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Find Success In Failure?

Updated on August 29, 2017

Are You Feeling Frustrated By Failure?

No one, at least that I've ever met, is incapable of having tremendous success in their life; and often you can find success in failure. Even to those who've tried and tried again only to fail miserably, and even the poorest among us or the least educated and least experienced; success is not out of the reach of anyone. Many, many people have went from failure to success, so much so that no reasonable person can argue that success isn't possible for anyone.

Success is not determined by money, and success can even be found in failure. There are simple reasons that people don't succeed or are unable to achieve their goals. Understanding these reasons will allow you to free yourself to dream, and to live rich (whatever that means to you). And perhaps most importantly, don't be your own road block. If you allow yourself the opportunity to succeed you will be amazed at the results, and will view perceived failure in a new light.

Search For Success - You Might Just Find Success In Failure

I had a friend tell me one time that he either had the worst luck of anyone he knew, or he just sucked at everything. He went on to tell me about all the business failures that he's had, and then described his latest venture (which failed) when he and his wife bought an existing restaurant with a proven history of profit. He even worked at the restaurant for 4 weeks before he bought it to verify that the business was sound. But once he took ownership it started to dive. "I'm just a failure at this," he told me. "I have no idea what I'm doing wrong."

I just smiled at him and said "Well that means you've found success in failure then, right?" After a short pause with him staring at me, unsure about whether he should be mad at me or find some profound meaning in what I said, I told him that everyone has something they're good at (or can be good at), and that the difference between successful people and those who aren't, is that successful people don't see failure in the same light. To them failure is another opportunity to succeed, they find success in failure even when others can't. Failure is, for successful entrepreneurs, an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to try again... failure is another chance at success. Two quotes by Richard Branson sum it up:

“Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming”

“You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over”

I told my friend that he is truly an expert on business, just in a different way than he was looking for. After so many business failures, who would be more knowledgeable about what not to do than him? Besides, he had developed some very extensive and specific operating knowledge that could really help other new business owners.

He went on to write and profit from his 'success in failure' experiences and that process brought him into other opportunities, and now he has broken free of the box of failure that he had placed himself in to. He's turned out to be quite the successful entrepreneur, once he gave himself the right opportunity. He was able to find success in failure.

Fear of failure is the enemy of mankind. Everyone is able to start a home business or a new blog or even an online store, so they can stay at home with their kids or do whatever it is that fulfills them. Having success isn't about venture funding or starting capital, it doesn't even really depend upon the business idea; one of the crucial keys to success is your commitment to you. Don't give up on yourself.

Had someone overheard Mark Zuckerberg way back then talking about this 'new' social platform he was working on and which he wanted to take global, many people would have scoffed at that time. So you need to take some simple steps now, proactively, to keep yourself motivated so when others (or you) doubt your business you can withstand it.

Stay in touch with those who motivate and inspire you, not the one's who bring you down. Work with your small business development center if you have one, or a local non-profit which works with new ventures. The point is don't let anyone or anything dictate your worth or capabilities, those are things that only YOU control.

Thinking about finding success in failure, have you had a situation in your life (or know someone who has) in which some failure in life or business was ultimately the door to success?

The Most Humbling and Inspiring Video You Will Ever Watch

Nick Vujicic - A gift to the world

There are plenty of motivational videos and motivation quotes around to keep even the most depressed and self-doubting people afloat. But the number of videos which you will vividly remember anytime you begin to doubt yourself is much smaller. This is one of those that every person, of all ages, should watch. It's a brief lesson in life, a lesson that can shape the way you feel about quitting when you feel beaten down, when you feel weak. Nick is the most inspirational person I've ever seen and his gift to us all is precious. He doesn't speak directly to finding success in failure, but he does directly talk about how "we" as home business owners should respond to failures in our lives.

True Wisdom To Guide You

"Remembering you're going to die,

is the best way I know,

to avoid the trap of thinking you

have something to lose. You are

already naked. There is no

reason not to follow your heart."

- Steve Jobs

Self-Assessment For Growth

Are you really living up to your potential? Are you "really" working towards your dream?

