in Lessons Learned

Embracing Failures

I was hooked. It was sometime in the earlier months of 2009, that I listened to a lecture by Steve Ballmer “The future of Microsoft, the future of technology“. How could this bald, relatively simple looking man be so full of energy, optimism and vitality. How could this company, Microsoft, which started with such simple intentions i.e.

…to put a computer on every desk and in every home

dominate the computing and software industry for so long?


I decided that day that I wanted to do things that changed peoples lives, things that made life fulfilling and a little easier for people. It became a passion for me. It felt good and it seemed intuitive. I had my heart set. I was going to be an entrepreneur.

Over the following years I lived the dream. I immersed myself in literature, lectures, ted talks, videos, powerpoint slides, anything to do with entrepreneurship and Silicon Valley. I gradually bought into the paradigm of the Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who started companies in his spare time.

Boy, was I living a dream. Coming up with a good idea is easy. Making money out of it is hellish. And doing a startup while you study Engineering for the first time at university is crazy.

At the end of 2013, after many failures, I decided to step back and reflect on my failures. What was I missing? What did I lack? What was stopping me? And why?

Here are the lessons I learned:

  1. Do one thing really well.
    I’d like to win a triathlon one day, I’d like to complete a degree in engineering one day. But for now my heart tells me to be an entrepreneur.
  2. Know your skills set, improve them, be the best.
    I have always been good with people and networking. I love leading and inspiring people. I’m not the best, but I will be.
  3. Organise your life and surroundings.
    It’s going to get really tough one day. So, start now. I am.
  4. Embrace your failures.
    It was only after revisiting my failures that I began to feel motivated again and even more determined than I was in the past. It was a surreal experience at times – I felt somewhat reborn and free.