Turning Failure to Your Advantage

In 1991 I, along with my business partner, suffered a financial meltdown. We had built a successful publishing company, but our growth outstripped our working capital. We simply ran out of cash.

Exhausted Businessman

Photo courtesy of ©iStock.com/pinopic

For a while our distributor funded us in the form of cash advances on our sales. But eventually, their parent company wanted those advances back. Although we didn’t officially go bankrupt, the distributor essentially foreclosed on us and took over all our assets.

This was a difficult time personally. I was confused, frustrated, and very angry. Initially, I blamed the distributor. If they had only sold more, as they had promised us, none of this would have happened, I thought. It’s their fault.

But eventually I looked in the mirror and had to acknowledge that I could not move on until I learned from this experience. Though incredibly difficult and humbling, I am now thankful for this period in my life. I learned some critical, life-changing lessons. I am convinced that I would not be where I am today if I had not had this failure.

But not every failure ends so well. Sometimes, people suffer a setback and never recover. I don’t think it has to be this way. It is all in how you process it. I am convinced, that if you are going to succeed, you must learn to deal powerfully with failure.

I think there are at least six components to turning failure to your advantage:

  1. Acknowledge the failure. This is where it begins. To my knowledge, I have never fired anyone for failing per se. Failure is natural if you are striving to deliver big results. The problem comes when you fail and then refuse to acknowledge it.

    Several years ago, I had an employee who was floundering. He wasn’t delivering the results we expected. That was certainly a problem, but it wasn’t the primary problem. The problem was that he refused to acknowledge that he had a problem. He kept defending himself. In doing so, he only convinced us that he didn’t “get it.” As a result, we had no choice but to let him go.

    Once you acknowledge failure, you take away it’s power. You can then begin to turn it into something positive.

  2. Take full responsibility. You won’t get anywhere as long as you blame others for your failure. As long as the responsibility is external—outside of you—you are a victim. Why? Because you can’t control others. You can only control yourself.

    But when you take responsibility for the failure and become fully accountable for it, you take back control. Suddenly you realize that you could have done things differently. You open the door to possibility—and to creating a different outcome in the future. But this can only happen when you acknowledge the failure and own it.

  3. Mourn the failure. I am not simply exhorting you to have a positive attitude. Failure stings. It hurts—sometimes deeply. Many times there are very real and serious losses. Often times there is collateral damage. Other people are hurt. Sometimes innocent people.

    It’s okay to feel sad about these things. Sometimes it takes a while to recover. When I had my financial setback in the early 90s, I mourned for weeks. It couldn’t be rushed. In fact, I think the reason I was able to bounce back relatively quickly was because I mourned the loss so deeply. I dealt with it thoroughly and got it behind me.

  4. Learn from the experience. Even failure can be redemptive if you learn something from it. It doesn’t have to be career-ending. In fact, it can be career-building—if you take the time to wring all the juice out of the lemon.

    Honestly, there are just some things you can’t learn—or won’t learn—without failing. I wish it were different. But pain is a powerful teacher. Like Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th century German philosopher, once said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” So true.

    But it only makes us stronger if we thoroughly process the experience and determine what we could have done differently and will do differently next time around.

    As Ilene Muething of Gap International has taught me, it is helpful to ask “What was missing?” rather than “What went wrong?” The latter shuts down possibility and often results in blaming. The former opens up possibility and results in learning.

  5. Change your behavior. George Santayana, another philosopher, said, “Those who cannot learn from history are destined to repeat it.” And we really haven’t learned anything until it affects our behavior.

    If we keep doing the same things that led to the failure, we are destined to get more failure. We have to be willing to change. And it really does start with us. This is the one thing we have control over.

  6. Enter whole-heartedly into the next project. You can’t allow failure to hold you back from the next venture. If you fall off the horse or a bicycle, you have to get back on—immediately.

    If you don’t do this, the failure gets magnified in your mind. Wait long enough and you might never get on at all! Instead, you have to put the past behind you and move forward.

Again, failure is inevitable if you are going to tackle significant goals. You have to learn to make it work for you. In doing so, you are planting the seeds of your eventual success.

Question: What failure do you need to turn to your advantage? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.mikelandman.com/mikelandman/2008/03/failing-with-gr.html Here’s The Thing

    Failing with grace

    Michael Hyatt today wrote a great post about failure, how to get past it, and how to learn from it. Wisdom nugget of choice:Once you acknowledge failure, you take away it’s power. You can then begin to turn it into

  • http://www.mikelandman.com/mikelandman/2008/03/failing-with-gr.html Here’s The Thing

    Failing with grace

    Michael Hyatt today wrote a great post about failure, how to get past it, and how to learn from it. Wisdom nugget of choice:Once you acknowledge failure, you take away it’s power. You can then begin to turn it into

  • http://www.mikelandman.com/mikelandman/2008/03/failing-with-gr.html Here’s The Thing

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    Michael Hyatt today wrote a great post about failure, how to get past it, and how to learn from it. Wisdom nugget of choice:Once you acknowledge failure, you take away it’s power. You can then begin to turn it into

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  • http://aweber9.blogspot.com Andrew Weber

    I enjoyed this post and really like reading your blog. I’m especially enjoying your half-marathon posts as I’m on a journey to complete the New York City Half-Marathon Grand Prix – a series of 5 half-marathons with one in each borough of the city.

    Your post reminded me of a book I had my management team read a couple of years ago – Transitions: Making Sense of LIfe’s Changes by William Bridges. Great book.

  • http://aweber9.blogspot.com/ Andrew Weber

    I enjoyed this post and really like reading your blog. I'm especially enjoying your half-marathon posts as I'm on a journey to complete the New York City Half-Marathon Grand Prix – a series of 5 half-marathons with one in each borough of the city.

