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Don't let failure get you down


"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it." – Maya Angelou


You may be on the precipice of success. Whatever success means to you. All it might take is one more coaching session, one more batch of marketing emails, one more day of being relentless towards your goal. Seriously. The biggest job that you ever wished for could be just around the corner. You cannot let the failures, the lost auditions, the imposter syndrome get to you.


James Dyson. The man who revolutionized the vacuum industry. It took him 5,126 designs until he finally figured out the cyclone technology and make the bagless vacuum a household mainstay. Many people told him that it was not possible. That nobody wanted a vacuum without a bag. That did not deter him.

Famous Quote: "What I've learned from running is that the time to push hard is when you're hurting like crazy, and you want to give up. Success is often just around the corner."


Henry Ford. The man associated with the first mass produced motorized vehicle. Did you know that he got in to engineering late in life at the age of 28. And that his first car company, “the Detroit Automobile Company”, failed after only one year. And yet this did not deter him from moving forward and creating the behemoth that is the Ford Motor Company.

Famous Quote: "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."


Alexander Graham Bell. A fellow Scot. Now some may doubt that he is the actual inventor of the telephone. But his work was instrumental in creating what is probably the most revolutionary device in the last 200 years. Seriously. Can you imagine a world without the telephone now? What would have happened if he had given up when things got tough? It took more than a decade to get the idea off the ground and he was embroiled in legal battles and one of the longest patent fights in history.

Famous Quote: “The most successful men, in the end, are those whose success is the result of steady accretion.”


William and Orville Wright. Try and think back to the time when they were trying to invent the first passenger flying machine. There was absolutely NOTHING to tell them that it was even possible. I am sure they were ridiculed for their ideas and must have thought at many stages that it just wasn’t possible. There were days they wanted to give up. Yet they persevered. They didn’t listen to the nay-sayers. The made the impossible possible. And look what their dedication has done to the world as we know it. Simply amazing.

Famous Quote: "If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."


Thomas Edison. Have you ever stopped to think about what the world would be like without the lightbulb? Yet, it took 1,000 attempts to get the design right. Try to imagine how that would feel. You are working on the 998th version, and it just won’t work. Maybe it’s time to give up. But no, two more attempts and the world changed forever.

Famous Quote: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."


Steve Jobs. Many think of the founder of Apple as an all-out success. The man behind the iPhone, iPad, Macbook and many other devices. But you don’t have to go too far back to find the struggles. He was even booted out of his own company. That must have been a very low point for him. Did he wallow in pity and give up? Hell no. He acquired Pixar and we know how that (Toy) story ended. He then regained control of Apple and went on to create devices that have literally changed the world.

Famous Quote: "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."


So, as you start to think about your goals for 2022, spend some time thinking about your failures in 2021. Analyze them, figure out what went wrong and why. Use them to create even better goals. Every name I have mentioned in this blog are just regular human beings like you. They breathed the same air and have the same blood flowing through their veins. Yet they were relentless in their determination to make a difference. Channel that relentlessness and use it to your advantage. I want to see you kick some ass in 2022. I know I will be.

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6 Comments


gary
gary
Dec 18, 2021

Great post. It nakes you wonder how many brilliant discoveries, or brilliant careers, were lost because someone quit JUST before the big break they needed, There is a great little book by Seth Godin called "The Dip" that speaks a bit about this as well.

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Jon Gardner
Jon Gardner
Dec 18, 2021

Well written (as usual) and much appreciated. I periodically need to reaffirm to myself that my efforts are not in vain and that I will not give up. My daily mantra goes like this: Be real. Be ready. Be relentless. You are so right.

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What an inspirational entry! I loved reading this. And what a great time of the year for the motivation to break into the next year going hard. Thank you for your awesome blog!

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Catherine Campion
Catherine Campion
Dec 17, 2021

I was just handed what is potentially the biggest failure of my 30-year career. I'm planning to turn it in to a success and share that story with you next year!

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Josh Alexander
Josh Alexander
Dec 17, 2021

Love the Henry Ford quote. This article resonates with me so much, Craig. When I finally launched into my doing my own business full time in 2007 after so many years of part-time and occasional gigs, my computer kept crashing. I had replaced the memory, replaced the hard drive, replaced the power adapter, reinstalled Windows, booted up in safe mode, whatever...I just kept getting the BSOD. It was so infuriating, but it was more than that: it was paralyzing. I was so afraid to commence any work because I knew I wouldn't get through it. I wanted self-employment SO badly...I could taste it. And here I was hampered by a machine that wouldn't cooperate, and lacking the funds …


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Craig Williams
Craig Williams
Dec 17, 2021
Replying to

Wow Josh. 8 sticks of memory! What a great story to illustrate the sentiment of the article. I am soooo glad that final set of memory chips worked! Have a great Christmas and New Year Josh!

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