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Let’s talk about failure.
As many of you know from my emails in the past month (and the overwhelming response of support I received in return), I had recently made it to the fourth round of IMPACT Pitch NW’s fundraising competition. That means, last week, on September 19, I had the opportunity to share my journey and pitch my company in front of hundreds of local and regional entrepreneurs, as well as a panel of judges. The months of preparation and countless hours of work put into getting this far, came down to this moment—six minutes on stage.
I didn’t win.
While he didn’t attend, my nine-year-old son, Aditya, knew where I was that evening. So when I returned home, his first question, excitedly, was, “Did you win?!” The same sensation of crushing disappointment washed over me again as I fought to regain my composure. This was a special moment for my son. He should see me win, but he should also know that sometimes I fail.
Failure is an important part of the journey. Not just as a startup founder, but for any single person. There isn’t anyone on this planet who has never failed. I told him that I didn’t win, but I also didn’t lose. I worked hard to get this far, and just because my business didn’t fit the box and criteria needed to win this particular competition, doesn’t mean that my business isn’t great. I didn’t win, and that is okay. I felt sad about not winning, and that is okay to feel. Now it’s about resilience and bouncing back from the failure.
We live in a transparent world. Our kids will see us and our flaws with it. It’s important to set an example and to mentor them through their feelings around failing and help them learn from it. Like technology, we shouldn’t try to hide them from failure in fear that they may not understand or that they may use the experience incorrectly. We hold their hands as we walk them across the busy street.
Thank you for your support in my progress at IMPACT Pitch NW. It means the world to me. And congratulations to the winners of IMPACT Pitch NW—the recognition is so well-deserved! Thank you for continuing on this journey with me too! There are great things ahead! I hope this story from my experience helps you talk to your kids about failure, too.
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