Almost Every Success Started as a “Failure”


“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley

The more I learn about the success of others the more I see how much they failed first.I have come to believe that the biggest determinant in failure or success is this:


It sounds too simple, too cliché, too corny. But, it’s also true.

How else can you explain how people with less talent, experience, education, intelligence, money, and connections succeed where others fail?

I documented numerous examples of this in my post, Be Encouraged by Rejection and Failure.

The problem is, most of us follow this advice:

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”
W.C. Fields

That’s when dreams die and real failure occurs.

But there are so many examples to prove that almost every success started as a failure. Quitting would have cheated the world of so many big and small achievements.

Don’t cheat yourself – and us – of all you can achieve. Keep GOing!

Have you ever heard of Rocket Chemical Company? It started in 1953 with just three employees. They were looking to create a rust-prevention solvent/degreaser for the growing aerospace industry.

Their only product was first used to stop missiles from rusting. Then they found household uses for it.

You know this company by the name of its invention – WD40.

Do you know what WD40 stands for?

Water Displacement – 40th attempt.

The first 39 tries failed.

Imagine if they had given up after the 10th failure, or the 15th, or the 22nd, or the 39th. How many nuts would still be stuck?! Thank you, Norm Larsen – founder of WD40 –  for not giving up.

If you really want something, keep trying. 

Action steps:
1) Do some deep thinking about something you’ve wanted to do, invent, or achieve that you “failed” at.
2) Decide if it’s something you are still passionate about.
3) If the answer is yes, get started on a goal and a plan to get there.
4) GO!
5) Keep GOing.

Questions for comments: What did you fail at before you became successful at it? What do you do to maintain your desire when you temporarily fail?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that I view as rude, snarky, mean or off-topic. Hey, this is to support each other and have fun! Let's Go!

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