Founder Story: Failure Immune
Let me tell you about one of the biggest failures of my life.
I was in my mid-thirties. My wife and I just had our first child. Well, children, actually. We had identical twin girls. There was this all-of-a-sudden overwhelming amount of responsibility and lack of sleep and effort and emotions (and did I mention lack of sleep!)... With twins, when they’re babies at least, each parent takes fewer breaks, because doing so meant putting this immense burden on the other parent. Most of the time, it was man-on-man defense, all-hands-on-deck parenting for mom and dad. Already, parenting was proving to be one of the hardest things I had ever done.
But that’s not the failure this story is about. That takes place at work. I was working a job I didn’t care for at a company I was no longer passionate about. Now, this has happened to me once or twice before. Knowing it's time to move on at your job is okay. It’s normal. However, on those occasions in the past, I would just quit that job. This time, there were these two new reasons for me to stay. These two responsibilities. These two mouths to feed.
I started to feel jaded at work. Maybe even trapped. My attitude started to change, and I started to become a person I didn’t like very much. What came next was obvious and inevitable – my career moved backwards. My role changed into one of less responsibility. It was a demotion without calling it a demotion.
You would think that since I was dispassionate in my job, I wouldn’t care. But I did. This stung me hard. And maybe some of that was ego or embarrassment. The main driver for me was the fact that I had always found success. My career had always gone one direction – up. So this required me to revise my self-definition in a way I didn’t like.
To say the least, it was humbling. Eventually, it was inspiring.
It created this moment where I was forced to take a hard look at myself. My behavior. My ability to contribute to the world. My wants and needs. My value system. And everything was on the table. Eventually, I rebuilt who I was from the bottom up. I established new truths about myself that I perhaps wouldn’t have if all of this hadn’t gone down the way that it did.
Ultimately, it led me to my next chapter. It inspired me to work nights and weekends to start my own business.
Babies become toddlers. In just a few years, they transform into these interesting little adults-in-training, with a personality and a sense of humor and things they love and things they hate. They’re interesting and interested. You can teach them things. And every once-in-a-while, they teach you something. And life as a parent, I found, not only got way easier, but it became an aspect of my life I came to cherish very much.