Making a shift from Fail to Pivot

Dai Ross/ Laurie Kearney owner/creator of Ghost Gallery

Dai Ross/ Laurie Kearney owner/creator of Ghost Gallery

As creatives often our biggest challenge is knowing which idea to get off the ground. I have about twenty projects I want to do and 3 businesses. This is my fair attempt at trying to narrow things down over the past 3 years. I wake up often and think, “I don’t have enough time to do it all and it’s all so exciting!” As one who has started two photography businesses on top of an existing 15 year photography business, the reality of big ideas requiring a lot of work hit hard. A 15 year business was a lot of work and I was suddenly trying to launch two new businesses from scratch. Even with all the starts and fails of the first business to launch from, it was and is still a lot of work.



One challenge I found emotionally in launching new ideas was the feeling of failure when it’s not going the way you imagined. It’s a tough thing to invest countless hours and passion into something and it doesn’t seem to launch the way you think it should.



Yesterday I was listening to a talk on Inspiring Women from 425live, this woman was talking about  her start up and pointed out that 9 out of 10 startups fail. Which clearly wasn’t very encouraging. Me Single parenting with 1 kid ready for college and the other not far behind, 1 photography business and 2 start ups is no easy task and the possibility of failure is high. But something really struck me in this talk. The speaker mentioned that her start up had failed 9 times but she learned something, it was the art of the pivot. At that moment I was like “Yes!” Someone named it! It made so much sense. In the last year that I launched one Start Up we would start and then fail. The fail is so hard unless you look for the pivot. For me it was taking all the good stuff, then shifting and finding new angles. We started a second startup that was launched off of the first, which immediately did a lot better on the market. What we learned from the second reflected back on the first and now we are making a pivot with the first. The thing that helped with naming the shift was moving away from the term “fail” and putting an action word like “pivot” in it’s stead. It placed a value on the work and a position of hope with shifting. That shift has given me a little more peace about the next big project which is a pivot from the second startup now introducing education.

Creative Awakenings, an introduction to the art of creative concept and design. The first intensive seminar is set for Oct. 2017. Look for more on this collaboration education over the next few months. It will be an incredible project about creativity, inspiration and the mechanics of thinking big and making it happen. I have an incredible creative team coming alongside me for this project. I can't wait to introduce you to them!