    Your post reminded me of a book I had my management team read a couple of years ago – Transitions: Making Sense of LIfe's Changes by William Bridges. Great book.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      I am adding the book Transitions: Making Sense of LIfe’s Changes by William Bridges to my to-read list

  • http://www.theemlife.com Philip Rothschild

    Excellent post Mike. Thanks for being transparent. I look forward to sharing this entry with my entertainment management students at MSU. Philip

  • John Young

    On my shelf today Mike remain many of the books released by W&H when you and Robert take a risk and started the company. They were then and remain now books that lead the way. What you didn’t say is why you started that company, and as I recall you and Robert were both in sales, calling on customers but knowing that had to be some better ideas in product. The decision makers were small in number and the industry was predictable and not growing nor exciting generally. The only way to get new thinking was to do it yourself, and you two did. The product line didn’t need a lot of marketing dollars because it got more word of mouth sizzle than anybody.
    What you also didn’t say is that today you are the head of the company for whom you were on the road selling for as Nelson acquired Word. So you did learn a few things from the experience and are still teaching.
    The spirit of you and Robert must still be living in that original headquarters on Mallory Lane because today it houses the headquarters of Dave Ramsey who is also in business to inspire, lift up, and encourage others just as W&H did.
    It was just a temporary setback but it could have done you in and made you quit. I’m glad you didn’t.

  • http://www.theemlife.com/ Philip Rothschild

    Excellent post Mike. Thanks for being transparent. I look forward to sharing this entry with my entertainment management students at MSU. Philip

  • John Young

    On my shelf today Mike remain many of the books released by W&H when you and Robert take a risk and started the company. They were then and remain now books that lead the way. What you didn't say is why you started that company, and as I recall you and Robert were both in sales, calling on customers but knowing that had to be some better ideas in product. The decision makers were small in number and the industry was predictable and not growing nor exciting generally. The only way to get new thinking was to do it yourself, and you two did. The product line didn't need a lot of marketing dollars because it got more word of mouth sizzle than anybody.
    What you also didn't say is that today you are the head of the company for whom you were on the road selling for as Nelson acquired Word. So you did learn a few things from the experience and are still teaching.
    The spirit of you and Robert must still be living in that original headquarters on Mallory Lane because today it houses the headquarters of Dave Ramsey who is also in business to inspire, lift up, and encourage others just as W&H did.
    It was just a temporary setback but it could have done you in and made you quit. I'm glad you didn't.

  • Steve

    Great post, Mr. Hyatt. In Gordon MacDonald’s excellent book “The Resilient Life,” he offers these questions we should reflect on during (or after)setbacks: “What does this mean? What is to be learned here? Why was there success or failure? How could this have been done better? What was the cost? Did it justify the expense?” How true it is that we can’t change the past, but we can glean wisdom from it.

  • Steve

    Great post, Mr. Hyatt. In Gordon MacDonald's excellent book "The Resilient Life," he offers these questions we should reflect on during (or after)setbacks: "What does this mean? What is to be learned here? Why was there success or failure? How could this have been done better? What was the cost? Did it justify the expense?" How true it is that we can't change the past, but we can glean wisdom from it.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for the info on Gordon MacDonald’s book “The Resilient Life”. Sounds like a must read from Amazon page.

  • Allison

    “It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done.”

    Samuel Smiles (1812–1904), Scottish author and reformer

  • Allison

    "It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done."

    Samuel Smiles (1812–1904), Scottish author and reformer

  • http://www.ramonarichards.com Ramona

    Mike, this is an awesome post. I would not be the person I am without my failures, which taught me invaluable lessons about myself and my career, and they guided me toward the path God really wanted for me. Also, I realized I had crossed a significant threshold in my life when I found power and comfort in being able to say, “I’m sorry,” “This was my mistake,” and “What can we do to fix this?”

    For one thing, finding blame is exhausting and a waste of time; second, it made me SOLUTION-oriented. And being flexible and able to create on the fly are incomparable skills.

    John Maxwell’s book FAILING FORWARD is also a good resource, if anyone wants more ideas on how failure can lead to success.

  • http://www.ramonarichards.com/ Ramona

    Mike, this is an awesome post. I would not be the person I am without my failures, which taught me invaluable lessons about myself and my career, and they guided me toward the path God really wanted for me. Also, I realized I had crossed a significant threshold in my life when I found power and comfort in being able to say, "I'm sorry," "This was my mistake," and "What can we do to fix this?"

    For one thing, finding blame is exhausting and a waste of time; second, it made me SOLUTION-oriented. And being flexible and able to create on the fly are incomparable skills.

    John Maxwell's book FAILING FORWARD is also a good resource, if anyone wants more ideas on how failure can lead to success.

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  • Scott

    What motivated you to write this post? It’s very timely.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Scott,

    Nothing in particular. I actually outlined it a few weeks ago and then finished up the writing this past weekend. It’s something I have been thinking about for some time.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • Scott

    What motivated you to write this post? It's very timely.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I agree… timely.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Scott,

    Nothing in particular. I actually outlined it a few weeks ago and then finished up the writing this past weekend. It's something I have been thinking about for some time.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.prophetsprayer.com Justin

    Mike,

    Great post.

    Failure is just one more step on the way to success. My first business went bankrupt in under a year. My partner and I did everything wrong and at the end I had $30,000 in high-interest personal debt and no way to pay for it.

    I had two choices. I could wallow in self-pity and complain that only those people who are lucky or “connected” can make a successful business. Or, I realized, I could treat my “failure” as an investment in business education.

    In the end, I took my $30,000 education and put it to use. Business #2 is off the ground and after 8 months is ahead of projections – and I’m growing in a career in another industry. There’s a big difference between disappointment and failure – attitude.

  • http://www.prophetsprayer.com/ Justin

    Mike,

    Great post.

    Failure is just one more step on the way to success. My first business went bankrupt in under a year. My partner and I did everything wrong and at the end I had $30,000 in high-interest personal debt and no way to pay for it.

    I had two choices. I could wallow in self-pity and complain that only those people who are lucky or "connected" can make a successful business. Or, I realized, I could treat my "failure" as an investment in business education.

    In the end, I took my $30,000 education and put it to use. Business #2 is off the ground and after 8 months is ahead of projections – and I'm growing in a career in another industry. There's a big difference between disappointment and failure – attitude.

