Am I not pretty enough???

by | 19th March, 2014 | failure, love, thoughts on business | 4 comments

Do you remember the Kasey Chambers song with the same title? It was released back in 2002 so if you need a revisit, you can listen to it here. Some time ago we had the good fortune to watch Kasey perform in concert, and she explained that she wrote this iconic song to question why she didn’t receive the same radio time as other female artists. It’s ironic that this song went on to be one of her biggest hits ever. I’ve thought about this situation as I have made changes to my blog and social media pages this week. I’m worried that the changes that I make to my content simply won’t be pretty enough. I’m not talking about the graphics or the colours (loving the pink!) I mean the words that I send out to the world.

On this journey of self-discovery, and self-forgiveness I have realised that the theme that is constant throughout is our approach, and reason for, failure. I’ve had a few business meetings this week to pitch for The Rebuild Foundation, and this means I have found myself talking about failure A LOT. As people have listened to my stories intently I’ve realised that they’re enthralled because I am sharing something they don’t hear very often – an admission of business failure and subsequent realisation of how much it hurt. I’ve been even braver and removed the gloss from the story. You’ll never hear me say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, because for some people, failure does actually kill you. That makes me incredibly sad.

Part of my ability to forgive myself is to better understand failure – why it happens and how to overcome it. I’m going to spend considerable time exploring that here, and the struggle I am having is that it simply isn’t pretty enough. No body wants to hear about negative things. When we ask someone how they are, we don’t particularly want to hear about all their ailments!

Do I cry too much? Am I too outspoken? I crave. I love. I waited long enough…

I’m going to soldier on though, because we don’t hear about failure enough, especially in business circles. Unless of course it’s to wipe the slate of another closed business, or bankrupt entrepreneur.As a nation we don’t always manage failure well. You won’t read a story in the Financial Review about business closure that celebrates the fact the owner at least tried to make a go of it. We don’t have a business culture that sees failure as part of success, because we rarely show it in the context of providing a rich ife experience.I think it’s time to look at how we can fail with fortitude – with courage and self-love even in the face of adversity. Importantly, it’s time to make failure ok. It’s time to open the door and let it come out of the cupboard. It’s a common occurence in all our lives; business, sports, relationships, careers and we need to tell more stories about it and linked to it so that generations of Australians after us accept failure as part of success and know how to manage it when it happens. I know it’s not the prettiest thing to talk about and examine but even the most horrid picture holds beauty in it somewhere. With failure, that beauty is inside ourselves – every single one of us.

This week I have been looking at the statistics about the small business sector and how they overlap with mental health statistics  and suicide in this country. I’ve got a feeling that there’s not many people considering this at the moment, so I’ll take the gamble that this topic will eventually be pretty enough for all of us if I keep exploring it and talking about it. Thanks for being here for the journey with me xx

failure isn't pretty, but it's part of life.