I can't tell you how many people I've spoken to who are willing to share their dreams and aspirations. Everyone, it seems, likes to admit that they have bigger dreams than their present reality. Perhaps it's a self-preservation mechanism at play; they don't want to admit that they're happy with their mediocre lives or they want to make sure that you know they're capable of SO much more.

It's ironic, however, that when pressed for details on what they're doing to make it happen, I'm often given a response like "Well, I'm waiting to save up some more money," or "I want go back to school and get my degree first." Whatever the response, its invariably some type of excuse as to why they readily admit they have a dream, but aren't actively doing anything to make it a reality. For some people, sure, their response if true and matches their real life desires. But the truth is that many people are afraid to step out and go after what they secretly dream about.

Does it sound familiar? I'm sure it does. And even if you readily admit that you fall in to that category don't fret, you're not alone. The truth of the matter is, that when you peel away the layers of why so many people don't apply themselves to fulfilling their dreams we find that it comes down to low self-confidence.

Perhaps some life event or a series of events helped shape the person's view of themselves, but whatever the cause its destructive to their own self-fulfillment. One of the reasons so many middle-aged people suffer the "crisis" isn't because of their marriage or their job, but because they realize (even if only subconsciously) that the road to their dreams is only a distant memory. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has hopes and dreams, has aspirations of a better life; that is central to who we are as humans.

Given that, how are people supposed to feel when they reach a point in their lives that they can't imagine a way to possibly turn things around, that their dream will never ever be more than that, just a dream? They have to worry about their family's security, the mortgage, the bills, the kids, the college fund, etc...

But there is good news. We're not alone with our feelings of doubt, and looming or inevitable failure. It turns out that everyone, even the most brazen among us, has those feelings; the difference is how we act on or respond to them. When you look at successful people you tend to see that "successful" side of them and often forget, or don't know, that almost all of them went through hardships of their own.

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and started a business called Traf-O-Data (which failed), before picking himself up and forming Microsoft.

Thomas Edison was told by a teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything.

Henry Ford failed with at least two other business attempts and lost everything 5 times before he was successful and founded the Ford Motor Company.

Winners and successful people have one common trait, they meet failure with determination. They are able (or willing, or determined) to lift themselves up and find success in failure. Imagine that you're standing there and someone comes along and shoves you as hard as they can. You would fall to the ground, right? Now imagine if you were expecting them to shove you; you would shift your stance and be ready for it, and likely not fall to the ground. In a similar way, successful people accept that challenges may come, but they have a frame of mind that they'll withstand whatever it is, that they will eventually succeed. That preparation and acceptance of hardship is what allows them to push on.

The Only Weak Link Is The One You Allow In Your Life

The Only Weak Link Is The One You Allow In Your Life
The Only Weak Link Is The One You Allow In Your Life

Success In Failure May Be Difficult

But it's not impossible.

When we're feeling our lowest, or doubting ourselves the most, we have to remember that each one of has the potential to achieve almost anything. Nothing is standing in your way; not money or education. The only thing stopping you is you.

You must address the fear that manifests as low self-confidence. You can't listen to people who are in the boat of mediocrity and have them tell you what you should do; if they knew they wouldn't themselves be in that boat. Instead listen to successful people.

According to Forbes, almost 2/3 of the world's billionaires made their fortunes from scratch. They applied nothing but determination and will. This flies in the face of what many believe, that it takes money to make money. The only people who say that, I've found, are the one's who've tried and failed (and never tried again), or were even too afraid to try at all. In fact, if you believe it takes money to make money then you've already lost the battle so why even try?

So yes, YOU can do it, you can find success in failure. You are no different than Stephen King, who when he submitted his first book (Carrie), was rejected 30 times! He finally threw the manuscript in the trash can. Were it not for his wife digging it out and reminding him of why he should stay faithful to his dreams we might never have been blessed with his writings.

It's true he finally was about to give up, that's not the point. The point is he kept at it for 30 rejections! You just have to know that failure usually isn't about YOU, it's about the OPPORTUNITY or that you need to learn more. You must push on. I've never, not once, seen a quitter on top of the podium accepting their first place medal.

While some things in life are difficult, very few are impossible.

The other thing everyone needs to remember is that the old saying is true, that luck is only a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.

