• Bill Petrie

Catching Butterflies

Do you allow failures or successes to linger?

Butterflies are exquisite, ephemeral, and elusive. For me, they are beautiful and have always been a manifestation of the joys of life – especially when it comes to working. Friday, brandivate experienced what my business partner, Kelsey Cunningham, and call a Butterfly Day: a day where the culmination of seen and unseen hard work manifests itself in the feeling of accomplishment. Much like the winged insect they are named after, Butterfly Days are as rare as they are rewarding, which is precisely why they need to be celebrated.

In our case, Friday became a Butterfly Day in the short span of six hours: from a client email expressing their delight in the work we are producing to receiving several inquiries for our services from referrals, it’s rare to get that much validation for producing work that matters in a single day. We most certainly caught a Butterfly Day and we are doing something that most organizations struggle with: we are intentionally allowing it to linger.

In our fast-paced, continually connected society, it’s far easier to allow the inevitable setbacks and failures to remain – especially when starting a business. To be sure, we’ve experienced our share of blunders, gaffes, missteps, and mistakes. However, when we do flub, Kelsey and I don’t allow the failure to define the work we do. Instead, we take a very different approach:

  • Fail fast

  • Learn how to avoid repeating the failure

  • Move on

That’s it. Too many allow errors big and small to define their day while they resist embracing their successes and treating them like the beautiful butterflies they are. Allowing the infrequent Butterfly Days to endure doesn’t mean resting on your laurels. Instead, it will enable you to breathe, take a step back, and relish in the pure joy of seeing the late nights and hard work of an entrepreneurial journey come together as envisioned.

If you’re working hard and taking risks, mistakes will happen – that’s just part of innovation and creating work that matters. Don’t dwell on them: learn and move on. When it comes to catching the scarce Butterfly Day, invite that sensation to stay for a little while as it will fuel inspiration, drive creativity, and recharge your entrepreneurial soul.


Today, the hard work at brandivate will pause for one day as Kelsey and I are both intentionally out of the office. Rest assured, we will hit the ground running tomorrow as we have many client projects that require our creativity and attention. But, today, we are allowing the Butterfly Day of Friday to linger because it might be a while before we catch another one.


Here’s to all of us catching more butterflies.

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