Our children learn from what they see us as parents do. What do your kids see you do? Hard work? Failure? Perseverance? Grit? Continued learning and development? What about constant complaining? Giving up? Hating a "job"? Watching The Kardashians (or some other sh*t show? Living for "the weekend"? What are we teaching our kids by example? Children learn what they live. Not everyone will agree with me, but I fear not letting our kids fail is causing more harm than good. We don't talk about the benefits of failure enough. #helicopterparent
Every new technology or service that has ultimately impacted and improved our lives was predicated with many failures along the way. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Louis Pasteur, and Henry Ford all failed many times in the process. They ultimately changed the world. Michael Jordan was cut from his Freshman basketball team. Walt Disney was fired for "lack of imagination". Oprah was fired as a TV reporter as she was "unfit for TV". Failures? Uber, Southwest, Amazon, AirBnB are also examples of disruptive companies that failed, but kept going. Just last week, Elon Musk and SpaceX had a rocket explode on the launchpad. Is Elon Musk a failure? Some call him one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time.
All that said, starting our own company has been an incredible undertaking and a massive learning process. Honestly, the comfort zone is several zip codes away. There have been many "failures" along the way and it is something I want the kids to see. Let me say that again. I want my kids to see me....Struggle. Fail. Learn. Adapt. Grow. Rinse and Repeat as the challenges and company grows. The thing is I have come to embrace and almost welcome the F word. Failure. It needs to be properly defined though. Failure is an isolated event and does not define a person. It is quite possibly the most important part of the learning process. I also WANT my kids to fail and go through that exact same process. If they, too, are not failing, they are not trying new things and pushing themselves to grow and be better. I have learned that if you are not failing, you are not growing. What are the implications of being completely shielded from ever failing growing up? That cold, hard reality of life hits even harder for anyone who has never had to deal with adversity before as a young adult. If one has never been challenged early in life, is it fair to say they crumble and need a "safe space" when they are faced with an opinion different than their own? Failing and losing aren't bad. The honest to God truth is I am not sure I would be where I am today without some of the hardships I had as a child. I am grateful for that. I owe it to my 3 wonderful, intelligent, talented kids to let them fail. I will help them back up and encourage them to try again. And again. And again. But I also NEED them to see that I am doing the same. As a father, I have to lead by example. BioCloak Solutions has provided an outlet for the kids to see something being built from the ground up. Don't get this blog wrong. The business is strong and we continue to grow and expand. I am referring to the process of growth. It is an unintended, but extremely powerful benefit of this journey. #failforward