If you push yourself, if you believe in yourself, then great things will be able to happen. You may not be successful with your first, second, or even 5th business venture, but I promise you this, if you keep trying (really trying) and tell yourself you need to work, you will find success beyond your dreams.

If you keep doubting, if you don't believe you can succeed, then of course you never will. Have you ever seen someone cross the finish line first and look back and say "No way! I really won?" Of course you haven't, they expected to win.

You have to make that choice for yourself. You can have the greatest idea ever and be so confident in the plan, but if you lack the courage to take the steps or the will to pick yourself up when you fall, to find success in failure, then success will always be about someone else.

One of the most amazing Self Discipline Books Available

I've wrote about this book before and I highly recommend it for everyone. We can all use a boost of self discipline for every facet of our lives, and this book provides an amazingly simple 10 day plan to get you there.

Find More Inspiration

This is a link to Nick Vujicic's website if you want to know more about him
after watching the video clip above. The man is such an inspiration!

What Is The Number One Reason People Fail - I'd love to hear your opinion on this. Pick only ONE main reason.

As in all things there is no consensus as to the main reason people fail at business. Some will say lack of funding, others will say lack of effort. I think it's a lack of mental funding.

There are countless stories of people (of no means or credit) getting venture funding for an idea or business. And there are plenty of examples of people failing multiple times before finally succeeding in business; think Henry Ford, who knew what it meant to find success in failure.

It seems that the difference isn't money, or even hard work; some people may work tirelessly at their home office and still not see the results they want. I have to ask, are they really invested mentally? Are they ready to "go out" and make it happen? Make the calls for PR and visibility, secure client contracts, etc...? If not, if they aren't willing to go "all in" mentally, then I'm afraid the chances are it'll be another failed attempt.

What is the number one reason people fail at starting their own "successful" business?

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Please share your success in failure comments. - None of us have all the answers, but together we can come up with quite a few.

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    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Our mind is our most important business asset. With the right mindset, we can achieve at levels that will astonish us. Thank you for this very motivational and positive lens. Loved the video clip. It touched my heart.

    • delia-delia profile image


      7 years ago

      Success and failure might mean something else for each individual...I know that failure can be a stepping stone to success...but I never allow failure (not attaining my goal) to affect me in a negative's a learning experience. Nice lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very motivational lens! success comes in different forms and lack of finances does not necessarily mean your a failure. Great Job.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Interesting ideas here. It's important to keep trying, and if you're happy, you're certainly not a failure.

    • Tiggered profile image


      7 years ago

      I think you've spotted the important thing, i.e. people giving endless excuses for not doing what they love. Wish there were fewer of them (and you can read it either as 'excuses' or 'people who make excuses' :)) Happy 2012

    • safereview profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Kansas City

      Thank you all for your comments, I really appreciate it. Happy holidays to you and all Squids!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow...that was an awesome video...I hate to say it, but as a grown man, I nearly teared up...Great page...very uplifting! This is the very reason why I'm not giving up even though I've found myself in some rough spots throughout my life...I love surrounding myself with other like minded people and I will continue to read your material.

    • Serenity30 profile image


      7 years ago

      I had seen Nick Vujicic on Tv a few years ago and he is surely inspiring for all that he is accomplishing

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      7 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Very nice lens. You made a lot of good points that should motivate people.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very interesting lens

    • safereview profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Kansas City

      @reasonablerobby: Good points. I've also done considerable research in the field, most notably relating to the motivators and determinants of success and action. My graduate degree is in Organizational Development Psychology, and while not a clinical degree by any means there is plenty we now know about how a person's outlook and attitude can effect their performance. Clearly there's a limit to all of this, as you've stated... motivation and drive won't pay the electric bill, directly, but they can get you off the couch and into "find a job" mode. :) Thanks for the feedback, love it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think a positive mental attitude is important. That said, my academic research interest is into the notion and experience of 'agency' cf Anthony Giddens. He notes that constraining structures can be 'virtual' i.e. mental. That said I tend to feel that some tangible systemic things do have the power to limit us. We can't just imagine or re-language away 'real' obstacles. i.e. if I'm unemployed merely saying you are employed doesn't materially change anything. That said generative thinking, abductive reasoning etc are all crucial if we are to think our way past obstacles. I do agree that many limits are self imposed.


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