Tag Archives: failure

Failure Is Just Another Word for Creativity

28 Apr

We creative types feel a relentless urge to create.  It’s not enough, however, for me just to enjoy the process of creation, I feel a concurrent drive to make money off my wares. Therein lies the rub.   I love creating sculptures out of colorful polymer (Sculpy/Premo) clay, and assigning tongue-in-cheek titles or descriptions, kind of an art with a message focus.   Here is an example-

Flower Power

Flower Power

This sculpture is entitled Flower Power and features an SUV propelled by flower power (a little enviro message poking fun at gas guzzling Hummers.).   Sculpting these pieces takes hours and hours as they are quite detailed. I would like to mass produce them but my 60 year old hands aren’t capable. Therefore, I tried other means of mass production- creating posters- one called “Homeland Sweet Homeland” which pokes fun at the color coding terrorist alert system at airports.  I created magnets for a political issue.  I created “Om for the Holidays” cards targeting the yoga community.  Om for the holidays copy I found neither the yoga community or politicians have much of a sense of humor. My mass quantities of unsold products now languish in my attic, out of sight so as not to remind me I was unable to even recoup my costs in these failed endeavors.

My daughter in-law let something slip a while ago.  She mentioned that a former employee (in our family business) had snickered about my Jack magnets, saying, “Seriously?  Did she really think those things would sell?”  I was crushed.  To think people were laughing at my failed entrepreneurial attempts was more than a little humiliating.  You see, when someone creates something out of nothing whether it be a poem, sculpture or idea, it is almost like creating a child- you feel protective of the concept, even vulnerable.  Putting one’s creative efforts on display elicits more than a little anxiety.  To have someone I like and admire laugh at me was a little tough.  I’ve tucked her mockery away in my heart for the past couple of years.  Every once in a while when I conceive of a new idea, it pops out to ridicule the new idea.  However, today, I’m sharing this experience with all of you- this has happened to everyone who is creative. Failure is glorified in places like Silicon Valley where entrepreneurs say things like, “failure means you just haven’t gotten your success yet. or “failure is mandatory; it’s as pervasive here as the weather”. Such statements are a great comfort. My concurrent urges to create and succeed take heart in the Thomas Edison story about creating the incandescent light bulb. He said after his thousandth failure, “I now know 1000 things that won’t work.” Now that is optimism!

So, let’s bring our failure monsters- the little barbs and big criticisms we’ve endured over the years, out into the light of day. This blog represents my coming out party. I think I will even plaster those Jack magnets all over my refrigerator to remind me failure is just another word for creativity.

Jack magnets

Jack magnets

 

 

Advertisements

Failure Is Another Word for Creativity

28 Feb

I am far from a “techie” (someone who is technologically proficient) but I was fascinated by an NPR story I heard recently entitled, “Failure:  The F word Silicon Valley Loves and Hates”.  The story focused upon entrepreneurs in the Tech field in Silicon Valley.  According to this report, failure is glorified in this Valley of technological start up companies.   Interviewees in this story said things like, “the fear of being a failure drives you.”.  One person noted, “Failure means you just haven’t gotten your success yet.”  Another reported that “failure is mandatory; it’s as pervasive as the weather”.

I was stunned by the optimism of these statements.  My husband and I consider ourselves entrepreneurs.  I think we must conceive of new business ideas every other day.  The process of conception (much like in the other kind of conception process) is the fun part– the brain storming process; the excitement of a new idea; the hope of making the idea an income producing one…

I’ve dreamed of making my Be Brave. Lose the Beige concept an income producing business.  I create art, write books/journals/blogs, and conduct Lady Boomer workshops and retreats on the subject.  Endeavors producing a sustainable source of income are such a point of validation.  Everyone around you affirms your idea is a success once you begin making money from it.  If not, it’s a dream, a silly notion, or worse yet, a failure.  Aside from the obvious drawbacks of failing to earn money from an endeavor consuming significant time and focus, there is the added burden of disappointing family members and friends.  That fear of humiliation is what drives entrepreneurs says Joe Kraus of Google Ventures.  “Threading that idea from the “vision” stage to the “execution” stage is a necessary step in the march to success.

I know what that feels like.  I turned 60 last year.  I can’t believe it.  I feel like I might run out of time at any moment without fully realizing by dreams (although it’s not from a lack of trying.)  I spend an inordinate amount of time writing, researching and sculpting.  I have often hidden these endeavors from my linear lawyer friends out of fear they may say something like, “Why are you wasting your time doing that?!”.  After all, there has not been any kind of a guarantee I’ll make money from all these efforts.  But creativity is funny.  It’s kind of like breathing.  I can’t fathom living without it.  So I loved hearing this story.  I found it encouraging; a virtual support group for creative people.  Remember- Thomas Edison was asked if he was frustrated at his lack of success after his 1800 attempts at inventing the light bulb.  “No”, he replied, “ I now know a 1000 things that won’t work.”

So, if you feel alone in your quest toward entrepreneurship, share you experience here.   We can commiserate.

Failure = Creativity
Failure = Creativity

 

Failure: Just Another Word for Creativity

26 Jun

I am far from a “techie” (someone who is technologically proficient) but I was fascinated by an NPR story I heard recently entitled, “Failure:  The F word Silicon Valley Loves and Hates”.  The story focused upon entrepreneurs in the Tech field in Silicon Valley.  According to this report, failure is glorified in this Valley of technological start up companies.   Interviewees in this story said things like, “the fear of being a failure drives you.”.  One person noted, “Failure means you just haven’t gotten your success yet.”  Another reported that “failure is mandatory; it’s as pervasive as the weather”.

I was stunned by the optimism of these statements.  My husband and I consider ourselves entrepreneurs.  I think we must conceive of new business ideas every other day.  The process of conception (much like in the other kind of conception process) is the fun part– the brain storming process; the excitement of a new idea; the hope of making the idea an income producing one…

I’ve dreamed of making my Be Brave. Lose the Beige concept an income producing business.  I create art, write books/journals/blogs, and conduct Lady Boomer workshops and retreats on the subject.  Endeavors producing a sustainable source of income are such a point of validation.  Everyone around you affirms your idea is a success once you begin making money from it.  If not, it’s a dream, a silly notion, or worse yet, a failure.  Aside from the obvious drawbacks of failing to earn money from an endeavor consuming significant time and focus, there is the added burden of disappointing family members and friends.  That fear of humiliation is what drives entrepreneurs says Joe Kraus of Google Ventures.  “Threading that idea from the “vision” stage to the “execution” stage is a necessary step in the march to success.

I know what that feels like.  I’m 59 years old this year.  I can’t believe it.  I feel like I might run out of time at any moment without fully realizing by dreams (although it’s not from a lack of trying.)  I spend an inordinate amount of time writing, researching and sculpting.  I have often hidden these endeavors from my linear lawyer friends out of fear they may say something like, “Why are you wasting your time doing that?!”.  After all, there has not been any kind of a guarantee I’ll make money from all these efforts.  But creativity is funny.  It’s kind of like breathing.  I can’t fathom living without it.  So I loved hearing this story.  I found it encouraging; a virtual support group for creative people.  Remember- Thomas Edison was asked if he was frustrated at his lack of success after his 1800 attempts at inventing the light bulb.  “No”, he replied, “ I now know a 1000 things that won’t work.”

So, if you feel alone in your quest toward entrepreneurship, share you experience here.   We can commiserate.