    • http://www.jdeddins.com JD Eddins

      I love that last line. It truly is all about the attitude we carry with us.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I agree.  I think attitude is the critical factor in all of this, and most of the rest of life as well…

  • mark

    Mike,

    great post. I really enjoy reading your blog & this post, when it came out, was the right thing at the right time for me.

    BTW, I found your blog through a link to your review of the iphone. Did you see the iphone announcement that Apple made today. Looks like they are upgrading almost all of the things that you didn’t like about the iphone. I’d be curious to see your take on the iphone once all of these changes are put into place.

  • mark

    Mike,

    great post. I really enjoy reading your blog & this post, when it came out, was the right thing at the right time for me.

    BTW, I found your blog through a link to your review of the iphone. Did you see the iphone announcement that Apple made today. Looks like they are upgrading almost all of the things that you didn’t like about the iphone. I’d be curious to see your take on the iphone once all of these changes are put into place.

  • mark

    Mike,

    great post. I really enjoy reading your blog & this post, when it came out, was the right thing at the right time for me.

    BTW, I found your blog through a link to your review of the iphone. Did you see the iphone announcement that Apple made today. Looks like they are upgrading almost all of the things that you didn’t like about the iphone. I’d be curious to see your take on the iphone once all of these changes are put into place.

  • mark

    Mike,

    great post. I really enjoy reading your blog & this post, when it came out, was the right thing at the right time for me.

    BTW, I found your blog through a link to your review of the iphone. Did you see the iphone announcement that Apple made today. Looks like they are upgrading almost all of the things that you didn't like about the iphone. I'd be curious to see your take on the iphone once all of these changes are put into place.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Mark,

    I listened to the Apple presentation today. I was really blown away. The Enterprise features of iPhone 2.0 really look impressive. I think this will change the game entirely.

    Best,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Mark,

    I listened to the Apple presentation today. I was really blown away. The Enterprise features of iPhone 2.0 really look impressive. I think this will change the game entirely.

    Best,

    Mike

  • http://www.beyondJEMS.wordpress.com Amy

    Mike:

    Thank you for the timely post. I am a former General Motors manager (16 yrs) & can very much relate to what you are saying about failure, ownership & lessons learned. Today, however, as a SAHM of twins I find myself having to revisit these key points in a new application. I am going through a divorce and although there is some tweaking to be done, many of these strategies still apply. I think whether it is a business failure or personal failure or relationship failure, we have to learn from it and grow if we are going to move forward in a positive direction. Thanks for the great blog!

  • http://www.beyondJEMS.wordpress.com/ Amy

    Mike:

    Thank you for the timely post. I am a former General Motors manager (16 yrs) & can very much relate to what you are saying about failure, ownership & lessons learned. Today, however, as a SAHM of twins I find myself having to revisit these key points in a new application. I am going through a divorce and although there is some tweaking to be done, many of these strategies still apply. I think whether it is a business failure or personal failure or relationship failure, we have to learn from it and grow if we are going to move forward in a positive direction. Thanks for the great blog!

  • Joel

    Thanks, Mike. I was very young in my publishing career and remember the time very well and W&H closed down. It was, for many, a sad time. I also went through tragic failure in my career. However, taking full responsibility was my first step to recovering from the loss, moving on and seeing how God worked in and through me to launch me in a different professional direction. Thank you for your timely reminder to never forget. I really enjoy your blog.

  • Joel

    Thanks, Mike. I was very young in my publishing career and remember the time very well and W&H closed down. It was, for many, a sad time. I also went through tragic failure in my career. However, taking full responsibility was my first step to recovering from the loss, moving on and seeing how God worked in and through me to launch me in a different professional direction. Thank you for your timely reminder to never forget. I really enjoy your blog.

  • Gitanajava

    Re: "Turning Failure…"

    Like your other observers' comments, I agree wholeheartedly with the perspective one must take to leverage a failure into a learning experience — I often think of that wonderful scene in Zorba the Greek when the "great scheme" comes crashing down. However, one aspect of dealing satisfactorily with the crashing down of great ideas eludes me: the continuing doubt and criticism aimed from family members. Colleagues, clients, and employees have accepted what amends I've made (and continue to make!), but family closest to me keep throwing the past back up to me. Ideas, anyone?

  • Gitanajava

    Re: “Turning Failure…”

    Like your other observers’ comments, I agree wholeheartedly with the perspective one must take to leverage a failure into a learning experience — I often think of that wonderful scene in Zorba the Greek when the “great scheme” comes crashing down. However, one aspect of dealing satisfactorily with the crashing down of great ideas eludes me: the continuing doubt and criticism aimed from family members. Colleagues, clients, and employees have accepted what amends I’ve made (and continue to make!), but family closest to me keep throwing the past back up to me. Ideas, anyone?

  • http://www.anastasiakbond.com/ Ana

    Thanks for those excellent thoughts. They're also helpful for writers who are struggling through the submission process! Very encouraging.

    Gitanajava,
    I don't know you or your situation, but I would suspect that the family issue stems from unresolved emotions from your last venture. They may have made more sacrifices and felt more pain than they admitted to you. Thank them and ask their forgiveness before you try to get their support for your new idea.

  • http://www.anastasiakbond.com Ana

    Thanks for those excellent thoughts. They’re also helpful for writers who are struggling through the submission process! Very encouraging.

    Gitanajava,
    I don’t know you or your situation, but I would suspect that the family issue stems from unresolved emotions from your last venture. They may have made more sacrifices and felt more pain than they admitted to you. Thank them and ask their forgiveness before you try to get their support for your new idea.

  • http://www.authorjenniferhudsontaylor.com/ Jennifer Hudson Tayl

    I'm just now reading this blog post, but I can identify with it in every way. My husband and I started a business almost six years ago. Through our near failure with it, we almost lost everything–even our marriage. You are right, as painful as it is, we have to face the failure and move on–push through it. Our business is now doing better and our marriage is stronger than ever. We learned so much, but change was necessary to be where we are today. And God never abandoned us, we needed to stop magnifying the problems and listen to His quiet guidance.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for sharing your powerful story, Jennifer.

