If You’ve Never Failed – You Haven’t Tried Hard Enough to Succeed

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas Edison

Many successful people have failed while attempting to achieve their goals.

Actually, some of the most successful people on the planet have failed spectacularly! Did you know that Milton Hershey of the famed Hershey’s chocolates was fired from his first job as a printer, then went on to start and lose three candy companies and file for personal bankruptcy before finally starting the company that he became famous for? Can you imagine starting three companies that all failed?

Steven Jobs, the creator of the Apple computer began his career in his parent’s garage. Within a decade he’d built up a 2 billion dollar company. At age thirty Jobs joined the ranks of the unemployed when his own board of directors fired him. He went on to found another successful venture, Pixar, a company that creates animation for films such as Finding Nemo. He didn’t wallow in self pity after being fired. Oh, and by the way his old company Apple came back groveling twelve years later and hired him back. Can anybody say IPhone and Ipad?

Becoming successful takes fortitude and perseverance.

J.K. Rowling, the mega successful author of the Harry Potter series, was rejected by twelve different publishers before she found one to accept her manuscript. Even after agreeing to publish her first novel, they advised her to keep her day job. It seems no one had any faith in J.K. – but J.K. herself.

Even Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie was rejected by more than a dozen publishers before he was offered a contract. Did he give up and say I guess I’m not a writer? No.

Simon Cowell, the now hugely successful record and television producer of American Idol and other international talent shows, was forced to move back in with his parents in 1989 due to crushing debts he’d amassed when the record company he worked for had financial difficulties. He recovered from this setback and pursued his dream and his successful results are now broadcast around the world.

Two years ago I was privileged to interview entrepreneur, A.J.Khubani for a magazine I contributed to. Khubani is a fascinating business man whose company, Telebrands Corp, markets products with the red AS SEEN ON TV label, such as the PedEgg, the StickUp Bulb, and the GoDuster just to name a few. Khubani started his business right out of college with a few thousand dollars and it was NOT an overnight success. Over the years he had numerous product failures that cost him a bundle, and faced crippling lawsuits over patent infringement, but he never gave up and Telebrands came back even bigger and more profitable.

Twenty-five years later his company is worth $100 million. The most interesting part of our interview though was when he spoke of failing and almost losing his business, and his home in 2000. He responded that failure and challenging times help us to mature. He also said that if he had a chance he wouldn’t change a thing in his life; that’s now much he valued the experience of failing because of what he learned from it.

Successful people don’t allow failure to deter them from pressing on.

They have a vision for their lives, and use their failures as a lesson and stepping stone to get them to their goal. They don’t give up. If you want to succeed you have to be unshakeable, unquakeable, and unsinkable and say to yourself: Failure is not the end. It’s the beginning. I can and I will try again.

(Here’s a short video on some of the famous people who’ve failed. Click on the link.) Famous People Who’ve Failed

I’m not trying to make light of failure. In fact, I was inspired to write this article because too many people close to me are facing enormous challenges in their lives due failing or losing a job. Of course it’s devastating to fail. There’s the huge emotional tsunami one has to survive beside dealing with the potential realities like financial ruin, homelessness, putting food on the table, etc. The point I’m trying to make though is that we do and can go on. It might not be pretty for a while, or even a long time, but as long as you have breath in your body you have a chance to try again and to use all that you’ve learned from your failure to regain your footing and come back even better and happier in the second go round.

Fellow blogger, Dragos Roua, from his blog of the same name said it so well when he wrote in is superb article titled, “The Six Stages of  Failure”:

You learn by doing. You see what you did wrong, when and how, and start to fix it. It’s like a DIY session, only it’s for the entire Universe. You broke something in your reality but now you know exactly how you did it. It’s like you have a map on how to re-assemble the pieces, so you pick your tools and start fixing that stuff.

If you have a dream declare it boldly! Don’t be afraid of what anyone thinks or says to you. Many new ideas aren’t accepted at first. Just think of how many people must have laughed at the Wright brothers before they designed a plane that actually could fly.

