Failure: an Ingredient of Success?

Failure: an Ingredient of Success?

In 2008 at a commencement address at Harvard J.K. Rowling spoke of the value of failure. We all know her story. Wikipedia reports that she “progressed from living on benefits to multi-millionaire status within five years.” Twelve publishing houses rejected her first manuscript! When the following year a publisher did accept her work he advised her to get a job, saying she’d never make any money writing children’s books. It’s got me thinking about this thing we are tempted to call failure.

Although my story is far from finished, clear-sighted hindsight would suggest that I for one must credit failure for delivering me to the very [wonderful] place I am today. Let me explain.

My Bachelor of Arts Degree failed to give me the tools to secure adequate employment so I started a calligraphy business. As computers began to replace my skills, I got involved with essential oils which inspired the creation of  Terra Cotta Pendants. When Terra Cotta Pendants began to experience a slump due to the recent economic downturn I found a business coach, Bryan Cromlish. At one of our first meetings I said to him, “Bryan, I’d like to know out how to work smart instead of hard.” He thought long about it before making the suggestion that we start a blog.

I’m finally putting that Bachelor of Arts English Major to proper use and I’m loving it. What if I fail at this? LOL Then that failure will put me in an even better place, though I can’t imagine what could be better than being here. It seems failure may just be the inspiration (inspiration, boot in the rear; seems they are one and the same) that pushes me in the right direction. Every time.

Failure seems to have a staring role in every success story. Every highly successful person has a long and winding trail of failures behind them. Do you? Have you had an experience with failure in your life which put you on a better path?

photo credit: Mark Wainwright

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?