Canadian Lawyer

December/January 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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www.canadianlawyermag.com 35 Winfrey was fired from her job as a reporter before she became a household name. Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple before making a glorious comeback. When we see people doing incredible things, we forget they often started from nothing — or worse. We see rock bottom as a conclusion. But if you look at it from another angle, it's a foundation. That's because falling down — however humiliating it may feel — has posi- tive side effects. It forces us to start fresh. It breeds humility. Failure simplifies by process of elimina- tion. It removes excess noise and hurdles, giving way to greater movement. Another consequence of failure is total freedom. With nowhere else to fall, we can let go. Losing everything should never be glorified. But we must remember that we can build from the ground up. ideas well past their expiry date, hoping for a sudden return on investment. The prospect of failure takes on a very different form when it's not costing anyone their money, their time or their sanity. So start projects with a light touch and an open mind. I can vouch for this approach: JotForm started as a pressure-free side project, which meant I could test it as a fun hypothesis rather than a serious source of income. When we fail, something inside us inevitably changes. And by embracing that feeling of change instead of fearing it, we can use it to our advantage Learn to be hyper-frugal with time, finances and resources, at least in the early stages of a venture. Then, if it flops, it's less of an ego blow and more of a learning curve. Plus, testing quickly and cheaply gives you scope to try a different, better idea. Soon. View rock bottom as a starting point Travis Kalanick's first startup declared bankruptcy before he founded Uber. Oprah 3

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