When working towards anything in life there’s always the possibility of making mistakes that can sometimes make you feel like a failure. You feel like you could have done more or you should have done something differently to avoid it. That may well be true, and I’ve had moments where I’ve felt exactly like this along my journey in business and as an author.
What I’ve had to learn to do over time is see what I can take away from the mistakes that I’ve made. A significant example is with the publishing process of my first book, Tales of the Hood. I allowed my publishing company to design the cover art for me instead of sourcing my own. When the book wasn’t put together as planned I decided to pull the book from print and re-publish as an e-book, but I was unable to go ahead with the cover art I had already fallen in love with because they owned the copyright and I was publishing with a new company. At 16 years old I really didn’t want the legal trouble, so in the end I had to get another cover designed and re-published as planned.
Everything worked out in the end, but I was kicking myself over that fact that if I had just sources my owned cover art from the beginning, I could have avoided the short misrepresentation of my debut novel. However, when I reflect on the experience now I realise that no amount of research is enough when it comes to protecting your interests. Going forward, the cover art for my next two books were produced independently which is a step I probably would have taken if I didn’t have that negative experience.
I chose to focus on how I bounced back from the obstacle instead of the obstacle itself. I acknowledge that achievement that I still published my book and people loved it.
Similarly, I’ve had super blunders impact my fashion business too. Many of these were out if my control but at the time I still acted as if there was something I could have done to make the outcome different. When I first set up Unique Boutique London, I had my designs and fabrics ready, and needed a seamstress to bring them to life.
After extensive research I settled with a seamstress that had a proven track record for good service and quality. She created the patterns perfectly and now it was time to create the garments. I’d invested a substantial amount of capital to get my business venture started, but when the time came to view the samples, only three designs out of the collection had come out well. She explained that she had a lot more work on that she could handle unrelated to my own and unfortunately this was the result. I was more than disappointing. Not only had I made a loss on the process, but there was no way I could go ahead with the seamstress and I didn’t have enough capital to start the whole initial process again. I wanted to give up for a time, but then I pushed myself to come up with an idea, and that’s when Urban Underground Streetwear and Gemini Designs Crochet were born.
If I didn’t go through this failure, I never would have decided to learn how to crochet or would have started customising streetwear for my womenswear collections.
Sometimes what feels like a failure at the time is the start of something new and right for you. There’s still times where I make mistakes but the difference is, I’m not hard on myself about them. I’m adaptable and that goes for many of us. We have the ability to work through difficult situations even when we don’t feel to. That’s the passion within creative’s and entrepreneurs. We make things happen!