Commentary: The Business How Failure Leads to Growth If you don’t try, nothing will change, says growth expert Elle Hill. Published 2 years ago on March 21, 2019 By Elle Hill Instore April 2019 Issue Share Tweet “WHY ISN’T SHE breathing?” my mom asked the doctor, her eyes darting back and forth between the syringe and me. An injection and a few moments later, my breathing returned to normal, but my childhood never did. Instead, I began my carefully curated asthma life. Everything I was allowed to do was designed to avoid the risk of failing. I was swaddled tight and never allowed to push beyond what we knew I could safely do. JimmyCast Podcast: Jeffrey Samuels on How to Build a Business to Support a Lifestyle Podcasts Maximizing Your Business Potential Is Easier Than Ever With the Zing™ Platform by Jewelers Mutual® Group Sponsored Podcasts Find Out Why So Many American Jewelers Are Loving Thai Jewelry (and Gemstones) After university, I sat in my first apartment in New York City and made a decision that changed everything: I would run the New York City Marathon. I’d go out every night after work, in the yellow light of the street lamps, armed with my inhaler and my steroid pills. And I would run. I would run until I heard the first wheeze. And continue until my breath became too shallow and I couldn’t run anymore. That first night, I ran for four minutes. I stopped. I took my inhaler. I walked back home. I had an ache in the pit of my chest, not from the wheezing, but from the fear of failure: I might do this night after night, and still not be able to run. I had never done anything I wasn’t sure I could do before. But if I didn’t try, nothing would change. Advertisement So, I repeated this for three weeks until I could run for 10 minutes. And five more weeks until I doubled that. In November of 1999, five months later, I ran the New York City Marathon in four hours and 35 minutes. What I learned is how important failure is. It’s not a byproduct of success — it is the road to success. If you never fail, you’re playing it too safe. If you only act when you know you will succeed, you will never learn something new or reach your potential. In the years after my marathon finish, I have had a new philosophy: I choose what I do next based on what intimidates me most. It’s why I started my own jewelry store, discovered it was a bad business model, and overhauled it. Each painful failure was a hard-won lesson that made me better, smarter, faster. And ultimately, I brought my company public in a $10 million IPO in less than five years. Taking a leap when you can’t guarantee success is exactly what you must do to learn, to grow. To succeed, you must first aim to fail. Advertisement Related Topics: Elle Hill click to Comment(Comment) Up Next Here’s How To Get Millennials’ Attention Don't Miss How I Win Over Young People Who ‘Don’t Like Jewelry’ Elle Hill Elle Hill is an award-winning entrepreneur and CEO of Hill & Co. Fine Jewelry Launch & Growth Experts. Reach her at [email protected] Continue Reading Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO Wilkerson Testimonials Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. 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