Connect with us

Success Advice

Why It Is Important To Fail

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

Published

on

Fail-to-Win

A lot of us are afraid to fail. We believe it as a sign of weakness and can even come to regret ever taking that leap of faith. Well, contrary to this belief, a number of highly successful achievers often credit a failure or two, to their success.

Read on as we break down the fundamental reasons why failure should be important to you.

 

Welcoming Failure

“Eventually, we all must come to a decision, for ourselves, about what represents failure; however, the world is very keen to put failure on a schedule, and give you a set of decisive factors, if you allow it. A meager seven-years following my graduation, failure had hit me on a grand scale. A fleeting marriage was dissolved, I had no job, a single parent, and as destitute as anyone could possibly be without living on the streets. My parent’s fears for me, and those I had for myself, had finally transpired, and according to the book of failure, I was the biggest.” This paragraph is a summation of a speech given by J.K. Rowling at the, AMHAA, the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. If any of you are not familiar with the name J.K. Rowling, she is the creator of Harry Potter. A fable filled with unbelievable characters and imaginary. Yet, at one time, she had considered herself a failure.

The premise of using J.K. Rowling as an example about the importance of failure is to emphasize the point that, failure is not unusual. Being an author worth billions of dollars is not a prerequisite in order to learn from our failures and to attain success. Success means something different to different people. However, there is something everyone has in common who has succeeded at what they set out to do; they have failed at one time or another. In fact multiple times. Henry Ford, the great automaker, went bankrupt four times. Google tried to sell itself for one million dollars! Thomas Edison produced thousands of light bulbs that gave no light at all!

Failure is a type of freedom. Why? Because the worst has happened. Now, you can relax and rebuild your life. You do not have to fail on a large scale, but failure in life is inevitable. There is no way to live life without failing from time to time. The only way you won’t fail is if you live so guardedly that you are barely living at all, wherein, you fail by default. A wise thinker once stated, “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than out-and-out exposure, and the fearful are captured just as frequently as the bold.” Failure is not something to shun, but something to embrace.

 

The Importance of Failure

Okay, it’s clear; we all will face failures in life. However, this does not mean we should “chase failure” in order to get it over with, so to speak. It’s a funny thing, but failure is never planned. It’s the companion of success. An unwanted companion for sure, but nevertheless, a very important one.

When we resist failure, it attaches itself to us. You don’t solve an issue by resisting it. We overcome failure by accepting it, analyzing it, dissecting it, and looking at it from every possible angle. Without failure, there is no growth.

 

The Business of Failure

The United States, SBA, Small Business Administration, states that more than half of small businesses fail during the initial five years in service. However, failed entrepreneurial pursuits are as vital as successful ones. One trade that thrives on failure is the technology industry. There’s hardly anyone over the age of 25 who is not familiar with the late Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers. He was the perfect example of courage in failure. In his first attempt at a mobile gadget, it failed. In fact, it failed pretty badly and he was thrown out of the company. Nonetheless, he is one of the greatest comeback stories of all time.”

Unfortunately, failure in entrepreneurial activity is frowned upon. During Steve Job’s attempts at success in the 70s, failure was par for the course. Markets are certainly sought-after not because they are “failure proof.” It’s because they offer a procedure for gaining from mistakes along with the inducement to correct them. Entrepreneurs have to be crafty. They are not only good at getting things right, they, like the rest of us, can understand when they have it wrong and work on correcting their mistakes.

 

The More You Fail, the More You Win

Failure drives us to change. Without it, where would we be today? Thomas Edison produced tons of light bulbs that did not work. If he had not tried again and again, well, we all know the answer to that one. Winston Churchill once stated, “Success is based on going from failure to failure without losing eagerness.” Of course, some individuals are sardonic. These types of people never pick themselves up from failure because they did not grow from a previous failure. Failure is the most wonderful teacher if we are willing to learn from it.

Success does not come easy. Everyone must face one hurdle after another. It’s the only way to reach success. The reason being is that success must be maintained. If you think that once you have the success you crave and it’s time to relax, you are sadly mistaken. For example, you’ve always wanted to buy a home. You finally purchase the home of your dreams. However, your home must be maintained. Once a goal is reached, you must have the tenacity to remain there and move higher if you wish. Without repeated failures, you do not have the know-how of sustainability.

Even though success is the power that hastens us en route to our goals, it is failure that guides us to those goals that count. When failure is acknowledged as being just as vital as success, it’s easier to accept it freely and carry on with searching for a resolution.

 

Plan B

A very well known fellow stated, “the most successful people are those who are good at Plan B.” Individuals who are good at “brushing failure off their shoulders” take the necessary steps to try again, usually with Plan B. In fact, Plan B may not even be a plan at all! Plan B is the “I can do it attitude.” Plan B, is the transition from failure to success. We can comprehend the function for failure if we acknowledge that human beings prefer to “dispel the uneasiness of failure.” Human beings are forever determined to achieve their loftiest goals as frequently as time permits. However, failure surrounds us and no person ever experiences a total lack of uneasiness. There is always that smidgen of the unknown. Regardless of our best efforts, we are never 100% sure of success! There is always that lingering doubt in the back of our minds; in spite of this, our will is stronger than failure and doubt inevitably loses.

“The desire to succeed, must be great than the fear of failure.” This statement was made by well-known actor and comedian Bill Cosby. In our personal and professional lives, the aforementioned quote states the significance of failure and how big a part it plays in each of our lives. Consider this. During the day, where is your energy focused? Is it focused on succeeding or failing? Is the glass half-empty or half full? Our thoughts have us on leash. Eventually, we go where they lead.

If you focus on negativity, then your world become cynical. If you focus on positivism, even the harshest defeat is only a stepping-stone. A mother was speaking with her daughter who was despondent about repeated failures. She spoke about well-known personalities and how they succeeded because they “tried that one last time.” This gave her daughter the incentive to try again. After reading about the importance of failure she stated, “you never know what waits beyond failure; therefore, I will try again.” Failure is the stratagem that leads to success. Without it, where would we be?

 

Here are some examples of those who failed before reaching amazing success:

 

Famous Failures

 

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances.I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

Advertisement
32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Moumita Mallick

    Apr 30, 2018 at 6:19 am

    I have so many incidents in my life to prove this sentence. everything does happens for a reason. Thank you so much for this post it is very positive.

  2. TRUCE

    Jan 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    This is cool it shows how we learn from our mistakes

  3. Harrison Acha

    Oct 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Failure is the step just before success emergence.

  4. sanjeevkumar

    Aug 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Indeed, failure is more powerful tool or way for life than success

  5. Nitin

    Aug 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Very Nice and positive article.

  6. Pomy

    Aug 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Amazing thoughts!

  7. Murali

    Jun 27, 2013 at 1:59 am

    “FAILURE” means ‘Fail Earlier’ and win later……

  8. Cheryl McKeller

    May 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Thank you very much because I was considering throwing in the towel. Now I know I must continue to build a business.

  9. sandeep

    May 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    just the right tonic to look forward in future…thnxxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive

Published

on

productivity tips
Image Credit: Unsplash

“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave

Published

on

how to be happy and successful
Image Credit: Unsplash

It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work

Published

on

Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The 7 Secrets of High Achievers Revealed

Published

on

high achievers
Image Credit: Unsplash

We all have goals in life, but very few of us ever learn to consciously set, work on and see our goals through. In our naturalness bias, we marvel at those who have set and reached their goals thinking they have some esoteric abilities that we don’t. We overlook that the final product is the result of a series of mistake-ridden, unrecorded pains. What if we could learn from the process, the habits and rituals of the high achievers? (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending