I'm A Successful Creative Director — & This Was My First Failure

“Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always” — Rainer Maria Rilke
Shannon Washington has it all: The career, the life, everything. She's a successful creative director who has worked with several of your favourite beauty brands. She also made time to co-found Feminist Enough, a storytelling project which gives a fresh voice to women of colour and modern feminist ideals, powered by video and social media. On LinkedIn her career seems perfect, but just like with all social media, it only tells a small part of the story.
In this episode of The Failure Project, Washington shares the rest of the story, not just the highlights. She talks about what her journey was really like.
Washington walks us through what it was like to be a first-generation college student who finds out part way through her degree that pre-med isn’t going to work out; what it was like to lose her scholarships and convince her mum that getting a creative degree would all work out; what it was like to get fired from her first job. With time and perspective, Washington has come to realise that it was those very failures that have made her who she is. It opened the doors for the life she has now.
So what's Washington’s advice when you are in that moment feeling like a failure? “Throw on some mascara and Cardi B, and figure that shit out.” Watch the video above for more of her advice.
The Failure Project: Life isn't glossy; it isn't Insta-perfect. But at any given moment there are a million reasons not to feel like you are good enough, from being late to your hair appointment to your weight to your work to school to your personal life — and everything in-between. It becomes all too easy to look at the shiny perfections that social media offers us and take it as the real story. But it's not the whole story. We gathered some inspirational and aspirational people together to tell us the things that don't make it to social media. The moments they failed, the times it didn't work out, what they've learned along the way. Our goal? To start a conversation about failure, and celebrate the other side of the journey.