Why Entrepreneurs Should Prepare to Fail

02.01.15

 
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I think it’s safe to say I pretty much failed at running this blog in 2014. Between running my own start up MY FLASH TRASH, < (and it’s blog) my Harper’s BAZAAR column and my other social media channels I’ve woefully neglected the visitors to my own website. Je suis désolé! So in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions I’ve decided to update the blog with one really good (hopefully) post a month on the things that really matter to me most; Startups, Enterprise, Motivation and Business & Trend insights. Fashion, food and other frivolities of my 23 year old life may still be found on my instagram should it please you to know what Im eating, wearing or what my new puppy #misssuziewong is doing.
On the realisation of this failure I wanted to start 2015 off with just that. So many young people I meet want to start their own business and that’s fantastic, but there is a severe lack of failure education and if you don’t have the right mental strategy to deal with it, it can be crushing. Preparing to fail should be a key part of your business plan. 2 friends and very successful entrepreneurs Michael Acton-Smith and Leo Seigal kindly offered me their thoughts on the inevitable failure most start ups face. Whether it’s huge catastrophic this is the end kind of failure (Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things also addresses this well) or just a small little hiccup kind of fail, the way we deal with these moments is hugely important for your own state of mind not to mention your team.
Michael and I met via a conversation on twitter and we went on to create one of the first product lines for Moshi Monsters a cute range of silver charms a couple of years ago- he shares his thoughts below..

‘ ‘Fail fast’ is one of my favourite mantras.  There’s nothing wrong with failing as long as you do it fast and don’t repeat the same mistakes.  Building ground breaking businesses is risky and you’ve got to be prepared to screw up many, many times before you finally crack it.’

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  [Louis Theroux, Amber Atherton & Michael Acton-Smith] 
Incubated by Y-Combinator and with over a $1million in venture capital funding, Prizeo is a platform for celebrities to raise funds for charitable causes by offering rewards and exciting experiences to donors, started by Leo Seigal , his co-founder Bryan and CTO Andrej. From party discussions at SXSW to juices in West Hollywood and numerous brunches in Islington, I’ve been lucky to spend a lot of global brainstorming time with Leo and his thoughts below on the topic are well worth a read…
‘As an entrepreneur I have been lucky enough not to have a failed company, but rather have had to deal (like pretty much any entrepreneur) with an array of smaller, almost daily failures. When your product is your baby, and you work as closely to it as we do, it’s impossible not to take every inevitable hiccup to heart and feel it at your core. When you are constantly pushing so hard to achieve your goal, you can find yourself getting lost in a negative situation and losing all sense of perspective, as well as at times feeling like you want to just give up at that very moment.

Fortunately, I normally bounce back pretty quickly, dust myself off, and keep going. Having put so much sweat and blood into my company to date I don’t think there has ever been a specific moment that I’ve considered actually throwing in the towel, but there have certainly been times that I sit down and wonder why the hell I chose [what feels at the time to be] such a traumatic and thankless path.I think my coping mechanism has been to try and take a step back and remind myself that as frustrating or disappointing as a situation may be, I have still come so far and achieved so much that I would be silly to beat myself up too much, or indeed give up. So I keep going and striving to reach that ever-elusive goal.’

sxsw [Amber Atherton, Casey Zhang & Leo Seigal]
Bouncing back quickly is a habit Leo and I share, I recently told Virgin Pioneers about my own pivot and what small failures can provide in way of clarity to catalyse you to focus. I hope in the face of failure this year you too can see it as priceless lesson that will ultimately lay another brick in the foundations to your own success.

HAPPY NEW YEAR MAY 2015 BE A PROSPEROUS AND HAPPY ONE FOR YOU & YOUR STARTUP.

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Share your thoughts with me on failure or what articles you’d like to see next on twitter! @AMBERATHERTON

This is what I’m doing right now

13.10.14

1. Drinking loads of Glaceau Smart Water. This water at first tastes weird and then it quickly becomes the only water you want to drink. It also hands down the best water bottle size.

