Grads, I Hope You Fail. A Lot

Grads, I hope you fail. A lot.

Not exactly the hopeful message typical of graduation ceremonies.

But I’m of the opinion that those speeches sort of miss the point. Hope springs from good fortune, which truly blesses the prepared.

Graduation Caps

Failure’s the unsung hero of success. It gets all the blame for the hardships of life rather than the blessings of a successful end result.

Dating dogs helps shift through to find a happily ever after. Surviving a rat-infested studio to enjoy a beautiful 3-bedroom home. Shaving carburetor parts in a car factory precedes the successful PR firm.

Failure’s truly a wonderful thing.

The most successful people I know failed often and took enormous risks. Lost thousands of dollars, millions even and constantly reinvent themselves.

Life will kick you down, sometimes repeatedly and you’ll think you can endure no more. People will fire you, you will get laid off, your work will be unsatisfactory, a boss will hate you, you will hate a boss.

The great results of all that: you get better every day, eventually surrounding yourself with like-minded people who compliment your talents.

You won’t be good at everything. But hopefully, you’ll figure out what you’re good at and raise the bar.

In short: forget GPAs, your alma matter, and your breeding. It’s the guts, that inner drive that propels you forward, look up that giant mountain and take your first step.

Sounds daunting, but the journey’s magnificent. You’ll find as you age you truly do get better, at everything. Work, love, life.

Interesting people challenge themselves every day. Don’t allow yourself to become boring.

Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino once told me: “I’m never satisfied with yesterday. I wake up every morning and think: ‘How can I be better?’ “

Be better. Every day.

And don’t forget to fail. Fail a lot.

– Erica Holloway is the principal at national PR firm Galvanized Strategies. Subscribe to her Zn30 Blog posts.


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