I failed

It’s wild watching how fast my daughter is growing up. Today at the breakfast table she was already talking about where she wants to go to college. At least for now she told us that she’s decided to stay close to us in Chicago and Northwestern sounds good. She’s three. 🙂

I cherish every minute we get to spend together. One place where we obviously spend that time is our dining room table eating meals. So, I keep trying to invent interesting ways of talking about the day.

The latest thing we’ve picked up was inspired by Sara Blakely the founder of Spanx. Sara’s dad would ask her and her brother “What did you fail at this week?”

For example, one thing I shared last week with my family was that I’d love to get some more unique music for my vlog. I wrote to a company who represents the license agreements for some of my favorite bands, and simply just asked them, “Can I license your music for small vlog channel on YouTube?”

I don’t have a huge compelling case to send them. I can’t blow a lot of money on licenses. It’s a small but growing channel. But I sent the email anyways.

And… what did I hear back? Nothing.

So far, I’ve failed at my attempt to get some new music. But who knows. I’ll try again with another company, or try again with a better pitch, or do enough of these and someone will bite.

Of course my goal is to teach my daughter that it’s awesome, even encouraged, to keep reaching out past your comfort zone and try new things you won’t be successful with yet.

But it’s also changing my perspective. I’m constantly thinking about what risk I’ve tried recently so I have something to report.

Today, I’ll share with them that I failed again at making the running pace I was shooting for this morning.

Which is great! Only recently have I been paying close attention to my running pace. And pushing myself to fail this morning, has gotten me to the point where I’m running faster than I was even a month ago. I realize now from this exercise with my daughter how much I was coasting.

This was just a little something inspired by Sara Blakely. But her whole story, from selling fax machines to becoming a billionaire inventor and her many struggles in between, is incredibly interesting. There’s a lot to learn from her. Not the least of which is:

If you keep succeeding, you aren’t trying hard enough.

P.S. You should follow me on YouTube: youtube.com/nathankontny where I share more about how we run our business, do product design, market ourselves, and just get through life.

And if you need a zero-learning-curve system to track leads and manage follow-ups you should try Highrise.

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