Failure is Your Friend

There is a lot of talk out there about success. Do a quick search about any business related subject and you’re sure to come up with a slew of content that, in some way, talks about or discusses success. Search Amazon using the word “success”. What are your search results going to be? Hundreds and hundreds of books whose subject revolves about being successful at something. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Everyone wants to be successful at whatever it is they are doing. This is especially true in a business environment. In business, success means a satisfied and happy customer base. It means demand for your product or service exceeding supply. It means having a lean and flexible organization. Most of all, it means a comfortable profit margin.

The thing is, success isn’t all about success. Let me put that another way. When all you do is concentrate on the positive end results of being successful, you miss the point. You see, it’s ironic, but real success isn’t about succeeding. Instead, it’s about failure.

No one wants to talk about failure. People tend to avoid both the word and the concept. When failure is discussed, it is treated as a moral lesson. The person who failed is held up as an example of how not to do things. There is a suggestion, and sometimes more than a suggestion, that some internal personal flaw caused the failure. This tendency to avoid failure, or to blame the person who didn’t succeed for their failure, is extremely damaging. It perpetuates the myth of winners who succeed at almost effortlessly, who are ordained to win due to some sort of superior moral compass. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The real truth is that you must fail in order to succeed. Oscar Wilde said that experience is simply the name that we give our mistakes. Nothing could be truer. We learn from our mistakes. Failing teaches us the lessons that we need to learn in order to reach our goals. The most successful people understand this. They have internalized the lessons of their own failures. They have used these lessons to get where they are today. Real success is not a game. It is not a reality show. It does not fall upon the shoulders of the chosen few. Real success comes from failing, often more than once. It is in these moments of failure that we learn how to avoid mistakes in the future and successfully reach our goals.

Keep It Real,

Mark Lyford


Failure is Your Friend

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