“God, I’m 51 years old and I spent 30 years of my life doing things I didn’t want to do. The things you do to please other people! I said to myself, Well now I’m just going to have a good time. That was the most freeing thing.”

-Alec Baldwin in this month’s Wired Magazine in an article titled “Stay in the Game: The Fall and Rise of Alec Baldwin” where he speaks about his failures, his TV comeback, and how he looks forward to failing again.

I am a big fan of Wired and this month’s issue does not disappoint.

There’s a picture of Alec Baldwin on the cover in a fighting pose and a big black box that says “Fail. Why Losing Big Can Be a Winning Strategy”.

Along with Mr. Baldwin-Mike Tyson, Meg Whitman, and Bill Clinton talk candidly about some of their biggest failures and most importantly what they’ve learned from them.

As I mentioned in my earlier post Fail Harder, I’m also a big fan of failure. Not that I enjoy falling on my face. But I do think true innovation takes risk. And failure is a sure sign that you are taking risks.

What have you learned from failure?

Turn Disaster into Opportunity

2009 has been a tough year for everyone.

Many of us have had our best laid plans derailed because of the downturn in the economy.

Job losses, delayed retirements, budgets and staff cuts, etc.

Everyone is being asked to do more with less.

At Virgin, this is the norm for us. But honestly, I think it’s what keeps us on our toes.

Our staffs are forced to be more clever, leverage stronger partnerships and get the most out of every event or promotion.

We can’t sit back fat and lazy on big media budgets.

But even though this “challenger mentality” has been the norm for the brand since it was founded in the 70’s…2009 has been amplified.

Nevertheless, I do believe there is a silver lining to the constraints we all face.

When I am in a situation where my plan A (and sometimes even my Plan B) get tossed out the window…I almost always find myself thinking of Steven Spielberg.

WTF? Steven Spielberg?

A Tree Fell on my House

CIMG2413A Tree Fell on My House

It was Wednesday around lunch time during a freak windstorm.

Nobody was home, nobody was hurt.

A tree fell on my house

The evidence is there in full and impressive color.

Yet I am still having trouble wrapping my head around this.

A pretty typical sunny Wednesday (although a bit windy).

An apparently healthy tree (according to the “tree guy” who eventually removed it).

My daughter who is scared of storms has often worried that’s such a thing would happen.

After all we live in Westchester surrounded by trees.

But we always brushed this off as an overactive imagination mixed with a flair for drama.

Our typical response: “don’t be silly, these trees won’t fall.”

But one did.

A tree fell on my house.

How bizarre!

After two days of reflection, here’s what I’ve been able to process so far: