On the first Friday of November, downtown Anchorage will be bustling with activity and art showcases, including a special event at the Anchorage Museum, meant to inspire entrepreneurs.

The title of the event is simple and pretty much says it all: Failure/Resilience.

“The Failure/Resilience First Friday event is a partnership between the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development, Alaska Startups, and Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. And it’s showcasing different entrepreneurs who have failed and have picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and kept going and have gone on to varying levels of new success,” AEDC President and CEO Bill Popp said.

Popp stressed that a key to success in business, is growing and learning from failure. "Failure/Resilience" will feature stories from local entrepreneurs that experienced success, but only through failure.

“We often see that failure is treated as an absolute," explained Popp. "Once you’ve failed for the first time you‘re looked at as not going to ever be successful. And that’s a really tough thing because failure's a great teacher. It teaches us lessons. It helps us to understand where we went wrong the first time, don’t repeat those mistakes, do it better the next time and progress. And that is the way an economy grows, that’s the way a community grows, that’s how we learn.”

Popp will be sharing his own story of failure and resilience as a record and music store owner in Soldotna in the early 90s. He'll be sharing what he learned from having to close up shop when big box stores started discounting music products in order to get people into their stores.

“Most entrepreneurs are going to fail at some point," Popp said. "You know, the odds are very much stacked against them in trying to get a new business off the ground. But again, failure's a great teacher and that’s where I see great success for entrepreneurs, are the ones who embrace, take it apart, understand it, don’t repeat the mistakes and move on to better success in the next round.”

The Failure/Resilience First Friday event takes place at the Anchorage Museum from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Admission is free.


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