Create a plan to achieve your goal and begin working it. Even if you’re first few attempts backfire – keep going. Remember, the people who dare to laugh are the ones most afraid of failure.

So, don’t cower in the corner fearing failure – go for it. And, remember if you fail or if you’ve been fired you’re in great company. And, after realizing your in great company, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in there.

The  real meaning of success is not about fame and fortune. It’s what you learn on the journey getting there – particularly from your failures.

I’ve failed – and been fired from my first job. I’ve also left the finance industry and come back to the safety net of a “job” numerous times because my attempts in other industries haven’t worked out. But, I’m not giving up. Today is a new day – and another chance to try again. I’ve learned that failing is not the end of the world. I’ve also learned how important it is to plan and take small calculated steps toward your goals instead of jumping off a cliff all at once, and that’s what I’m doing now. Sometime soon, I will be self-employed writing/blogging, teaching others how to develop their intuition and extra sensory perception and doing intuitive and mediumistic consulting. Baby steps do lead to great strides.

What about you? Have you ever failed? What did you learn from it?

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17 Responses to “If You’ve Never Failed – You Haven’t Tried Hard Enough to Succeed”

  1. Jean Sarauer says:

    Nearly everyone I’ve known who has had major success in life has also had major failures. It just takes most of us a few swings before we connect with the ball. I’ve had plenty of failures in terms of careers I tried that just weren’t my thing, relationships that didn’t pan out, and financial missteps, but I look for the lesson and the blessing in everything and move on from there.

    Thanks for this post and for all the great links you included in it too!

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jean Sarauer, Angela Artemis. Angela Artemis said: New Blog Post: If You’ve Never Failed – You Haven't Tried Hard Enough to Succeed http://bit.ly/cm1i2N [...]

  3. Hi Jean,
    You are a winner in every sense of the word!
    I love that: It just takes most of us a few swings before we connect with the ball – what an excellent way to put it.
    Yes, the important thing is to get the lesson and move; you’re so right.
    I’ve missed the ball several times and all for the same reason – I valued security more than following my passion and dreams and it’s always landed me back in the same place – stuck on second base and trying to figure out how to get “home.”
    I plan to make it home this time.

    Thanks so much for your insights Jean. I truly look forward to your “visits!”

  4. Hulbert Lee says:

    Hey Angela, love the post. It’s a new kind of post that you usually write about but I still appreciate it’s message. Basically, it’s to never give up. You’ve showed many great examples of people who have failed numeous times including Milton Hershey, Steve Jobs, J. K. Rowing, and our own blogger here, Dragos Roua. It was also inspring to here about your failure with your first job.

    Last year in October, I tried to guest post for Dumb Little Man and it was rejected (well I never got an email back). I was kind of down because it took me a lot of time to write that article. I saw that rejection as a failure. I quit doing guest posts up until about February of this year. I was inspired by someone else’s writing and decided to give it one more try. I learned from my what I did wrong and went on to submit 12 guest posts for different sites. It was really good experience that taught me about persistence. :) Thank you for this Angela!

  5. Hi Hulbert,
    I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, you’re right it isn’t the normal type of post that I write, but I know so many people facing challenging times that I felt inspired to write it. I will be going back to my “normal” topics unless inspired otherwise.
    Wow! You really did learn from what happened in October. 12 guest posts that’s marvelous.
    From talking to you when we did my interview and the first session didn’t record – I know that you’re persistent!
    What’s that old saying? Persistence pays off – I think.
    In your case it has. You have a fabulous blog with a fabulous following – that includes me!

    Thanks so much for commenting. It’s always a pleasure to “chat’ with you Hulbert.

  6. Angela, Great post which makes some excellent points. We need to remind ourselves that often the people doing the rejecting don’t know how to recognize quality when they see it. There are plenty of examples, such as the unknown person who told Elvis Presley not to quit his day job. In this and in the examples you cite, the person who failed is the one who rejected block-buster books or ideas or talent.

