The Language of Failure Matters. Instead of just calling it failure rather I’d welcome you to call it lessons in life. We have a negative connotation when we hear the word failure so changing what we name it, creates a different feeling.
As part of my series about prominent entrepreneurs and executives that overcame adversity to achieve great success”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Connie Chi. Connie is an expert in media communications, public relations, and founder of The Chi Group, an award-winning PR and brand management agency working with inspirational talents, personalities, and brands. She speaks across the United States about marketing, talent management, brand communications, entrepreneurship, and is known for her TEDx Talk titled, “Lonely AF: Lonely About Failure.” Connie has written 2 books, “Overachieving AF: Overachieving Failure and The Lessons It Teaches,” and Branding Without A Brand: Taking Your Brand From Zero to Hero. Her robust background also includes being certified in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Diamond Grading, Media Relations, and Event Planning. She has over 18 years of combined corporate experience in luxury marketing, personal brand building, public relations, brand management and sales working alongside global brands such as Neilsen, 99 Ranch, Lord & Taylor, Reebok, Nike, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bailey Banks & Biddle, Fortunoff, and many more. Chi mentors teen entrepreneurs at Origins Bootcamp and sits on the board of directors for The Garrison Redd Project which is on a mission to disable limitations and connect the di sabled community to opportunities in the workforce.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?
Myjourney hasn’t always been smooth sailing. I worked for 16 years in the diamond wholesale mining business. One day I realized that my company would profit off my death and I’m risking my life for diamonds that I didn’t own, not to mention I was unhappy working for someone else’s dreams. That was what sparked my drive to become an entrepreneur paving the way for my own dreams and betting on myself.
Can you share your story of when you were on the brink of failure? First, take us back to what it was like during the darkest days.
I have tons of failure stories, some are extreme while others are funny. But the one that I will say I’m most proud of is the fact that I have 3 failed businesses. Most people wouldn’t admit it, but for me I think moments like that are what forges character and individuality. I went into entrepreneurship for the freedom it would award me, but didn’t realize that you don’t start businesses because it’s “trending.” That was my biggest mistake. Even more recently during the pandemic I had a moment where I questioned myself on whether or not I should continue entrepreneurship. It was Joe Polish who pulled me out of the rut, guiding me through. You see with entrepreneurs their identity is seamlessly tied to their businesses so when you think of closing a business it shatters your self-identity taking you to a dark place.
What was your mindset during such a challenging time? Where did you get the drive to keep going when things were so hard?
Honestly, I was ready to throw it all away because I felt like nothing was working and that I might’ve hit a brick wall. Getting out of 3 failed businesses required taking a hard look at myself and really asking the tough questions. When it came to my recent business experience what pulled me through the insanely dark place was simply someone who held out a helping hand. I remember talking to Joe Polish about what I was going through and the first question he asked me was, “How bad is it?” In one conversation he was able to help me find clarity and direction again with my business.
Tell us how you were able to overcome such adversity and achieve massive success? What did the next chapter look like?
Overcoming adversity is an ongoing process especially for entrepreneurs. Everyday there are new adversities you face; it’s just a matter of how big or small it is. Massive success is having the ability to get up every morning and chase your dreams. In order to do that you need to constantly want to expand your mind and learn new things. For me the next chapter is and will always be about leveling up and dare to dream bigger. Pulling through these “failures”/lessons is about implementing small changes in my life, for one “Thinking Time” will become a staple amongst other tweaks.
Based on your experience, can you share 3 actionable pieces of advice about how to develop the mindset needed to persevere through adversity? (Please share a story or example for each.)
1.Change Your Relationship With Failure
Celebrate your failures often. We shame our failures and don’t talk about it. If we celebrate our failures as much as we celebrate our wins it changes the way we approach failures.
2. The Language of Failure Matters
Instead of just calling it failure rather I’d welcome you to call it lessons in life. We have a negative connotation when we hear the word failure so changing what we name it, creates a different feeling.
3. Learn To Be Your Own Cheerleader
Not everyone will cheer you on so it’s your responsibility to be your number one cheerleader. Celebrate every win and loss so that you have the ability to keep pushing forward. When it comes to our losses, celebrate what you learned from them and not what you missed.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are many who have helped shape my journey especially as a founder, serial entrepreneur, and publicist. I wouldn’t be able to single out just one person in particular but rather it’s a collective of different people who have contributed in their own ways at different points of my journey.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I actually just finished writing my second book, “Overachieving AF: Overachieving Failure and The Lessons It Teaches. Too often we are ashamed to talk about our failures for fear of embarrassment and my objective is to change the conversation and stigma around failure especially with entrepreneurs. The same way we celebrate our wins is the same way we should celebrate our failures or rather lessons.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
As an entrepreneur I’m very passionate about our next generations of entrepreneurs. They are the ones’ we will be passing the torch over to and the generation that has the propensity to change the world. For me I want to inspire our next generation to explore the possibilities of being an entrepreneur while manifesting their wildest dreams.
Any parting words of wisdom that you would like to share?
Have the courage to chase your dreams and happiness. When we’re constantly worried about others’ opinions on our life path and journey it hinders our ability to grow and truly experience life.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Readers can follow me at:
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.