Five questions on failure with our co-founders

Lauren Bath and Georgia Rickard talk about their failures before success.

We sit down with the brains behind the Bootcamp, Australia’s first professional Instagrammer, Lauren Bath, and Virgin Australia’s Editor-at-Large, Georgia Rickard, to answer all your burning Q’s. This series will dish the goss’ on where (and how!) they started, what they ate for breakfast today and everything in the middle. 


Today we talk all about the ‘f’ word:


Failure 👇

1. It’s pretty clear that you guys have both had incredible successes, but what was your biggest failure?


L: Ohh that’s a tough one, I’m actually one of those irritating people who don’t believe in failure, I see failure as a stepping stone to becoming better. 


There have been a lot of times, to the outside eye, that it’s looked like I’ve failed; I’ve missed out on jobs and had pitches rejected. I have pitched literally thousands of things that have never been considered. 


In the first six-months of working for myself  I put out a pitch to an Australian Tourism Board  to work as a photographer for a Food and Wine Festival. I pitched for the job and they chose someone more established. I was devastated.


G: If people knew how much I had failed on my path to success they would really get a front row seat to the understanding that failure isn’t what gets in the way of your success; it is the WAY to your success. I have failed spectacularly and repeatedly. 


I have pitched so many things that have never been accepted; columns, a digital TV show, coffee table books, a novel. I sent off an audition reel to become the snow reporter at Thredbo and I failed at that. 


I failed at being a TV producer. I once did a radio interview live, where I drew such a mental blank that I froze and just stopped talking altogether. So there’s a few times for me. 

“I have failed spectacularly and repeatedly” – Georgia Rickard. 

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2. How did you sit with these failures?


G: It felt painful. Sitting with failure is really hard, but as with any emotional reaction it is super important to remind yourself that it will pass.


L: Any time you don’t land a pitch or a job there’s always this soul-crushing moment, and you do get better at dealing with that. But, that’s the ego, right? It ultimately comes down to the feeling of “oh, I’m not enough”. There’s always this moment of devastation. It’s really normal, especially for a creative person, to feel devastated by these failures. 


G: Yeah, it’s a pretty normal reaction to want to throw in the towel, I think, and go live on a remote island with no phone reception, but we don’t. 

3. How did you bounce back from the feeling of defeat?


G: Every time I have failed at something I have used my failure as fuel to go and get other great jobs. 


L: Yeah I agree, get back on the horse! In terms of my Tourism Board failure I ended up going directly to the Food and Wine Festival to offer my services, for free, but to prove that I could do it. They accepted and I went and shot the event anyway. 


G: I actually did the same with the snow reporter job! I sent my audition reel to another company, and they loved it. They offered me the job for the following year (which I ended up turning down). 


I guess what helped me bounce back was allowing myself to lean into the idea that whatever is for you won’t pass you by. If it’s meant for you it will stick. 


 … Get back on the horse!” – Lauren Bath. 

4. What did you learn from your mistakes?


L: A really tangible lesson, I learnt from shooting the Food and Wine Festival, was that I actually HATE shooting commercially, so that was funny. I was so upset about not getting that job, initially, and I ended up hating it anyway. 

I ended up learning, stemming from Georgia’s last comment, that there was a reason that I didn’t get that job to start with – it wasn’t meant for me.  


G: Yeah, it’s so true. I actually learnt that it’s better to expect that you won’t nail it the first time. I also learnt that life is a marathon, you just have to keep going. 


L: Another thing my failures taught me, and I am sure it’s the same for you Georgia, is that you should never sit down and just send off one or two pitches. You need to send out HUNDREDS, especially in the early days. It’s the law of averages, the more you pitch, the more work you get.

You can learn how to pitch at our VIRTUAL Bootcamp Event. 

5. What would you say to someone who is struggling to bounce back from a failure?


L: My advice would be that you need to get out of your ‘scarcity’ mindset, thinking that there are only a certain amount of jobs out there for you. Once you change your mindset to one of ‘abundance’ you learn to deal with these failures a lot easier – because for every opportunity you miss there are millions of others out there. Just get back on the horse. 

G: I would say, failure is only a failure if you don’t learn from it. It would be insane of a baby to try walking once, fall over and give up. So, keep going, you’re only going to get better and, as I said, failure isn’t standing in the way of your success, it is THE WAY to your success.


+ a little bonus for y’all 👉


L: You also need to tell yourself that, if you do get rejected, it’s not personal. There are so many external factors at play – they may already have someone in-house, they could be looking for a different demographic to the one you offer, they may have a different aesthetic to you – there are so many reasons that you may get knocked back from a pitch and none of them are personal.

BONUS: What is your fav’ quote on failure?


L: Oh, I hope you have a minute, mine’s a long one.


Theodore Roosevelt ‘The Man in the Arena’ is my favourite, I have it hanging above my desk and I read it whenever I feel a bit defeated. It goes: 👉


“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

G: That’s a good one, mine is a fair bit shorter though. I love the quote: 


“Passion persuades and tenacity triumphs.”


Now it’s up to you… 

That marks the end of our Q&A with L&G – we hope that it has inspired you to push past your own failures on your way to success. 


Wanna skip a few of the mistakes and learn from these industry leaders (+ Liz Carlson and Kait Rich)?


Secure your spot for this year’s VIRTUAL BOOTCAMP – that’s right, this year we are coming to you straight to your lounge room (pants are optional!). 


First release tickets are on-sale now. Hit the link below. 


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If you have any pressing questions you want answered about L&G, DM us @thetravelbootcamp.