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2. Watching SHOW STUDIO: My friend Lou presents these v interesting panel talks. Watch Alexandra Shulman say she doesn’t ‘love fashion’ and other fun insights.

3. Going to The Mall! I just launched this brand new platform – the sister site to MY FLASH TRASH, The Mall is home to the world’s coolest new designers!

4. Using Ping Tune: This new music app lets you share videos instantly with your friends- they load really fast on 3G too. No seriously like way faster than YouTube.

5. Wearing Club Monaco: After attending their festival like launch party in Sloane Square last month- I’m hooked on this brand’s winning formula of monochrome luxe.

 

Club Monaco Sloane Square Event 

Welcome to my favourite hotel in the world

08.07.14

7. MOHKG Fan and Doorman

Peeking out of the Hong Kong shore line, The Mandarin Oriental sits quietly in between the jungle of skyscrapers overlooking the harbour. Humble and elegant this much loved hotel has stood for 50 years in the centre of the metropolis, transporting guests into a sanctuary of both decadence and serenity. (Seriously the feng shui in this building has to been the best in Hong Kong.) Having spent many wonderful moments throughout my child hood in this hotel from  birthday afternoon teas to New Year’s Eves, whilst on a trip to Asia I decided I had to stay. It’s simply my favourite hotel in the world-  here’s 5 reasons why.

  1) Interior Design/ View Game is STRONG- It’s about lounging from the bed to the sofa to the chair. Seriously considering becoming a recluse if it involves staying only in this room forever I’m fine with it. There are also binoculars for when Facebook stalking is boring you.

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2)The bathrooms though- We’re talking Hermes amenities and water pressure from heaven.

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 3)  Without a doubt the best kept secret swimming pool in Hong Kong

 

4) You can be up in the gym just working on your fitness

5)  Little touches- obviously the service is out of this world amazing, and the whole team go to great lengths to continuously surprise you.  I loved the welcoming jasmine tea and some champagne didn’t hurt either. Hi bubbles.

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Other things that need to be mentioned. The rose petal jam, the florist, the much love cake shop with out of this world custom cakes and of course Pierre- one of the best restaurants in the world, sits on the top floor. Humble like everything else.

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61.  MOHKG - Swimming Pool 43.  MOHKG - Man Wah

Visit The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – Rooms from £300 a night

About Last Night: A Russian Romance @CafeRoyalHotel #VILSHENKO

21.06.14

To Cafe Royal last night where Russian designer Olga Vilshenko hosted a summer soiree for her resort collection. Splitting her time between studios in Moscow and London, Olga’s beautiful designs combine the folklore and heritage of Russia with western couture practices.  I fell in love with the opulently embroidered dress I wore for the evening, ankle length and nipped in at the waist, Im currently embracing dressing like a lady. Piling into a car with  Bertie Brandes and too many bags, we layered on the flash trash girl jewellery, quickly discarding our backpacks at reception as we arrived at the decadent Regent street based hotel.

VILSHENKORESORT

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A fashion party on a Friday night is a rare thing, but TBH like we were doing anything else anyway, so in we drifted to the ball room, where champagne was flowing and Paula Goldstein was behind the decks blasting out fashion party classics like You’re So Vain and wearing the best sleeves i have ever seen on a dress ( above) Making a bee line for the carpaccio canapes, we hung out briefly at the catering door to nab them in the chicest of fashions. As more immaculately dressed guests floated in, it was hard to believe it was a Friday night in central London in 2014. I mean it was just too romantic and chic.

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Catching up with artist Christabel Mac Greevy and director of the new STORE at Soho House Berlin, Alex Eagle, we chatted summer plans before a sultry Marissa Montgomery arrived in a cut out, sheer black number ‘Are you wearing Vilshenko too?!’ was the most overheard phrase as we all embraced our temporary status as Russian Princesses in a Romanov Romance that was far too brief.  As the brilliant Fernando Jorge elegantly held up the male ratio and the sun began to set, we downed the last of our vodka and drifted into the night.

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