How to re-frame failure (for yourself and your kids)
with Alyssa Kerbel, Founder of mini mioche
I recently listened to an episode of the Jay Shetty podcast, On Purpose, where he was chatting with Rachel Hollis and she said something that rung so true for me. She said “Failure is one of the things that people are most terrified of in the world - people are petrified of failure but 99% of the time you’re not afraid of failing, you’re afraid of other people seeing you fail.”
I was talking to a good friend and fellow entrepreneur after listening to this, who shared with me that she had been asked to be a guest on a podcast - something she had never done before. She wasn’t sure that she wanted to do it and was leaning towards saying no - mostly out of fear. She was afraid she might say the wrong thing or sound dumb or just not be a very interesting guest - essentially she was afraid of other people seeing her fail. I told her that she 1000% had to do it. She’s an incredible, super successful, inspiring entrepreneur, who has built an amazing business over the past 20+ years and has so much knowledge to share that could genuinely help other people.
Whenever I have an idea for something or I’m given an opportunity to do something that’s outside my comfort zone or that pushes me and I feel that sense of discomfort and fear rise up, I try to instead connect to why it matters to me, how it could help others and where it’s coming from: a place of love, creativity, passion, service etc. I also try to remind myself that if I don’t fail once in a while, it means I’m not really growing or learning or living full out (and we only get one shot at this life).
Sara Blakely (Founder of the mega brand Spanx) shared that when she was a child, her father used to invite her and her brother to share their failures at the dinner table each night. Instead of being disappointed or upset, he would celebrate their efforts. Sara said that it helped reframe her definition of failure – that for her failure became about not trying vs. the outcome. It also helped her to start finding value in her shortcomings. Her Dad encouraged her to write down where the ‘hidden gifts’ were whenever something didn’t go the way she hoped or as planned and the more she did it, the more she began to realize that in everything there was some amazing nugget that she wouldn’t have wanted to pass up. I love this way of thinking about failure and what a valuable thing to learn as a child (it’s clearly served her well)!
These are some photos of the mini mioche LA store - something that had been a dream of mine. Opening this store was kind of nuts and very scary. It was so much work, not to mention a major financial investment and we ended up permanently closing the doors last year during Covid - less than 2 years after its opening. But I can honestly say I have zero regrets and there is no part of me that considers it to be a failure. I’m genuinely so grateful for the experience, the learnings, the amazing people I met along the way that I’m still connected with. You just have to trust that everything serves a bigger purpose on your journey – even the so-called failures.