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Failure – a path to success

“We learn from failure not from success.”

Bram Stoker

Hi there Motivation Seekers.  How has your week been?  I hope it went well for you and you managed to grow your self belief.  This week’s Motivator really follows on from that, as lack of self belief is so often driven by fear of failure.

Amazingly though, that isn’t what I had thought about writing.  I was stuck for a topic this week and asked my husband, as a business man what he would most like to hear from the Motivator.  He said he always wanted to hear customers say great things about his business, but really the ones who complained were the ones that he learnt most from.  That’s when I thought I really needed to talk about the joy of failure!

We learn more from failure than success

Yes, it’s great to hear good things, but when you hear stuff you don’t want to hear, it motivates you to do something about it and great things can come out of that.  We definitely learn more from failure than success.  In fact, for our business the biggest threat we ever faced was a turning point that massively improved our business.

We had a cake decorating business and we dabbled a little in bakery products.  We didn’t go all out, because experts had told us that a full bakery would not work where we were due to limited parking.  So, we pretty much accepted that and went on doing what we were doing, not setting the world on fire and struggling to make ends meet.  Then, the shop next door became vacant and who would have guessed, a full bakery moved in there, right next door to us.  People flocked to it, it was very successful and we were not!!!

Driven by a compelling vision

I was ready to give up and move on with our lives, but my husband didn’t want to throw away what had taken ages to build up.  He knew, if we didn’t fight this that we would lose the small business that we had.  He also realised that there was in fact a market for a full bakery.  Then we managed to do what we had always wanted and started running a bakery, selling a wide range of products.  We wanted to provide great customer service and top quality products.  We finally had a compelling vision to drive us forward and with competition sitting on our doorstep, we were truly driven to succeed.

We have won many awards over the years, we won NZ Bakery of the Year in 2010 and have twice won the NZ Hot Cross Bun competition in 2013 and 2015, along with many awards for our decorated cakes and pies.  If that bakery hadn’t opened up and we hadn’t nearly lost our business, we would never have achieved what we did.  Failure really did lead to success.

Famous failures

There have been many, many stories of famous people who have achieved amazing things.  For example, the great mountaineer Sir Edmund Hilary was told by his PE teacher that he was “a useless specimen.”  Sir Edmund always said that was one of the big drivers for him, he wanted to prove that teacher wrong.  The Beatles were knocked back by an executive at a large record label who told them that guitar bands were no longer popular!   Successful basketballer, Michael Jordan said that “I have failed over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed.”

Keep on keeping on

So my message this week is for all of us who are in despair about failing.  It’s for everyone who feels that no matter what they do, they just can’t succeed.  If you are trying, you are succeeding.  That’s all you need to do, keep trying, keep going and learn from the mistakes.  Eventually, through persistence and effort along with a clear, compelling vision of your dream, you will achieve the things you may have thought would only stay as dreams.  Have a brilliant week turning failure into success this week.