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Did You Misunderstand the True Meaning of FiNaO? I Did.

Before we begin, let’s get something straight: It’s pronounced Fih-NAY-oh (lol).

FiNaO is an acronym.

F – Failure

I – Is

N – Not

A – An

O – Option

A group of friends and I coined the phrase FiNaO in high school as a joint mantra. Fast forward ten years and FiNaO is still my call-to-action. I have a FiNaO tattoo and my business is named FiNaO Enterprises, LLC. I also have a FiNaO Clothing Line (Shameless Plug). When times are rough, FiNaO is my go-to affirmation.

You understand it, right?

“Work hard. Guarantee success.”

“Failure is bad—avoid it at all cost.”

“No time for weakness—I. Can. Not. Fail.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I misunderstood FiNaO. Not only was my mindset flawed, but I developed behavior patterns that hurt me and my business. I became afraid of failure and taking calculated risks. After all, failing was not an option. And my ego told me that falling short meant I was a failure, and I couldn’t be a failure. Not me. Not Mr. FiNaO.

In Gifts of Imperfection, Dr. Brené Brown presents vulnerability as a vital prerequisite for true fulfillment. She supports that happiness is dependent on your ability to be authentic under all circumstances. Therefore, outcomes cannot determine success; success is determined by how you live.

Will you be authentic and create beautiful work in spite of past failures and disappointments?

Will you continue to believe in spite of your doubts?

Will you choose to tell your truth regardless of what others may think?

Here’s a new FiNaO definition:

You will succeed and you will fall short, but you’ll never fail so long as you don’t quit.

Keep. Showing. Up.

Don’t let success make you complacent and don’t allow disappointment to define you. Experience the entire gamut of emotions wholeheartedly but choose daily to strain towards your purpose.

This is how you live the FiNaO life.

That is how you live a life fit for a museum.


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