Pushing Through Failure

My good buddy, Steve in Long Beach, emailed me The Entrepreneur’s Creed yesterday. At the top of the list is “I will not be ashamed of failure.”

They don’t mess around, do they?

The number one, biggest issue with entrepreneuring a life is failure.

At the moment, Jack’s Coffee Talk is in the abyss of conceptual catastrophe. The initial idea was a web series talk show, hosted by Jack the Garden Cat, meeting people in the Cascade Mountains who do things that keep this little town running.  Each segment will be about three minutes long, and I’d release one every week.

The premiere was supposed to be November 7th, ten days ago.

And then it didn’t happen.

The interviews are interesting; the people are passionate about what they’re doing, speak well, and the stories are intriguing.  The theme music is fun. The equipment works well. The cat is alive.

But the concept isn’t gelling.

Initially I thought it would be like Morris the Cat in the canned food commercials, with Jack having a sarcastic edge. But the interviews are heartfelt testimonials about dreams and passions.  A snarky cat doesn’t belong in those scenarios.

Then I figured maybe the cat would only speak another language, like Henri.  But that didn’t make any thematic sense here in the mountains. And it would require subtitling, which is hard to read if you’re watching the web series on your cell phone.

I went back and watched more web series to see what other people are doing. The fictional web series that are well made are comedies about 20 year olds. The documentary web series are fast cutting collages about someone overcoming enormous challenges to succeed.

None of the shows I’ve found is a good comparison for what I want to do.

I’m trying something else now. If it works you’ll soon see the first episode of Jack’s Coffee Talk.  If it fails, give me another chance to try again.

Failure is hard to live with. Not just for me as the one who fails, but also for my family. Mike admired my courage to try almost anything, but wanted assurances that it would financially pay off. Joe remains dubious even when projects succeed. Dad wishes I’d get cast in a TV sitcom and live the fantasy life he believes in.

Jack the Garden Cat doesn’t care what happens with the show. He just wants fresh mice, aged pond water, and a warm place to sleep.

The Entrepreneur’s Creed says I “cannot have great success without tasting some failure. Failure is a step in the refining process.”

If success is the destination, then failure must be the road which takes us there.


One comment

  1. I feel your pain, Paul. I think you have the 3 main ingredients of success. First and most important, determination. Second, creative talent. And third, the strength to be able to toss away failing ideas even if you’re passionate about them, and “pivot” to a new direction.

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