Wednesday Words

To Go Where Your VisionPoints, a few inspiration points for you and your business.

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.


I had the great good privilege to wander into Harvard University’s commencement speech on Sunday, just a little bit late; no jacket, or ticket, required, thank goodness. I was in a t-shirt and jeans.

Plutarch was quoted, and Seneca, too, so you knew it was Harvard even if the backdrop didn’t scream Cambridge to you—as it does to a lady who spent many Saturdays there as a teen. There was a big difference, though, in the speaker, a woman whose work had already touched nearly every young adult in the audience. No dusty old Roman scholar was she.

… [By] every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew…. rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

… Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies.

Can you grow your business from spectacular failure? Yes, and the time is now. I’ve watched some failures, I’ve had my share, but I’ll never say it as movingly as it was said this year at Harvard.

Even if you’re in a t-shirt and jeans, click away, dear reader, and wander back to June 5, 2008, inside the ivy walls of Harvard. This now ranks as one of the two best* commencement speeches I’ve ever heard. What’s that? Oh, didn’t I say who? J.K. Rowling speaks at Harvard about the fringe benefits of failure. Don’t miss it.


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson


*The other, as friend Brett of 6 Weeks will tell you any time you ask, was given by Steve Jobs, at Stanford in 2005. I’ve had the text of that one printed out for ages, and Ms. Rowling’s joined it this week.

(Happy Canada Day to Brett and my northern friends… just a little bit late.)