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Fuckup Nights Nairobi

To fuckups & new beginnings

With the many ups and downs that life serves us, nobody can claim that they are always on top. If they do, run and run very fast in the opposite direction away from them. We live in an era where success is glorified while failure is talked of in hushed tones.  Society places a higher premium on excellence, recognising those that rise to the occasion with fame, respect and higher standards to live by. It is from this pressure of always being the best that turns many to depressive states because, at the back of their minds, they feel like they have to live up to society’s expectations 24/7. As part of the global movement, Fuckup Nights in Nairobi celebrates professional failure by drawing these shadow stories out in the open and allowing others to learn from them. 

They forget that “there is great power in being at peace with being wrong. It sets you free. When you stop worrying about making a mistake, you find creativity, perception and confidence that gives you access to a state of flow and peak performance. Mistakes are merely new information.” ~ Steve Burns.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

The storytellers of Fuckup Nights were all co-founders of their own ventures, with stories ranging from failures of business partnerships and the financial and legal consequences of falling out with your business partners. The rawest and emotional moments gave us a glimpse into the mental toll that entrepreneurship can take on you. Often made to seem glamorous from the outside, the journey of starting your own venture is both amazing and gruesome.

Speakers of Fuckup Nights Nairobi: Susan Nakami- Business Development Manager at Double Portion, Bikundo Onyari- NLP Coach & Business Mentor, Charlotte De Ridder - Managing Director at Yususdi sharing about professional failures

Lessons learnt

Some of the notable takeaways from that session included;

~When entering into partnerships, always capture the details in writing. For instance, in partnerships, what role does each partner play and what happens if they don’t meet their commitments.  

~It’s okay to be vulnerable. Don’t build your walls too high. At the end of the day, we all need a support system of friends, family or colleagues that will be there for us when the going gets tough.

~Burnout is real, and it can happen to anyone. And if you don’t listen to the warning signs and you break your body or mind, it’s not easy to mend. If you feel like you might be at risk, don’t rely on your own judgment – ask the ones closest to you what they think your mental and physical health might be telling you.

~Choose carefully who you lie in bed with. Trust should not be generously dished out.

~It’s okay not to have figured yourself out in your 20s, or your 30s. Or… you get the gist. Nobody is posting their failures on social media, but everyone fails in their life. Stick to your lane and do you.

~Values are important. You have to stand for something or else you’ll fall for everything.  

~Strive to be the early bird. There just might be freebies when you keep time.

If you missed out, the next Fuckup Night is on December 5th. If you happen to mess up before then, you can trust that you’ll find this growing community of individuals that recognises failure as stepping stones to greater things. They will share their failures and appreciating the screwups you’ve committed on your way to success.