contribute, he would be disappointed. When I did fail at something, he’d high-five me. What I didn’t realize at the time was that he was completely reframing my definition of failure at a young age. To me, failure means not trying; failure isn’t the outcome. If I have to look at myself in the mirror and say, “I didn’t try that because I was scared,” that is a failure.


As David reflects,

“That’s a profound idea, and it speaks against many of the assumptions of our success based culture.” — David S. Kidder