Failure In Perspective

I had an amazing birthday celebration today, along with my wife and daughter, who share the same birthday. (My son’s birthday is in November but we include him equally in all the July 23 festivities.) I’m thankful for my health and my family. But today’s celebration coincided with something not so amazing…

It’s been a gloomy week at Syncapse, the company I’ve been at since it acquired our last startup in early 2012. Syncapse is restructuring and some employees are moving on, including me.

I have fond memories working with an incredibly smart and innovative team, helping some of the most valuable and storied brands become better marketers. I am thankful for a rich experience — including incredible accomplishments and some hard lessons — that leaves me a far more complete executive. I have no regrets.

This is a short-term blow to me and others, though moving beyond dark clouds is energizing. I’m proud of how colleagues are coming together to help one another out. Plus, if you work in the business of marketing or technology, there is no scarcity of interesting challenges and promising opportunities. The market is hot.

Some of my colleagues have had a more difficult time absorbing the news. The same goes for many of my personal advisors and friends, who’ve generously reached out and expressed concern. That prompted me to write down my perspective on failure and share it with them (and now you).


People fail. It can be devastating.

However, it’s important to remember that people who have never experienced failure most likely haven’t taken risks. Their growth is limited. They’re not interesting or seasoned.

Failing is not bad. What matters is how you get up, how you interpret outcomes into learning, and how you become stronger.

Sometimes failure and mistakes are easily understood. Sometimes failure is complex and takes weeks, months or longer to fully understand.

Whichever the case, it is not something to hide from or be discouraged by.

You’re better off embracing failure, being proud of it, and using it to your advantage.

As for me, I’m taking the rest of the summer off to recharge, spend time with my family and plan my next move back into the marketing and technology world. I’m passionate about it and am excited to do a lot more.

Stay tuned and onward…

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

12 replies on “Failure In Perspective”

  1. Great perspective Max…definitely keep in touch after you enjoy your time off with your fam.

  2. Max. It was great and fortuitous seeing you over the weekend. Your message is true. Smooth waters never made a skilled mariner. Hopefully you are around next week and we can visit.

  3. Max – good luck with the next adventure. I’m sure you’ll land in an even better situation with all your talent and skills.

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