  • http://www.authorjenniferhudsontaylor.com Jennifer Hudson Taylor

    I’m just now reading this blog post, but I can identify with it in every way. My husband and I started a business almost six years ago. Through our near failure with it, we almost lost everything–even our marriage. You are right, as painful as it is, we have to face the failure and move on–push through it. Our business is now doing better and our marriage is stronger than ever. We learned so much, but change was necessary to be where we are today. And God never abandoned us, we needed to stop magnifying the problems and listen to His quiet guidance.

  • Temitayo Favour Nico

    To learn how to walk, we sometimes stumble a todler doesnt just stand up and walk all of a sudden. Its like this with success sometimes we fail before we finally succeed so as to learn from our mistakes. thanks Mike.

  • Temitayo Favour Nicole Ajobo

    To learn how to walk, we sometimes stumble a todler doesnt just stand up and walk all of a sudden. Its like this with success sometimes we fail before we finally succeed so as to learn from our mistakes. thanks Mike.

  • Will

    Thank you for your article, it brought to mind Job’s process: experiencing loss, grieving in the ashes, asking why, and accepting that life is ultimately beyond his control. Then he stood up, dusted off and rebuilt his life. Maybe realizing that we aren’t in control of everything is the real blessing that comes from failure.

    BTW: I thought you would be interested to know that I found your blog because it was referenced as one of the top 10 executive blogs in a research study by Burton Group Consulting. Congratulations! I can send details if you are interested.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

       Thanks for reminding of Job’s process: experiencing loss, grieving in the ashes, asking why, and accepting that life is ultimately beyond his control. That’s really a good analogy here.

  • Will

    Thank you for your article, it brought to mind Job’s process: experiencing loss, grieving in the ashes, asking why, and accepting that life is ultimately beyond his control. Then he stood up, dusted off and rebuilt his life. Maybe realizing that we aren’t in control of everything is the real blessing that comes from failure.

    BTW: I thought you would be interested to know that I found your blog because it was referenced as one of the top 10 executive blogs in a research study by Burton Group Consulting. Congratulations! I can send details if you are interested.

  • Dot

    I thoroughly enjoyed your posting and agree wholeheartedly with you.

    Years ago when studying photography part time, my tutor saw my frustration at yet another of my mistakes. He calmy told me that each error I made taught me something, a lesson, so it was not a waste of time. I thought that was valuable advise and it echoes what you say in your posting. It's about the angles and how you look at it – positively or negatively.

    I also read your post on 'how to blog' and feel inspired to begin myself.

    Thanks

    Dot (England)

  • Dot

    I thoroughly enjoyed your posting and agree wholeheartedly with you.

    Years ago when studying photography part time, my tutor saw my frustration at yet another of my mistakes. He calmy told me that each error I made taught me something, a lesson, so it was not a waste of time. I thought that was valuable advise and it echoes what you say in your posting. It’s about the angles and how you look at it – positively or negatively.

    I also read your post on ‘how to blog’ and feel inspired to begin myself.

    Thanks

    Dot (England)

  • http://www.leadinginlife.com/ Mark A. Singh

    Mike,
    First I want to thank you for article on starting a blog.
    On this post, so many people see only the negative aspects of failure. Your perspective on how you dealt with failure is quite helpful.

  • http://www.leadinginlife.com Mark A. Singh

    Mike,
    First I want to thank you for article on starting a blog.
    On this post, so many people see only the negative aspects of failure. Your perspective on how you dealt with failure is quite helpful.

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      “It was in failing that I learned about value and about life – and about God. ” — Me too deanahara

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/deanaohara deanaohara

    "Honestly, there are just some things you can’t learn—or won’t learn—without failing. I wish it were different. But pain is a powerful teacher. Like Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th century German philosopher, once said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” So true."

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  • http://www.wisdomherald.com/ Dana Crosby

    Key points that inspired me: ask "what was missing?" change your behavior, and move on to next project wholeheartedly. Thank you so much. I always appreciate your transparency.

  • http://www.wisdomherald.com/ Dana Crosby

    Key points that inspired me: ask "what was missing?" change your behavior, and move on to next project wholeheartedly. Thank you so much. I always appreciate your transparency.

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  • http://www.danblackonleadership.blogspot.com/ Dan Black

    I think "Learn from the experience" is a key for success. Because with it a person is able to learn what not to do as well as areas that need to be changed. It also helps with moving to the next project.

  • http://www.RobinTracy.com/ Tracy Clement

    Thanks for your transparancy. A great case study for clients–I appreciate the wise words shared through your experience.
    My recent post 5 Basic Rules for Social Media

  • http://www.RobinTracy.com Tracy Clement

    Thanks for your transparancy. A great case study for clients–I appreciate the wise words shared through your experience.
    My recent post 5 Basic Rules for Social Media

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  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com/ Michael Levitt

    Awesome advise (as usual)!

    Blessings
    My recent post Catching up

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com Michael Levitt

    Awesome advise (as usual)!

    Blessings
    My recent post Catching up

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  • greentub

    Thanks for posting this, Michael. It's very helpful.

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  • Rayees Qurayshi

    Great stuff.

  • http://www.lionstand.com Jamie (Lionstand)

    Mike,

    Great post, I couldn’t agree with you more that learning from failure is so important in life.

    I was wondering if I could pick your brain a bit further on your closing statement, that failure is inevitable if you are going to tackle significant goals.

    I’m 26, so still pretty young to have the potential to make lots of mistakes. Up to this point however I really haven’t had one of those catastrophic failures where you have to mourn the loss for a few weeks.

    It is possible that I simply haven’t stepped out into anything big but I have made some big changes where the potential to fail was big, left college to move to America to go to Bible School, met my wife, got married, wasn’t legally able to work for the 1st 6 months of marriage but I’ve managed to come through it pretty unscathed.

