Wait: Failure Can Be Good?

People are missing something important today.

I am not sure if it is a societal trend but I see it and feel it constantly. What is missing is the certainty that our failures and our successes are our OWN!  You are not going to be successful at your life dream because you listen to me or any other adviser, coach, blogger or whatever kind of helper you tie to. YOU are going to be successful because of YOU. Someone may give you wonderful advice or balance your tires so your dreams don’t run off the road but the fact of the matter is you have got to do the work. The sooner this sticks in your mind and soul the sooner you will be able to fulfill your dream.  This is nothing to be frightened of—-this is GOOD news because once realized you will be on the right path.

Just as our success is our own so are our failures. This is REALLY good news! Failure is the guidepost to your personal success. I failed in business once because I was weak in detail. On my next business venture, I made sure to hire support people that were detail strong and that made me into a machine. If I hadn’t embraced my lack of detail skills the new success would never have happened.

Think of it this way:

Failure creates experience

Experience creates knowledge

Knowledge creates wisdom

Therefore——Failure creates wisdom!!

Admitting and taking ownership of failure today has fallen to ‘respining’ issues to avoid blame. You know like kinda like your representative in DC. It is rare that someone stands up and admits to a mistake or misstep. What is particularly troubling about all this is that in the final analysis it is self-destructive.

I was watching ‘Hard Knocks’ on HBO one night. Hard Knocks is a live documentary that goes behind the scenes of an NFL football training camp. If you are a football fan it is a fascinating series to watch because of the candid filming, heartache, and the physical and mental suffering endured in a football training camp. The stuff nobody sees. The episode I was watching was centered around an actual game and went into the locker room as well and caught the language of the players and coaches on the sideline and on the field. Near the end of the game the quarterback of the featured team made a completely boneheaded play that ended up costing the team the game. A truly bitter loss. After working out all summer in 100+ degree heat and sweating and bleeding and having some practices where some guys lose 20+ pounds in a single practice they lose the game on a careless, bonehead play. After the game the coach addressed the team and told them it was a team loss, that the score should have never been so close to begin with, and they needed to get over it and get ready for next week.

Then came the part that really got me.

The head coach called the quarterback into his office outside the locker room. Clearly the QB was in mental pain and had his head down. Nothing worse than letting your teammates down. Nothing worse. The coach said, “Let this rot your gut for a while”. I know that is not necessarily nice but the next sentence out of the coach’s mouth put it all together. He said….” don’t waste this’!!!!

Don’t waste this.

Do you think that quarterback will ever make that same mistake again in the same situation? No way. This is a lesson for all of us in life and in business. The quarterback really got a gift rather than a heartbreaking loss. When I failed at the business venture I talked about above I got the gift of knowing where I was weak. Where I needed to plug the hole.

The next time you make a critical mistake at your trade, or get harsh criticism on a review, or disappoint a customer—-DON’T WASTE IT

(If you haven’t seen Hard Knocks, here’s the trailer for the 2017 season)

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  1. John Karem says:

    In reference to; “Failure Can Be Good”, We all know what the adage means; “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. If you continue to make the same mistake or have a particular trait that affects you professionally, socially or with your family members..you have the ability to correct it. The mistake, or habit, may never be as dramatic as the quarterback example, but it can impede your success none the less.
    I coined the phrase; “If it’s not becoming, it must be going”
    Have the introspective to identify and eliminate any element in your “profile” that causes you to fall short in any of your “relationships’, not just business.


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