Learning from failure and San Francisco

On the edge of clicking the little blue ‘Publish’ button, I feel a sudden turn in my stomach. 

Will people like my post? Am I serving my ideal customers with valuable content? Will anyone comment or share what I’m putting out there? 

Does anyone even care?

Every single blog post I write fills me with this same list of fears. 

I know this is a first world problem.

Feeling safe is a primitive human need.

‘But Rach’, I tell myself, ‘going out of your comfort zone leads to growth’! 

I finally click, and let my thoughts and dreams go out into the online world. 

I jump and hide behind my desk and do my best to get on with client work while I secretly wait to click on how many likes my articles get on social media. Sad, I know.

So why does basic marketing (after all it’s what I do every day for my clients), have to be filled with such internal drama?

Recently I visited San Francisco.

After 20 years of work, my husband and I took a month sabbatical (a whole new blog post!). 

Anyway, it’s such an inspiring place to be. Home of the hippies, the tech boom and Silicon Valley.

What I learned there was that failure is part of the city’s culture. 

People aren’t afraid of it. 

In fact, they positively embrace it. 

They start a new project, it fails, they learn, they move on. 

This is why fast growth companies like Uber, AirBnB and Dropbox all have their HQ’s in the San Francisco Bay area.

For a long standing perfectionist Virgo like me, it’s a revelation. 

Here’s what I realised:

That the fear of being perfect doesn’t serve our growth, either personally or professionally. 

Question is, are you letting ‘perfect’ get in the way of your growth? 

Are you stopping yourself shining in PR, on LinkedIn, at events because you’re too scared to fail? 

I’ve come to realise that all the most successful, high profile business leaders often go out on a limb to share what they know. 

I’m trying to do more of this and I really hope you’ll join in the fun at the other side of our comfort zones.

What are your thoughts and stories about failure? I’d love to know, leave a comment below or share this with your contacts.

Here’s to your success,


Rachel Clark is a Director at Wrapped PR. She helps business leaders to grow their profile, get more leads and make more sales using strategic communications, PR and social media campaigns. You can follow her on twitter @rachelmclarkpr 

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