On Failure

I watched this great TEDx video a couple of days ago. I’ve always enjoyed James Altucher’s blog but never saw him speak until now.

He had such an interesting point during the talk about what he calls “failure pornography”.

It is true that the glorification of failure is everywhere around us. You can find lots of books about it, bootcamps that teach you how to “fail fast“, conferences that tell you that failure is just so awesome. It’s almost a given that you can’t succeed without failing a few times first.

But when the time arrives, it’s a different story.

The truth is, it sucks.

I had read many articles about failure, went to FailCon and truly believed that failure was a step towards success. And yet when it happens to you, to your business, to what you dedicated your evenings and your weekends, it sucks.

It sucks to fail and realize the business/non profit you put all your heart into is not going to succeed.

It sucks to realize that you may lose your friends over a venture. Co founder breakups are very common and yet one of the most under-discussed issues.

It sucks to have to explain to your family and friends why it failed and repeat the story over and over again.

It sucks to have to say that it was a great learning experience when you’re just not ready to say that.


If you have failed a business recently, give yourself the time to heal. Don’t feel that you have to say that it was a learning experience and that you learned so much more than in a corporate job. Maybe you did, but it doesn’t matter.

Be with your pain, don’t escape it. Embrace discomfort.

It’s okay to feel like shit.

Just believe that it will pass.

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