By Bonnie Chen; Catapult Incubator 2019
Before Quarter Zero, I was afraid of falling short of my plans and, more greatly, failing to accomplish something I spent hours constructing. Failure is something that seems taboo to talk about, and honestly who wants to share a failure or mishap that they have gone through? It puts people in a vulnerable spot, digging at something that they hope to bury away completely.
But that seemed to slowly fade off as I learned that there was no time to stop. Instead of dwelling on the past, blaming and reminding myself of what I didn’t do well, Quarter Zero taught me to look forwards and work on what I can do better tomorrow. The mentors that I have met this summer gave me one special lesson: run with failure, take what didn’t work and think of new ideas that I could move forwards with.
The program Quarter Zero constructs does not give us time to look at the past and stare at it, hoping it would change. Instead, when an idea falls apart, we move quickly, thinking of other potential options and work towards that. The summer involves various tasks that allows a student to get out of their comfort zone, from speaking to strangers on the streets to presenting in front of judges who hold CEO statuses. There are rejections left and right and after 6 weeks of potential no’s, it has left me immune to other rejections ahead. Suddenly, rejection does not seem like a fault but rather it allows us to learn and grow into an individual beyond imaginable.
You will think about a lot of the mistakes you made, think about the times where you have screwed up and learned to strengthen yourself along the process. When you fail and take the time to sit and reflect, there is a great possibility that along your future path, you will fail in the direction of success. Rejection sucks in the moment, but it’s sweet to prove people wrong later on. In entrepreneurship, when the rest of the world does not believe in you, believe in yourself and don’t stop pursuing the things you want. You will learn to love the rejection once the correct doors open up for you.
Entrepreneurship has taught me to change my language of “but” to “and”. Because in that way, it opens up many possibilities to greater success. Entrepreneurship also allows me to understand empathy on a deeper level. I learned to build relationships by being vulnerable and seeking guidance when I feel stuck. I have learned to treat obstacles, not as a halt to my success but rather a new learning opportunity that will help me reach my end goal and where I want to be in life. Entrepreneurship taught me to fail fast but get right back up. It taught me to hustle and enjoy that feeling of continuous jolts of energy. I learned to run with my failures and never look back.