Tuesday Tip: The Failure Essay

I decided to get personal this week.  Every day, I ask my clients to spill their guts and get very, very personal with me – that’s how we build the best applications.  It’s a privilege to be included in their journeys and this week, I decided to share a bit of mine.  This tip talks about failure and you will learn how one of my personal failures directly led to one of the best things that has happened to me!

Watch this week’s video and let me know what you think in the comments below.



Here is a transcript for this video:

Hi, I am Stacy Blackman, President of Stay Blackman Consulting and for today’s tip, I am going to talk about failure.

I truly believe that in the MBA application process, failure and success are equally important.  So part of my job is helping clients to discover their own failures, get really honest and express them well.

Today I am going to share with you one of my own failures.  More than ten years ago, I became a Resident Entrepreneur at idealab.  My position was to brainstorm evaluate and launch new companies.  Well, I helped to launch what I thought and hoped would be a very hot company in the wireless space, but ultimately my team (myself very much included) did not execute well, made some very poor assumptions and things quickly unraveled.  As a result, I was laid off within less than a year.  For those of you who have not been laid off, it’s pretty terrible.  It completely takes you by surprise and you are essentially treated like a criminal and escorted out.  That was a low point.  I felt like an idiot and a loser and I did not know where my career was going.  I felt like a failure.  I went home and cried and felt terrible for a while.

This was the dot com bust.  At the time, SF was in such a bad recession that the headhunting firms were shut down until further notice.  To fill some free time, I started helping a handful of “clients” with their MBA applications.  It was a lot of fun and I was good at it.

And thus the best, and most fulfilling career ever, was born!  Out of the lowest career low, was born the highest career high.  And I was that much more resilient, and wise.

We all have to fail.  If we don’t we just are not trying hard enough ”“ our lives are too safe.  Make sure to have some solid, legitimate failure stories for your apps.     The worst thing you can do is gloss over them and make up a story about a failure that is not a failure.

Try to look at your failures through a fresh lens and figure out the good that came from it.

My quote for today is by Ivy Baker:  “The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”

Interested in watching more? Click HERE to access the Stacy Blackman Youtube Channel.

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