This weekend I'm preparing for my Doctorate Viva which I give on the 7th September. It's been full of ups and downs, even the weekend marked that. My daughter feel down the stairs and of course she's my first priority so the time to prepare did not go as planned. I didn't think I would need to take the day before off of work but now I will. That pretty much outlines how I have learnt from previous failures to say it's ok to postpone (I postponed for 1 year) and it's okay to make sure you have time for yourself and your family mentally and physically; health and memories are more important given failures in the past outlined below.
1. One GCSE D. I got almost all B's and C's and 1 D. Ultimately years later who cares I learnt a lot about understanding the world, solving problems, since got my A'Levels, 1 degree, 2 x maters and 1 x doctorate. You can fail but that's not the end of the story, what do you love and how do you want to excel at it; there are many ways to get to the top of the mountain. There is not one route to take, and it is not a race. Treading your own path and not comparing yourself to others is enlightening and has led me to so much personal growth.
2. My first business I founded 'thelookboutique.com' I learnt a lot from this venture, gained international exposure and mentored almost 50 designers, some of which have gone on to achieve great things. Ultimately was it profitable enough to live on? 'No.' The cyclical nature of the fashion industry was hugely expensive with continuous shoots, PR, IT and frankly I could have had a more effective business model with social media as it is now. What did I learn: to be social media savvy, tech/coding/my own site instead of paying massive bills to website builders, I had the balls to put myself out there and I knew how to contact people and build a brand. As I was pregnant with my first child I decided to call it a day and start a fresh, walking away with my authenticity and knowledge that I helped to grow some amazing talent.
Fast forward and now I am launching the App (launching soon) WhatifIhadaPA App. A productivity app for a Mums pocket to save them time.
3. Being made redundant. Let's face it, it sucks you give everything to your work and the company misfortune lets you go. I lost my job twice in my life. The first time it empowered me to start my business, and know that a job is not a certainty; so I never let a job define my life. The second time the headquarters closed in Zurich, and I was pregnant with our second child. After that, I had this calm that I've been there before and I can start anything from scratch. I found a job in tech, and then a job of passion and purpose which is what I am doing now, defining and designing digital solutions (since I was young my talent was high puzzles and brining people together to do it, so I've learnt to orientate to my passion spaces). Work does not define you, you define it and your life.
4. I was at Bikram yoga training in 2010. I stood up and explained my concerns about the training on quality, harassment, language that was being used about gay people, misogyny, bullying and what he called fat people. As I stood up to feedback to inappropriate behaviour, I was shamed down, it was the most shaky experience. Years later the truth started to come out about how systematic this was, and that was only the tip of the iceberg. Bikram was faced with allegations of rape and sexual assault. At the time of writing this there is a warrant out for his arrest. The community was broken, with death threats and bullying happening outside of training. I never just stand and watch injustice, but at that point and in that time I was not heard and failed to stop what happened in training. I choose to not give up and do something about it and started a petition for Bikram to step down, and after courageous efforts by brave women; he stepped down. Activism is part of who I am, and right now I am working on projects that support Motherhood Unplugged 2.0 in this generation, and change systemic racism.
5. Men. It seems silly to put men but I had so many failures here to get to my soul mate; seriously I could write a book! Here are some of the highlights: I moved in bought a house with a man that then revealed he had been lying to me for years, and was 100,000's in debt. Then I was with someone who told me he was gay. The final straw was on a 1 year anniversary I was told 'I have something I need to tell you.' I thought at that point he was going to break up with me, instead he proceeded to tell me 'I'm married and I have a daughter.' I felt sick and dizzy and ended it. Shortly after I moved to Zurich Switzerland and was at peace with myself and God to be happy and single. I exhaled when we had that conversation. Then I met my now husband Morten (I will leave that story for another blog). What I can say to any other woman out there is that it should feel effortless, and it did. I married my best friend, my soul mate, the person I giggle, snuggle, netflix, travel and do everything with. I never had to think is he calling me, does he want 'x' or second guess anything. It was just simple.
Failures are part of life. It may seem corny that every failure has an upside, but you can choose what to do with negative energy or failure. The greatest successes come from our failures and these are mine.