We get a lot of inquiries from keen, creative students on what they need to do in University and/or College to be "good enough" for a chance to work in the industry. We always say the same thing: "Chill, dude. All you've got to do is be you and follow your heart and give energy to what lights you up and fall flat on your face a few times. It's all gonna work out just fine."
"That's not really sage advice," a colleague said to me when she overheard my conversation with an eager young student. I begged to differ.
After all, I failed. I fell. I made some shitty decisions. And here I am. Better for it.
The Flipside team is a hodge-podge of hyper-talented experts who have failed. They've fallen. They've made shitty decisions.
And they are successful. They've made it.
There isn't a single person on our team who has never failed. We all have. HARD. Our journeys are all dotted with bumps, humps, hurdles, and gaping sinkholes of bad decisions, imperfections, and failures.
Here are some of our biggest bumps & biggest lessons:
Kim flunked macro-economics when she was 21.
"I'd never failed a single thing in my life until then. I was an A student. Usually A+. I was used to learning coming easy. Macro-economics just didn't sink in. I didn't get it. And man alive I tried hard to get it. I stayed late. I got a tutor. When I went to my professor for help, she looked at me and said: 'You’re really bad at this. I don’t recommend you pursue business.'"
Kids: You’re going to screw up. Someone is going to tell you you’re not cut out for greatness. You’ll second guess yourself and feel like crap for a little bit. But keep going. Because you don’t need to know interest rates and gross national product to run a business, baby.
Alexa failed her first ever university essay.
"I got a Big, fat F! (Because I wanted to do it MY way, not their way.) It didn’t work then, but it sure does now!"
Kids: If you’re going to get an F, get it by giving it your all! Sometimes, breaking the rules and pushing change means “failing.” Which is just another word for “opportunity” in our humble opinion. Just because it’s an F to them, doesn’t mean it’s an F to you. So do what you do best and do it with your whole heart and you’ll never truly fail.
Nataal was told she had to mouth the words in choir because her voice was “too deep for a girl.”
"Lame, right? But it made me so self-conscious! Eventually, I said 'Screw it!' and I sang my little off-key heart out!"
Kids: People say stupid shit. All the time. It’s human nature and it’s kinda lame. So here’s the deal: If you want to sing, sing. If you want to dance, dance. If you want to push the limits, push them hard. It doesn’t matter who thinks you’re capable, who thinks you do or don’t have talent, who thinks you can or cannot. If you want to do it, do it. Never ever let the opinions of other people stop you from having a good time. Not ever.
Leah spent her student loans on motorcycles instead of food and rent.
"I have no regrets. At all."
Kids: Sometimes what seems “careless” or “superfluous”, is really just good for the soul. Be wise. Choose your next move. It’s not all brains out there. You’ve gotta give a little love (a lotta love, if you ask us) back to you. So don’t be afraid to be a little selfish and do what feels good. Even if you’ve gotta eat beans from dented cans for a while.
Erick had 6 months to study for his most important exam. He played basketball for six months instead.
"It was really fun. The basketball—not the exam. That was bad."
Kids: Sometimes, you’ve just got to play. And that’s ok. We’ve all procrastinated—anything to avoid studying for that exam or meeting that deadline. It happens. It's human nature. So cut yourself some slack. Erick did. And he turned out okay.
Miranda studied her face off. The model student. Did it all by the book.
"I was so afraid to do bad that I burnt myself out trying to be the best."
Kids: You've got to work hard achieve your goals. For sure. However, working TOO hard can be detrimental to your health and wellness. It's okay to set boundaries with your education; in fact, we highly recommend it.
Kids, whatever you do, however you do it, and whatever the outcome is, please please please keep
going. You are amazing.
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