    I have taken the strengths finder test and 2 of my strengths seem to be strategy and learning. I guess my question is, is that is it possible to not suffer failure like many experience based on these skills?

    I am beginning to lay some foundation for a business so I can see potential for failure.

    I apologize for the length of the comment and hope the tone doesn’t come across as being disagreeable. My attitude is that, you know way more than I do. I am just looking for some honest and frank feedback.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think you will eventually hit some failure. I do think it’s inevitable. I could go into a lot of philosophical and theological reasons for this, but the bottom line is that we don’t grow into the people we need to be without it. Thanks!

      • http://www.lionstand.com Jamie (Lionstand)

        Hmmm, appreciate the feedback Mike. I do agree that life experiences refine us….. like our faith refined by fire.

        At least I know where to go now when it happens :)

        To be for warned is to be for armed.

  • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

    Glad you reposted this. I needed this. I feel like I am stuck in a leadership vacuum right now and I am not sure how to get out of it. I have to watch what I say here because I am not sure I would just be blaming others.

    I have tried owning my failure and changing my behavior but I feel like I continue to get the same result.

    It’s refreshing to read your post Michael and give myself a new sense of reflection in order to re-evaluate the next project/season.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Chris. I don’t often repost, but I thought this one was worth it.

      • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

        Yes it is. Glad you did!

  • http://joeandancy.com Joe Abraham

    Very helpful post! You have outlined a number of ways to get over confusion caused by failure. I recently wrote something on overcoming confusion by attempting to answer five critical questions. Here’s the link: http://joeandancy.com/2011/08/05/5-smart-questions-to-solve-confusion/.

    By the way, in the comments section, after the name of every commenter, “3 years ago” appears. Was it written 3 years back? The post appears so timely!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I originally wrote it 3 years ago and re-posted this morning. Thanks.

  • Sherri

    This is such great advice. One of the benefits of dealing with failure in this way is that it really builds your credibility. People respect someone who acknowledges his or her failure and takes full responsibility for it and, if possible, for fixing it. That builds trust and solid relationships. It also allows others to fail and learn, because they know they have an ally – someone who doesn’t see failure as the end of the road, but a jumping off point to something new.  An added bonus is that for Christians, this is another way to be a light in our ‘mission field’ every day. If we practice these principles people will see a difference – that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?  Thank you for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/RookieWriter David Barry DeLozier

    Right to the heart of the matter.  Failure/mistakes/missed steps are far and away my best teachers. When everything is going “my way” I have an unfortunate tendency to think I’m making it happen.  I’d like to think points 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6 come naturally for me now (after lots of practice). Number 3 is something I need to work on.  The optimist spin doctor marketer in me wants to move through this too quickly, which resuts in lingering doubts.  Thanks again. 

  • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Test.

  • http://chrisvonada.com chris vonada

    Michael, thank you for having the transparency to share this story, very well thought out and presented here. I appreciate your honesty and openness!!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    One of my greatest and most embarrassing failures happened on our first Caribbean cruise in 1986. The ship offered a talent night, and I decided that I would be a stand up comedian. I mean… how hard could that be? So I scoured the books and magazines in the ships library and found an old edition of Readers Digest. I took the jokes from that issue and put together a 5 minute comedy routine.

    When the time came to get up, I got on the stage in front of hundreds of people. The cruise director introduced me and it was all downhill from there. That experience was literally the longest 5 minutes in my life. People didn’t laugh. Some people started to boo. I wanted to die. When the cruise director finally put me out of my misery, I sank back into my seat. The only saving grace was the old guy who went after me trying to sing O so yo mio. He was worse than I was.

    After that failure, I never wanted to get up in front of anybody… ever again! It wasn’t until 1996 when I discovered Toastmasters, that I was able to overcome my fear and began speaking publicly again. With lots of practice, I made it to the district level of the humorous speech competition for Toastmasters in 2005.

    Getting back on the horse is so important, yet so hard to do.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing that story, John. I could feel your pain. That must have been horrible! I’m glad you persisted.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        It certainly gave me a whole new respect for comedians. It’s definitely not as easy as it looks!! In fact, after taking a couple of humor classes, it’s actually one of the hardest things to master. You can have all the words in the correct order and fail miserably. It comes down to timing and rapport with the audience, two things that take a lot of practice to get right.

        • Ms. Data

          I also have felt that pain recently.

          I ‘ve been dying to go to a Karaoke bar that my friend has talked about for a while.So, a few months back, I went there with my wife where we met some friends.After sitting & listening to some people do it, I thought I’d try.
          I got up, tried to sing “Margarita Ville” & could not get started.
          I was waiting for the melody to come, but it never did.
          (That’s something the singer supplies).
          Some of the friends started it off & then I was able to sing it.

          YES, it LOOKS a lot easier than it is.That’s the power & gift that a professional provides.I too have a lot more respect for singers, comedians, etc.PSI’ve been listening closer to music, and find that most of the melodies are provided by the singers.

  • Sam

    Great post. I just wish all the people on Capitol Hill would apply your lessons, especially number five, “Change Your Behavior” !!

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      That’s true Sam! But, will they?

  • http://twitter.com/BrettVaden Brett Vaden

    Thank you, Michael. I especially connected with your point about mourning the loss. I have experienced failure in relating to others. I often revert to a passive, shy and tortoise-in-the-shell type. This is not who I really am (in Christ), but an old way of relating to those I fear. I’m ready to mourn the loss of relating to those people as I’m meant to. And I’m ready to change and enter whole-heartedly into a different way of relating.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Brett.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      That’s just like repenting with genuine heart.

  • JoyFrye

    Thank you Michael for this post. The timing for me was perfect. I was forced to closed my business this year. I really wanted to wallow in self-pity and God called me to spend my unemployed time helping those in worse situations than I. Even though our business may have failed I still have a home, family, and a husband with a good job. I started working with a homeless ministry. One day a lady asked me why I wanted to work with homeless people and I told her that is not who she is, but her circumstance and we are all one natural disaster, one job loss, one illness away from being homeless. She is now preparing to run a marathon we have planned for a fundraiser and help build awareness. I am going to finish my grieving process by asking myself the questions and getting back on my bike!

