The Secret to Success Despite “Failure”

Failure is a natural by-product of success. Ask any successful person if he/she has failed, and undoubtedly, the more successful a person is, the more failures he/she endured.

How do successful people succeed despite failing?

Successful People Pursue Their Dream Even When Rejected

My writer friend, Nicole Karlis, had an idea about a story. She wanted to write about how “doing good,” is good for your health.  As she pitched her story to numerous editors, she was repeatedly rejected and told, “Your story isn’t good.”

Despite the numerous rejections, Nicole genuinely believed in her story.

Thankfully, Nicole trusted her gut and pitched the story one more time to The New York Times, who said “Yes!” Read her story here.

Two months later, Bill Gates tweeted that Nicole’s article was one of his 10 favorite articles of the year.

Successful People Change Direction When Needed

Peter,* a junior partner at a large software company (“The Company”) excelled at his job where he enjoyed a large and growing client base.

Repeated accolades of, “You are so valuable, clients love you, we want you to stay,” were given to Peter by his superiors.

However, despite the frequent praise, The Company repeatedly passed Peter over for equity partner for various reasons, including indirect suggestions that at 51, he was “too old” to fit into the partnership track.

Compliments could no longer satisfy Peter’s drive to make capital partner.

Peter’s decision to make a change resulted in being hired by a competing software company directly as an equity partner, resulting in close to doubling his income.

Successful People Keep Practicing

Michael Jordan, who some consider the greatest basketball player of all time, didn’t make his high school varsity basketball team. He said he missed more than 9,000 shots in his career.

Jordan, known for practicing as hard as when he competed, attributed his success to failing over and over again.

Successful People Don’t Call It Failure

Thomas Edison, the famed inventor of the light bulb, said he never failed.

Edison said he found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.

Use Failure to Help You Succeed

Failure doesn’t define successful people.

Failure is beneficial because it can tell you what is not working.

If you believe in your dream or goal, keep persevering, like Nicole.

If you need to alter your course to obtain your success, make the change, like Peter.

If you need to get better to achieve your goal, keep practicing, like Michael Jordan.

If you don’t succeed immediately, don’t call it a failure.

Use the experience, like Thomas Edison, as helpful information or even as a small detour until you find the success you seek.

To Your Success!

Kathy McCabe
Life Coach


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*Peter’s name and company details have been changed to protect privacy