Power Players

What 'Pretty Little Liars' star Lucy Hale learned about success after her next big series failed

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What actress Lucy Hale learned when her show got cancelled after one season

Actress Lucy Hale has had her fair share of success — from starring in the wildly popular Freeform show "Pretty Little Liars" for nearly a decade to her role in 2017's horror flick hit "Truth or Dare." But Hale recently endured an experience that many people grapple with at some point in their career: failure.

One of Hale's first major projects after PLL wrapped in 2017 was canceled after a single season. The CW's "Life Sentence," in which Hale starred as Stella, a young woman with terminal cancer who ends up cured with a new lease on life, had lackluster ratings and never recovered.

"It was such a great life lesson for me because I had just gotten off a show ["Pretty Little Liars"] that went for eight years, and it was really humbling to be like, 'Oh, any of this could go away at any second,'" Hale tells CNBC Make It.

"But it also reminded me of how much I love what I do because I was so upset over it. And it was a good reminder that I'm still in the place where I need to be, that I still care about it so much," Hale tells CNBC Make It at an event promoting the new Honey Nut Cheerios Bee Good Rewards program, for which Hale is a spokesperson. Through the campaign, Hale is raising money for ASPCA.

Lucy Hale at an event promoting the new Honey Nut Cheerios Bee Good Rewards program, for which Hale is a spokesperson. Through the campaign, Hale is raising money for ASPCA.
Source: Honey Nut Cheerios

In May, Hale took to Instagram to share the news with her fans that "Life Sentence" was not being renewed, writing that she was emotionally attached to the show and a little shell-shocked at its cancellation. But her message included a positive reflection that "things don't always work out in our favor, and it's up to us what we do with it."

"I feel like I became a better actor, I made amazing friends, got to live in an amazing city," Hale tells CNBC Make It of "Life Sentence," which filmed in Vancouver, Canada. "So it's really just changing your perspective, because you can find the negative, but life is so much better when you find the positive twist on things."

The experience hasn't slowed Hale down. She has roles in upcoming movies including "A Nice Girl Like You" and the much anticipated "Fantasy Island," based on the famous television show from the 1970s and '80s.

"No matter what industry you're in, you can't win them all," Hale, 29, says. "It's so easy to look at the glass half empty, and so for me, it was just taking what were the life lessons I learned from that show, and how I grew as an actor and taking that, and moving forward. It only bettered me as a person, like absolutely no regrets."

Hale is far from alone with that mindset; in fact, some the world's most successful people — including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson — see value in failure, preaching that such struggle is ultimately essential for success.

"It makes you appreciate success so much more," Hale, who started acting 15 years ago, says.

"A lot of people don't know that about me," Hale says. "I've worked really, really, really hard at this, and I've had to audition thousands of times and had my heart broken a million times from thinking I was going to get something. But it really only trains you to appreciate it more when you do get it, so I'm grateful that it's worked out the way it has."

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