Today at Xerocon Atlanta, Sarah Robb O’Hagan took to the stage to deliver a unique message: make failure your fuel. The CEO of fast-growing indoor cycling company, Flywheel Sports, Sarah’s road to success wasn’t without its hurdles. Having previously held positions at Virgin and Atari (and been fired and laid off from them respectively) Sarah has had her fair share of failures.
But through this time she learned it takes extreme focus to achieve extraordinary results. She learned the importance of this when the landscape is moving so fast, having observed entire industries disrupted because they weren’t able to reinvent themselves
Covering everything from her secrets to success, challenging your perspective on what it takes to achieve it, and how to think outside of the box – Sarah made us want to kick the status quo!
Step up and stand out
Speaking about her book: Extreme YOU: Step up. Stand out. Kick Ass. Repeat., Sarah shared some of her tools and resources for finding and exploiting your best traits. She talked about the benefits of taking big risks and gave tips on how to deal with huge failures. Sarah was not afraid to share her failures with us in order to shine a light on how they have helped her reach this success.
She even keeps a list of “epic fails” in order to keep herself grounded and remind herself of her humble beginnings. She also shared the stories of the many people she’s met behind huge success stories, including Bode Miller, the former American World Cup alpine ski racer. Sarah observed Kode’s key differentiator to be his ability to recover quickly from crashes. She explained how important it is to be in tune with your unique specialties.
“To be ‘extreme you’ is to live at the edge of your potential,” Sarah said. “We all have to understand what is our extreme focus so we don’t get distracted by shiny new objects.”
She shared a lesson about the importance of breaking yourself to make yourself and constantly disrupting yourself. Get outside of what is normal for you to learn new things. She said this is a lesson that can be applied to those in the accounting industry.
“You bring humanity to what can be a very data-driven exercise,” Sarah told audience members. “It’s on all of us to reject that notion. You provide advice, context and humanity around accounting decisions. If we don’t have that, what is going to become of the world?”
Sarah said that everyone should focus on their own strengths, not on their competitors. Comparing oneself to your competitors will only lead to unhealthy relationships. Focus on bettering yourself, she said – the key person to helping you succeed is you. She also challenged everyone to take a moment to assess their own strengths. By doing so, she said, you might just get further than you even knew you could.