How I Found Success Through Failure

With a Big and Little S

I’m not a huge fan of failure. I don’t suppose most people are. It’s not a great feeling to put your heart, soul, sweat, blood and tears in to something like a business and have it go belly up. No offence to anyone who’s an employee but if you’ve never started your own business, you won’t get this. You just can’t until you’ve lain awake at 3am wondering how to keep the doors open. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve probably just had a come to Jesus moment where you get it. This week? I shut down one of my businesses and experienced failure. Then? Success showed up all over the place.

For the purpose of this chat, success is going to have a capital S and a lower s. Why? Because the tools and reminders about success after failure came from Success Magazine. This is not a paid endorsement for them. I don’t get a dime. But I feel it’s important to share lessons I’ve learned and where I learned them from. By reading Success Magazine, I view the success to be found in failure much differently than I did a year ago.

The April issue of Success Magazine has Kendra Scott on the cover. I won’t claim to have any idea beyond this article who Kendra Scott was before spying her smiling face on the bright yellow cover in Chapters. My major sources of jewelry are flea markets, friends and my new obsession glamjulz. The night I decided to close down At My Office Canada, Success came to bed with me. When I opened the magazine to the bookmark I’d left in, it opened to the story on Kendra Scott. The title of the article? Kendra Scott Turned Out The Lights.

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It was about failure.

Of course the story has a very happy ending with Kendra Scott Designs grossing over $150 million in revenue but what I needed was her failure. I needed to know that another entrepreneur had come out the other side. I’d say $150 million is a good come back story. Two weeks later I had another setback when my other business lost a contract. Heading out the next morning, I grabbed an old Success Magazine CD from 2013 off the dining room table and popped it in to my car’s CD player. What are the first words out of Darren Hardy’s mouth? All about failure and the lessons that go with it on the way back to success.

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Divine intervention was providing a new come to Jesus moment whether I wanted it or not. And I didn’t just want it, I needed it. I needed those words of encouragement, solace and solidarity. I needed to know that these very successful people had stumbled and it was ok that I had too. When I put that CD in my stereo and heard the words, “Failure happens to everybody,” I started laughing. Why? Because it became really apparent over the past two weeks that I needed to believe that this one failure was not going to define my future successes. Yep. Plural.

So what’s my point? We all need support on the road to success. It doesn’t matter where you get it from (though I don’t recommend anything stronger than tea and a good book), it just matters that you look for it, are open to it and accept it when it comes your way. Notice I say when, not if. You might struggle to get there but believe me, at some point you will get your when.

I am fortunate to have an extremely supportive husband, a huge group of amazing friends and colleagues and a voracious need to read. I’ve also stopped believing that I can handle it all by myself. That has been the biggest lesson of all: be open to advice, direction, opportunities and options. It won’t all work for you but isn’t it better to be able to say, I’ll put that aside for now instead of struggling for any type of insight or assistance? That, my friends, gives success no choice but to show up whether you realize it or not.

Below? Some of the kind words of encouragement and love I received from friends on Facebook. Still gives me a little tear of gratitude 🙂

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One thought on “How I Found Success Through Failure

  1. Wonderful post Elizabeth, thank you for sharing something many people are afraid to talk about.
    Everything we experience in life, whether it’s a job we love or despise, a business that flourishes or flounders, or people that we love or make us miserable, prepares us for what comes next and makes us who we are.
    I believe there is no such thing as failure, only lessons learned for how to do better and different for next time so you can improve and grow. Best wishes for putting your experience to work on your next endeavour, you’ll do amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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