Well, what an amazing experience! Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking about failure and perseverance at KEDA Consulting’s amusingly titled, ‘Pizza For Losers’ event. Here’s a little clip for your delectation:
It’s so refreshing to hear @alexisstrum talk so candidly about her failures.— Pizza For Losers (@PizzaForLosers) June 5, 2019
“We are not failures, we are just pre-successful”
Oh and be a cockroach and keep perservering! #PizzaForLosers pic.twitter.com/Q4b4h2INMl
I actually got the gig thanks to a lovely friend of mine, Beth Friday, who saw an ad for the event and swiftly contacted me, saying I just had to blag my way onto the bill, what with me being The Queen Of Failure and all that jazz. I didn’t take it personally… Seriously though, these days I am owning the shit out of who I am and how I got here. Failed popstar, almost supermodel, you name it, I’ve sort of done it, but I just love talking about it all. As Beck once said, ‘I’m a loser, baby’ and THIS loser loves to self-roast for the purposes of entertainment, dahlings!
So, I set about contacting organiser Nikki Bell via Twitter (my main mode of communication these days for work/Kylie Jenner quotes/customer complaints) and lo and behold, we both loved the same silly GIFs and staged a GIF-off (is that a thing?) before realising that this indeed was destiny. Plus, I once played the CEO of Domino’s pizza in an advert, so the irony of the event being called, ‘Pizza For Losers’ was even more poignant:
Prepping for the event was surprisingly easy – the slides just came together like avocado on sourdough toast (#millennial), because I know my subject matter so so well: me. Simples.
I have to say that it went better than expected, with no technical glitches or ceilings caving in, which is more than you would expect from a day celebrating failure live on stage. Although I did have to do it barefoot, because my shoes were just too regrettably high and had me walking like a Thunderbird on Diazepam. Ok, and I’ll be honest, that wasn’t my only #fail yesterday, as I did also lose my car keys, glasses and well, my marbles a little bit too by the end of the day, partly due to lack of sleep (aka my snoring toddler) and partly due to the emotional experience of hearing my co-speakers talk about their own brutal dealings with the big F (failure). It was a real rollercoaster ride of emotions for all of us, I’ll tell you but one we can all learn and grow from, because failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I am very grateful to our wonderful audience too for being so beautifully honest with us about their own experiences.
I have to admit it, I ruddy love public speaking. It truly is my perfect fit. I get to indulge my OCD side with all that meticulous PowerPoint planning and then get to go and hot mess-ify it all up again with my creative side in the moment of delivery, improvising the shit out of my very existence.
And it is so wonderful to know that my experiences of failing and picking myself back up again (and those too of my excellent co-speakers) were received so well – the feedback on Twitter has been so heartening. I’m more than happy to own my ‘almost popstar’ failures if it can help engage and motivate others! Here’s one of my fave reviews of the event so far:
“Alexis Strum then picked up the mantle and ran with it in hilariously leftfield directions, speaking about the many times she almost ‘made it’, variously as a pop star, an actor, a model, and a spy (don’t ask – she can’t tell you). I loved her suggestion that we’re not losers. We’re pre-successful!“Richard Sved, 3rd Sector Mission Control
I think the notion people connected with the most from my talk though, was the concept of the subjectivity of failure- that it is never about the numbers- one million likes on insta, one million quid in the bank, being a size 10 or working for number 10, it is about how you perceive your success. Perception, folks, is everything.
I can’t wait to speak at another event soon. Oh and don’t forget, tickets are already on sale for my next ‘Time I Almost…’ storytelling event on 18th September at The Book Club, where I can promise you will be fully regaled by the ‘Sliding Doors’ stories on offer.