Recently, one topic has been popping up again and again in front of my face.
The necessary and often positive outcomes of failure.
The topic seems messed up, but upon further inquiry, it’s totally dead on.
My first intro to the idea of success through failure came from Barbara Corcoran’s book, If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons On Your Pigtails, in which she describes her turbulent, funny, disastrous, and random path to outrageous real estate empire building success.
I’m not sure she actually writes: failure = success. But I’m pretty sure, looking back three years, when I first read it, that that’s exactly what I got out of it.
Or to elaborate: although the paths we take may not always seem to lead to the proverbial pot-of-gold, it’s the dead ends, unclear choices, and “failures” along the way that lead us to the outcomes we seek.
I had been thinking about the topic since the New Year began, and then stumbled upon Failing Well, an article Barbara happened to write on January 9 of this month, recounting the time she blew her first profit of $71,000 on an inspired idea to make real estate video tapes, so people could look at apartments for sale from the comfort of their home (what a crazy idea!!!).
Apparently, no one wanted the video tapes. And it seemed like a total waste of funds.
Except that a little while later, this thing called the I-N-T-E-R-N-E-T came to be, and Barbara was the first to put her videos’ contents online and eventually make a killing.
Seems like failing is basically inevitable. What’s not inevitable, though, is our attitude.
And the more I think about my path to where I am now… the more things become clear.
- Would I have found the job I have now if I hadn’t left the last one abruptly after the company went through an unfortunate restructure? Probably not.
- Would I have found my field of work, a small niche that I am passionate about, if my first job out of college hadn’t sucked / fallen apart during the economic plummet of ‘08? Probably not.
- Would I have been a founding member of a new sorority in College, if I had not fallen through the cracks and was not accepted by the sorority of my choice? Probably not.
- Would I have switched figure skating clubs and coaches and become the skater I am today if I didn’t fail at that competition and my earlier coach hadn’t lost faith in me? Probably not.
Out of failure comes success.
I can’t wait to fail in 2014.