I have never failed. 


This is not to say that I have never made mistakes, because trust me I have made plenty. I have never failed because that implies that there was an act or instance where I was proven unsuccessful; that there was a lack of success. That my efforts ended in failure. … nonperformance. That something was expected….and never received.


I closed a business during the pandemic. I’ve read books 99% of the way through. I’ve done 20 days of 40 day booty challenges. I am one class shy of finishing a university degree that I may never finish because I know when I am done. I know when it’s time to move on. 


I’ve broken up with men, left jobs and places that I love. I’ve been hurt and sick while pursuing a career in health in wellness. I’ve had some jobs that never made me a dime and created workshops that only 4 people showed up for. 


And none of it was a failure. 


You might look at this list and think, “wow, she is a quitter.” I am one of the hardest working people out there, I just know when I’m done and it’s time to pivot. It’s like that horrible saying, “no need to beat a dead horse.”


One of my most precious assets in life is time. So when I decide I’m done, and I’ve learned everything that I can from a situation……I go. Sometimes that’s a book, sometimes a relationship that no longer serves. What I don’t do is drag myself along doing something that no longer elevates me because I’m scared to make the shift. I am ballsy af. I have the courage to change.


Each and every one of my experiences has been a blessing and a learning. I have deep knowledge of how to build a business and brand. I know how to make money. I know how to lead a team. I know how to cultivate a successful marriage. I know how to make a vision into something more concrete. I know how to build it, learn from it…and how to pivot when it’s time.


When something elevates me, my work or my thinking I commit 110%. I read the book 2-3 times. I take the course again, dissecting the material and making it into something new. I invest serious time into the relationship. I stick with the job or lifestyle for decades while it grows and evolves. 


Everything is an evolution. To read something doesn’t mean that we know something. Lived experience is how we embody knowledge in order to really gain wisdom. Each problem, hiccup, mistake, closure and pivot has given me tremendous amounts of knowledge. When I start something new……it’s never brand new. I bring everything that I’ve learned to the table. 


That’s never been more clear to me now. My personal and professional success now is a direct result of all of my learnings. While some career shifts and pivots may seem like they are complete polar opposites (I know garbage men turned doctors and lawyers turned yogis) we’re always bringing all of us to the table. 


I weave my childhood love for art into each piece of design work I do in branding and content creation. I use my many years in psychology to give depth to my writing and yoga classes. I use my injuries and illness to help my 1:1 clients rehabilitate theirs. I use my experience in leadership, management, business building and marketing to help others create sustainable businesses of their own. I help clients spark joy and find the courage to change when they’re going through hard seasons because I know how to overcome depression and anxiety. 


Everything you’ve done, everything you’ve partially done and everything you’ve learned (through good times and bad) is your education. When you shift gears and pivot, it’s not a brand new start. It’s an evolution. 


People that are really successful know how to bring all of them to the table. They know how to appreciate the learnings and mistakes and flip the narrative from “I failed” to “I know better now.”  Or even better…….”that was fun…..what’s next?” 


Knowledge is power and it only comes from lived experience. Lived experience includes failure. Failure is a success story if you let it educate and transform you. The most successful people on earth have “failed” harder than you would ever know. Millionaires make million dollar mistakes. 


So if you’re currently bubble wrapping yourself up in a safety story of highlights and success only, or too scared to try something because you might not be good at at, or you might *gasp* fail at it……you have failed already. The only failure is not trying in the first place. If you want to be successful, and you want to gain wisdom….the only way through is to learn, fumble, fall and fail. Failure can lead to your success story. Having the courage to change is how we become alive. 


With grace and grit,

Karla Treadway