From nights spent in the Prudential Center chomping away at Wagamama and Eataly enjoying whilst shooting for the blog, to 5:00 AM weekday mornings spent responding to emails and taking calls in regards to brand deals and negotiations, and weekends that should’ve been spent partying away but instead saw me cramming for exams, polishing presentations, and finishing last minute assignments, my time in Boston had to be something of a rarity.
“You’re a student first.”
“How come I never hear you complain about school?”
“Why are you trying so hard professionally? Hold your horses until you graduate!”
Sorry, family—that’s what you get for sending me to a school specialized in business and entrepreneurship.
Don’t get me wrong. Hearing all of these statements did break my heart because while I never expressed my gratitude and love for my education and college community, both on my blog and to my parents, I thoroughly owe everything I’ve created online to principles my college has instilled in me.
Faith, the power of failure, and the celebration of triumph over success are all pillars that are central to the spirit of the education I received. I’ve had to make a lot of tradeoffs in the last two years as I’ve devoted attention to Stylebymalvika, and I’d be lying if I said these tradeoffs didn’t make me fail in some arenas of life.
I’ve failed socially plenty of times.
My biggest regrets are not fostering relationships with individuals who clearly wanted the best for me. Time is the most valuable asset you can give to someone, and sometimes, choosing business over socializing has meant failing to follow through on what might have turned out to be the most beautiful and meaningful relationships. Cherish and spend time and effort on people who have impacted you, in both small and big ways. Don’t shy away from being the first person to say hello or strike up a conversation. Be the friendly person you’d want others to be around you.
I’ve failed academically, but not in the most traditional sense.
Chalk this up to the discipline I’ve been building up, especially given my background as a dancer, but my grades were pretty decent, and I’m happy about that, I guess. Where I’ve failed is not giving the same dose of enthusiasm I am used to giving in other areas, like with my blog. While some might not look at this as a failure, it certainly pinched me when I graduated with a 3.74, which earned me Magna cum Laude, when I KNEW a bit more enthusiasm where my studies were concerned would’ve earned me the 3.75 required to earn Summa cum Laude. Sometimes a failure doesn’t have to be drastic to make a drastic impact on you—it can be as small as a 0.01 difference. So, it’s important to note that if you’re going to do something, do it the BEST you possibly can.
I have, in the past, failed personally.
From comparing myself to others academically, professionally, and romantically, I’ve put immense pressure on myself and have doubted my abilities and God’s greater plan for me. Why couldn’t I be the one to earn that academic excellence award? Is it stupid that I’m not striving for a job at KPMG or Facebook like everyone else has and instead want to take time to work on my content and scale my own business? Why couldn’t I land that partnership with my favorite luxury brand? Why does everyone around me seem to be so in love—do I just have an unattractive personality? It’s no question that driven dreamers like you and I want to achieve the best that life can possibly give us, but feeling small in comparison to others disrespects and neglects your unique history, story, and pathway that a higher power has carved out for you. Still, that idyllic path wont just come to you, you’ll have to work bloody hard. Just learn to block out the noise of comparison.
But herein lies the gift of failure–it is what makes you. Today, I am a better person because I’ve failed. I am more sensitive a human being, smarter a businesswoman, and more understanding of the ways of the world.
I walked out of college two days ago with a Bachelor’s Degree, and am moving back to my hometown of LA in hopes of continuing to scale Stylebymalvika. I’ve been blessed to have started to turn my passion into a business, but still have a long way to go.
Nobody will say this, but this profession is a bit unsettling, especially when you have a degree that can earn you a job at a wonderful firm with a stable, set income. But, if I’m working for someone else’s dreams, I know I’d be failing myself personally again. You see, the beauty of failure is learning, improving, and implementing change in your life. I owe it to myself to see my dreams through, and no amount of uncertainty, hate, or external doubts will stop me. My goal is that you, too, adopt this mindset and embrace failures as your biggest opportunities for growth.
Yes, Stylebymalvika was a passion project I started as a student, but it’s far from a “side hustle,” it’s practically my baby, and being a parent is a full time job. I thank all of you guys so much for reading my articles, engaging with my content, and believing in me 🙂 Here’s to much, much more. I’m excited for what’s up next for us.