From Avoidance to Embrace : How Redefining Failure Ensures our Success

“Success is not failure, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill.

Although we have been taught to avoid failure like the plague, the stumbling blocks in our personal lives and careers are inevitable, enabling us to redefine our next steps and push ourselves further to take on new challenges. What happens when we begin to rethink the way we talk about failure completely? Not as something to avoid but rather as a necessity to embrace. At SF+Acumen’s salon style dinner event “Lessons in Failure — Failure as the First Step to Success” on June 8th, Alex Sloan from Tides, Alex Budak from StartSomeGood and Neetal Parekh from Innov8Social provided us with a broad landscape of the ways failure can impact us at both an organizational and individual level.

1. Revenue models can’t go unnoticed. Ventures in the social impact space are not exempt from producing returns to ensure the sustainability of the product. The business model must support the vision. One can’t thrive without the other and overlooking this often leads to unsuccessful social ventures. And if a social venture is investor backed, thinking about an exit strategy before an entry strategy is paramount.

2. The change maker mindset. Every effective leader, in order to brace failure, must embody consciousness, trust, humility and learning mindsets. You must be aware of your intent versus your impact and conscious of how your actions affect those around you. You must have the confidence that you are able to not only overcome but also learn from your failures, not with arrogance, but with humility. Always self-reflecting and engaging with other opinions. Always learning as much as possible as quickly as possible.

3. How do we problem solve forward? Using the word failure supports a deficit mindset. Instead, let us use a completely different word. Let’s say “pivot” – how do we pivot from our initial goal after a setback? Build your tribe, people to surround yourself with that won’t look at your failures as setbacks but rather see them as opportunities to lean into and grow from.

Thank you to Alex, Alex and Neetal for being so vulnerable and sharing their personal experiences about failure with us!

Photos from the events as the speakers engaged with the audience, sharing their experiences with the audience.

Speaker Event at The Delancey



Salon Event at The DelanceyDid you attend the salon event? Leave your takeaways/insights in the comments section below And we hope to see you at our next salon event next time!