  • http://Busyness.com Dr. Brad Semp

    Great post today, Michael!  Each point that you make is super powerful and important.  Although many might feel that they must avoid failure……failures of all sizes (failure in individual daily actions, failures in life growth & decisions, failure in personal actions, failure to meet business objectives, etc) are inevitable and a necessary experience on anyone’s path to success.

  • Jmscholen

    I think you got “former” and “latter” reversed?

    Great post!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I did. Thanks for point that out. It’s all fixed now.

  • Anthony Dina

    Excellent post…and very timely. As we sweat another financial crisis in our national house, face the loss of a brother in the sands of the middle east or simply come to grips with our own shame for involuntarily wounding love ones, we must all take this passage. Thanks Michael for laying it out simply and with mature clarity.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    I’m running a debate camp in Estes Park at the moment, and this very topic came up yesterday when the students were required to give their first extemp speeches. Fear of failure came up, and I challenged the kids to welcome failure. Speakers will learn much more from their flops than their successes, believe it or not. Over time, speakers begin to notice fewer flops and more successes, they venture into more challenge territory, and they get better.

    The topic was raised by a 12-year-old who gave his first speech. I didn’t watch the speech, but apparently he teared up and struggled through it. Our coaches helped him along to finish up. I met him afterward and he was feeling down, but I think my talk encouraged him. I have high hopes for him, and he will likely be a great debater in competition someday!

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Some great life lessons there. I find it helpful to give myself a few days when I “fail” at something. It may hurt deeply. But in the past I would wallow. I eventually discovered that didn’t solve anything. There’s a difference between wallowing and mourning.

    Now I allow for a determined time-frame to mourn. After that, it’s time to jump back in the saddle. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt anymore. But it does help to know that I’m moving forward. I tend to wallow if I lose my sense of purpose. 

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Wallowing happens at times in me too.

  • Barry Whitlow

    Thanks Michael. Great post, great timing for me. I would add that the older you get, the harder the process of turning your failure into an advantage becomes. I have found the voices of “reason and resistance” to reboot and restart are much louder the older we are. This makes “relaunching with enthusiasm” not just a challenge, but an epic battle… that must be fought and won. Thanks again.

    • http://swipeouthunger.com Caleb McNary

      I agree, Barry. After a hard failure, my next boss noticed that I was timid and reserved, afraid of inflicting the new organization with whatever I carried with me from the previous experience. He rightly told me that I was more damaging to the organization holding back than I would be if I leaned in and failed. It was some of the best encouragement I ever got.

  • http://NancyJCommunications.weebly.com Nancy J.

     Lately my quest is to find where I fell off the track. As I read this I finally was able to see my point of failure.  I worked for a company for 7 years. This company was what I describe as a company that limped. Through the years I had various interviews with wonderful companies, but never stepped out of my company. The result of this, when the company eventually closed the industry I was in was not in the best of shape. This meant many people were applying for the few positions that were available. Failure? My failure was not accepting the employment with another company. I began to live a life of complacency without realizing it.  Although I now travel, write and teach my financial situation never recovered. There is nowhere to go back to, which means my only direction to go is forward.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for sharing a touching story. We all make mistakes but you make a point that it is important to move forward.

  • http://www.livewithflair.blogspot.com Live with Flair

    Earlier on in grad school, I experienced a humiliating failure regarding my research.  I experienced a tormenting sense of inferiority that drove me to study the emotion of shame for 5 years and write a dissertation on shame and that fear of failure.  I learned the beauty of failure to deliver a person from fear.  Once you fail, you realize you can survive it.  You discover a true self and lose that fear of public opinion.  I rose from the ashes and discovered what I was made for:  teaching and writing.  Now, I take risks because the worst that can happen is failure.  But guess what?  I’ve been there.  Failure is the best teacher.  That school changed my life.  http://www.livewithflair.blogspot.com

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Though it is painful, I agree that failure is the best teacher.

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  • http://www.eileenknowles.blogspot.com Eileen

    I love this post!  Thanks for reposting.  Over the years, I’ve experienced many huge failures. I’ve learned that when we don’t let our failures “win” and get the best of us they become such a huge catalyst for change and growth.  Our failures, if we are willing to learn from them,  grow us and shape us in ways we would not have if we had not first experienced the failure. 

  • http://www.CFinancialFreedom.com Dr. Jason Cabler

    “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”- Winston Churchill

    Failure is only failure if you allow it to keep you from moving forward.  Getting stuck in the mud when you don’t succeed at something will affect you in all areas of your life (relational, physical, financial, spiritual, etc.) if you let it keep you down for very long.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love that quote!

  • http://strengths.jimseybert.com Jim Seybert

    Yes !!!!

    “Mourn the failure. I am not simply exhorting you to have a positive attitude. Failure stings. It hurts—sometimes deeply. Many times there are very real and serious losses. Often times there is collateral damage. Other people are hurt. Sometimes innocent people.”

    Healing requires coming to grips with reality and the “realer” you are, the stronger you’ll be when the healing begins. As very wise Eastern philosopher once told a crowd on the Mount of Olives, “Blessed are those who mourn. . . .”

  • http://www.withpaintedsharks.com Aaron Harris

    Thanks for this post – this is particularly relevant to me on two front.  I am currently going through bankruptcy and feel like a complete failure but I think some of the steps you offered will help me move past this.  I have also experienced moral failure previously too and the guilt plagues me at time – so I am going to try to use some of these steps to help me as well.  Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. This can be a defining, powerful moment for you. The rest of the story has yet to be written. YOU can write it!

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      You will really bounce aback.

  • http://twitter.com/lancecashion lance cashion

    I have built a business around what I learned from personal failures.  Once you been there, you know what it looks like, how to deal with it and how to build upon the experience. 