  7. Greg Blencoe says:

    Hi Angela,

    This is a very inspiring post! I think the only true failure is not trying. I look at everything else as “non-successes.” And if you learn from them, they can be very beneficial to you.

  8. Hi Madeleine,
    I’m glad you enjoyed the post. So true about not recognizing talent. Look at Steven Jobs. Apple was sinking fast when the board of directors realized that they should rehire him.
    Thank you so much for your comments. It’s nice to see you again!
    I hope all is well.

  9. Hi Greg,
    I thought you’d be a on a flight to NY by now?
    I’m glad you enjoyed the post and found it inspiring too.
    What a great way of putting it – the only failure is not trying.
    Yes, and if we learn from it – we will be better off.
    Thank you so much for commenting. Great to see you.

  10. Katie says:

    Yep, big failure, right over here! Lots of times. Learned what I was good at, what I wasn’t, but always believed in myself in some small way, even if it was shoved to the back of my mind for a while, it always eventually migrated back to the front again like a magnet to my dreams. Love this post Angela. Full of inspiring content to spend time with. Thanks so much.

  11. Hi Katie,
    I set up my new site: http://www.PoweredbyIntuition.com and replied to your comment there.

  12. Manal says:

    Hi Angela,
    A very insightful and motivating article. I’ve had my share of failures that I learned from significantly.

    A few years back I was laid off after acing my exams and being told I did a fantastic job. I was shocked for a few days and then realized that I was free to move on and that was very liberating. My old firm paid for all of my exams and I was free to work anywhere else. What an opportunity!

    This was actually my awakening to start digging deeper into what brings me joy and not what brings me more money.
    I also started a business and I’ve learned a lot from it but it wasn’t a commercial and financial success. My partner and I liquidated the assets and closed down taking with us the invaluable lessons of owning a business.

    Everything we do brings us closer to what we can be in this journey.

    One my favorite things that I repeat to myself: I can and I will.

    Thanks so much again for the inspiration. It is a great way to start my day :)

  13. Hi Manal,
    I’m so glad you found the post motivating and inspiring.
    I do believe that getting fired can sometimes be a blessing in disguise.
    I can imagine that having had a business you learned quite a bit from it – even if you had to shut it down.

    I say that too – sometimes I find myself repeating it – and I didn’t even realize I was saying it. It’s become a mantra of sorts for me.

    I’m so glad the post jump started your day.

    By the way, I’m moving to a new blog: http://www.poweredbyintuition.com

    All my content has been exported there.

  14. Angela,

    What a great reminder for all of us, who often are struggling and see failure as a stop sign. Even Jane Austen’s first attempt at publishing novel _ First Impressions (which became later Pride and Prejudice) was unsuccessful. Hence much later she published “sense and sensibility” by a name of lady! As she did not wanted to rejected twice with her favorite writing.

    I think failures are okay as long as we learn something from it. I know, as I have loads of them :-)

  15. Hi Preeti!
    What a great way to describe how failure feels, like a stop sign.
    I didn’t know that about Jane Austen. Thank you for sharing that.
    Definitely, we need to learn the lessons from failure then move forward again.
    It’s how we grow and become wiser.
    I’m sure you don’t have loads of them!!!
    Thank so much for stopping by and – it’s nice to finally “see” you!

  16. Aileen says:

    Angela, this is such a fabulous post I’ve printed it out to keep it in front of me. It is a powerful message to be reminded of – failure is part of the road of success but all too often it’s tempting to stay at the failure point or before it rather than continue on to success.

    thank you for the inspiration!!!!!!!!!

  17. Hi Aileen,
    I’m so glad you found this article helpful. I definitely thing failure is part of moving toward success and nothing to be ashamed of.
    I fell that what goes down must eventually come up.
    You’re so welcome my friend!
    Thank you so much for the positive feedback.