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

A successful woman in advertising shares her advice for getting past failure. It involves being creative (and Cardi B).

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“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 favorite beauty brands. She also made time to co-found Feminist Enough, a storytelling project which gives a fresh voice to women of color 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 mom 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 realize 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.
Shannon Washington Advertising Career AdviceReleased on March 9, 2018

R29 Original Series