    There are thousands of books on surfing.  You can read them all.  Until you paddle out into the ocean and fall a few times, you don’t have the knowledge of what NOT to do.  It is when you learn from falling that you learn to stand.

    This post made me stop and think about some failures and how I dealt with them.  Thanks!  Nice boost for today :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love the surfing illustration. Powerful.

  • http://swipeouthunger.com Caleb McNary

    Great post, Michael. I failed pretty hard at a business start up, and it took a lot of processing to get my mind wrapped around it. An important part of the mourning process is to get perspective on the things that you did do correctly. Not every failure is total! There are always good things to take away as well as the negative behaviors to correct.

  • http://twitter.com/janbeery Jan Beery

    Michael,

    Your transparency is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story. It comes at a perfect time for a lot of people. 
    A failure I would say I need to turn to my advantage, and am in the process of, is our choice to take the focus of our company in a new direction. We began our business working with clients in the medical industry, physicians were a large part of that. What we found was a lack of professionalism that became very frustrating and draining to our revenue stream, energy, time etc. 
    We now, thanks to a lot of prayer, God’s direction, and my CEO coach, are niching our niche. When I realized that the area I love working with is medical manufacturing and distribution, I felt a huge weight lifted from our shoulders. I love so many people in that niche. It’s my network, a strong, professional, awesome group of people. 
    We’ve learned that if it doesn’t feel comfortable, God’s telling us to be still, pray and listen. So now, on my computer sits a post it note: PRAY, RISK, TRUST!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I like the phrase “niching our niche.” Awesome.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      PRAY, RISK, TRUST! – like that in the same order

  • Anonymous

    I’ve learned more from my failures than from the easy successes.  The former make one think, along the lines of your post; the latter, too often taken for granted, don’t lead to deep critical analysis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1143174623 Lori VanGilder

    Amazingly timely and insightful article.  I think we have all “failed” at different points.  I think perhaps that letting go of the stigma of failure and moving forward as you mentioned are the key elements.  I do like to take time to reflect on what happened, look back and see what could have been done differently in the future and learn.  Everything has a life lesson for us, everything must happen for a reason.  Perhaps we have been floating in the wrong direction without taking charge of our lives and making them meaningful? 

  • http://newvintageleadership.com Tim Spivey

    Michael, that was a marvelous post. Everyone will fail at something that matters to them. You’re prescription for processing it effectively is dead on. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Rbeery

    Your comments are very insightful and appropriate. Whether the failure is a lost job or a failed relationship – such as a marriage – the same elements hold true.  The one thing I would add is to seek professional counselling to aid in the process.  I didn’t, but should have.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Failure.  I seem to have a lot of those racked up in my life.  But I guess that’s because I try a lot of new things.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.  Thanks for the information on how to deal with this. 

  • Steve Morgan

    yes, these are all good practical ideas.  Easy to blame others or be the victim.  We can’t fall into a learned helplessness.  It wasn’t until the step of realizing I was the problem that things began to change.

  • http://www.dwaynes--world.blogspot.com Dwayne Morris

    I’ve heard it said, “If you want to impress people, tell them about your successes. But if you want to influence them, tell them about your failures.” Thanks for being transparent!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is a very wise saying. I have certainly found it to be true.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for the quote. That was insightful.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Great lessons and advice Michael. I know I can fall into the trap of number 2 and blame others for my failings. I’m working on getting better at that.

  • Brian Stewart

    “What was missing?” is a GREAT way to phrase the question. Thanks for passing along that tip.

    • Anonymous

      That was my biggest takeaway of this article as well

  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s easy to look at highly successful people and they think they’ve had it easy and have always had everything together. (I know this is not true!) I love the questions that you used in the end. I will keep those in mind. I would also say that processing the event is the best way to learn from it. It allows you to take an objective view of things and learn from it.

  • http://twitter.com/rkinnick59 Randy Kinnick

    Words of wisdom, Michael.  We learn so much through the struggles of failure…if we allow ourselves to.  Your words bring this home very impactfully…

    “Honestly, there are just some things you can’t learn—or won’t
    learn—without failing. I wish it were different. But pain is a powerful
    teacher. Like Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th century German philosopher,
    once said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” So true.”

    Even in the realm of our losses…regardless of the form they take, we can learn and use them for good.  I wrote a post today about that very thing…

    http://www.randykinnick.com/healing-the-wounded-heart-dealing-with-the-inevitable-experience-of-loss/

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Ah, we revisit failure for a second time this week. Today I’ve failed at keeping boundaries around my schedule, a typical lesson that reincarnates itself (or resurrects, if you want to speak Christian) on a weekly basis. Your advice, “Change Your Behavior, and the Santayana quote are spot on for me. I need to change a number of things to return to a productive writing schedule.

  • Rogmaozamiz

    Hi Sir Hyatt,

    Thank you very much for this article.

    mir

  • PV Lundqvist

    When I first started my own business, I was steeped in the myth that businesses failed for Darwinian reasons.

    Rubbish.

    It’s all about receivables. Plenty of great businesses fail because they can’t get their customers to pay up fast enough. Even the best swimmer has to breathe once and a while. And having good paying customers can be just plain luck.

    Once I accepted that, I became less cocky about my success. And acknowledged, to myself, that as hard as I worked, as skillful as I may be, that a trick of circumstance can undo it all.

    Thanks for the post.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      became less cocky about my success– Many times experience teaches this great lesson.

  • Ben Berson

    amazing article! failure is not a person; it is an event!
    I was able to turn a corner using your article! thanks so much!

  • Eccle0412

    Not going to present the details but have lived the process. Fairly quickly I was able to see what seemed like failure was what it took to move me to next and was exponentially positive far beyond me.  When character is certain, failure is a building block that leads to a stronger platform. 
    On another note;  Thank you for your leadership here.  Since “following” and learning from you for the past maybe 6 months I have gained amazing employment and use so much of what I have learned (and read in many books you presented and gave me).  Starting my “love is the Killer App” book shelf in my office so that I can share knowledge. My team is better because of you!  And I love the opportunity I have to watch people grow.  
    As John Y stated below, you have no idea how you are impacting through your experiences shared.
    In my life that translates to God’s greatness and my ordinary-ness.
    “Pray like no one’s listening; serve like no one’s watching; and give like no one’s counting. Be God’s best kept secret.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words.

  • Francarona

    Michael, I truly believe that here are hidden gifts in our setbacks.  The secret is to discover the gifts and accept them.  Only then can you change your life.  Thanks for all the great posts!

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  • Tracy Krauss

    Such great advice. Often times, people forget the ‘mourn the failure’ part. We are supposed to just ‘buck up and get over it’. Mourning our losses is an important step to moving forward, no matter what the scenario. 

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Even the Bible stress about mourning in several places.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Mouring helps us to reconcile ad regain our balance.

  • Jnicolewilliamson

    great post on taking personal responsibility in times of failure, learning from it and moving forward.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Turning failure to our advantage requires acumen and courage from our end. Many times, we don’t feel like bouncing back. I am reminded of the saying “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” by Winston Churchill.  However, it’s important to learn from our failures and improve subsequently.

  • Henryhofc

    I once owned an IT business with 20 employees. I was too cheap to get a valuation and end you selling 51% to my brother way under value. Later we had a fall out and I lost both a profitable business and a brother. A very foolish decision I hope to never make again. Now I own a successful financial advisory business.

  • Henryhofc

    One more – at the depths of my loss in 2005, I told God, “the Lord gives and He takes away, blessed be His name.” the thought entered me that one day I will look back and the loss will look small in comparison to what He can provide, Lord willing. He did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Minette-Ellis/100000653615846 Minette Ellis

    Failure is a stepping stone to Success

  • http://www.inspirationtochange.org Karen Zeigler

    I had longed to write for almost 20 years and it wasn’t until I failed at the job I had settled for after college that I wrote my first book.  In fact it was the process of failing that created the topic of the book.  I would have probably never written on the topic of worry in my life – I have so many other things I am passionate about.  But it was what God taught me through that failing process that ended up being the topic for the book.  Amazing the irony of God sometimes.  Sometimes it’s hitting the bottom (failure) that causes us to stop, listen to God, listen to our intuition and move forward in the right direction.

  • http://www.cmoe.com/leadership-development.htm Susan

    People also need to keep in mind that failure shouldn’t scare them away from making big changes or decisions. Having failed doesn’t mean you should shy away from anything different, just that you need to consider everything carefully before taking a huge leap.

  • http://twitter.com/ConnieMcKnight Connie McKnight

    Michael,
    I loved the lessons you learned from your failure. Each point is a journey into itself. If we don’t acknowledge and take responsibility, we’re bound to repeat the same mistakes again. Failure is not easy, but I’ve learned my most valuable lessons from failure.

    I think entering into the next project whole-heartedly really shows what you’re made of.

    Connie

  • Frank Jackson

    This is great advice. I appreciate you and your insightful postings. I have just experienced failure, and you are correct, it stings. I have been taught to absorb it and so I shall. I am still mourning the failure at this time…I was told today that I failed. I will grow from this. My God still loves me, my wife still adores me, and my CEO still has the confidence to assign me another huge task/project that I will use my strengths to make successful. Overall, I’m happy and still on the team. I’m just sitting the bench for a few games. God Bless You Michael Hyatt for this uplifting, inspiring post.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Frank. Glad I could help.

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  • Joy

    Thank you…thank you. Failed 2 years ago in my small  business, haven’t recovered yet but I have started taking steps to make things better but one thing I didn’t do was take full responsibility…now I have and its like a big load off my chest… people where hurt and I agonize over it daily, but I can’t keep living in the past…now I ask myself, what did ‘I’ miss?! How can I do it better?! Michael Hyatt your blog post are like road signs on the journey am taking. I just want to say thank you.

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  • Breaking_thechain

    Now I’d like to hear what you say about those who are relentlessly hounded by the security dogs of our day that supposedly is there for our security when you were kept from falling morally by the mercy of God but your employer trailed a trail for the next employer to make mincemeat out of you and had it not been for the almighty himself you would have gone down. He did not allow it  praise His holy name. But the employers + security contract hire of the companies are making sure to advance info forward to all employers afterwards even though illegally done with no fear of repercussions. Only sure harassment to where one of the employers the head of the company said “Wouldn’t want you to have a breakdown” as He smiled.

  • Plugger34

    I have struggled with work since the day I stepped out of college.  I work hard, try my best, but have found time after time to be incompetent.  I’ve gotten up from a failed job, put my best foot forward again, and failed again at the next job.  I’ve read every self-help career book and work in a career I love, but I cannot perform.  I’ve prayed to God and had my prayers fall on deaf ears.  After struggling in dead end jobs and an under performing start up, I finally landed a job with a great company at age 37.  I thought I finally had a job that would allow me to fulfill my dreams of home ownership and consider marriage.  After 3 weeks of trying everything to perform well, I was fired for poor performance.  As I now struggle to find a job earning less money than I could earn 15 years ago coming out of college, my advice is simple.  Some people on this Earth are made to fail.  Don’t fight God’s plan.  Tuck a gun barrel under your chin and pull the trigger.

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  • JOSEPH GOCO

    Barry this is what i was looking for to boost my research prior to speaking to teens  this weekend on topic, ‘turning your disadvantage to advantage’. God bless you for your work to teens and youth. JOSEPH, NAKURU-KENYA

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  • Jammerings

    I am currently in the death spiral of financial failure. I know it is all my fault but my road to destruction was paved with good intentions. Six years ago, my son was born with special needs. As any dad would, I have been trying to make things perfect. I have switched jobs a million times it seems to find right balance of pay and freedom. I have invested heavily in courses that, if followed, provided the possibility of a better life. Instead of prosperity, I find myself in a position where I have let everyone down, and not a great place to be a week from Christmas. I am utterly humiliated and devastated. I feel all the same emotions such as anger, frustration, embarrassment and feel defeated. The post showed me I am not alone but I find little comfort in this.

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