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Embrace Failure

embrace-failureEmbrace failure – what? We are starting out the New Year and you want us to embrace failure?

It is the time of year to set goals and plan out the year.

It is the time of year when we all say we will lose weight! Get fit! Eat right!

It is the time of year when we say – “okay so I am going to read a new book or two every single month this year!”

Here is my question – isn’t it a reality that in a month or six weeks when all of these new behaviors go away and are forgotten that it was in reality a failure?

What if instead we turned off all of our distractions and set aside some time with a pad and a pen and our thoughts? Do this right now in this first week of January.

  • Write out your own plan.
  • Write out your own agenda.
  • Write out your own dreams.

What is holding you back from moving forward on each of these?

Is it the fear of failure?

This is not asking for a miracle. Some of the best success stories have been brewed through failure. Here are a few names and brief notes to consider. Do you recall a few other names and their stories? Add these into the comments section for us all to read.

Henry Ford had numerous setbacks and failures in his car business. One of his quotes: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Frederick W. Smith originally called his concept – Zapmail – this concept lost over $300 million in a few years. Later he recreated his concept which we now know as FedEx. One of his quotes: “Leaders get out in front and stay there by raising the standards by which they judge themselves and by which they are willing to be judged.”

Mary Kay Ash tired of being passed up for promotions by the same men she trained for over 25 years. She started her own business. Mary Kay Cosmetics is an international company with sales exceeding $2 billion. One of her quotes: “For every failure there is an alternative course of action. You have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”

Steve Jobs built Apple and then was forced to leave the company. His return brought the iPod and the iPad and more. One of his quotes: “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

These examples could continue on and on right here as there are story after story – name after name. The point is to challenge yourself, embrace failure when it happens, then move through it and passed it.

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” ~ Walt Disney

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.



  1. I embrace failures because I learn from them. No point in kicking yourself in the teeth over them.

  2. I love this, Mitch. My favorite quote here is Henry Ford’s, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” SO true! Like Jessica, I embrace failures. I think of them as part of my success. As long as I learn from my mistakes, they aren’t mistakes:-)

  3. Love this post and these stories. I’m not familiar with the Mary Kay quote and love it : “For every failure there is an alternative course of action. You have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” – yeah! we learn so much this way

  4. Without failures how would we achieve success? Having a plan, a direction is good. The willingness to change directions if it doesn’t work out is important.

  5. I’ve discovered that the MOST SUCCESSFUL people not only push through failure, they actually EMBRACE it. In fact, I posted a “High-Five Failure Challenge” a while back on YouTube… here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGSiEdm4uiE

    #HighFiveFailure y’all!

    XOXO, Katherine

  6. Great advice and great examples, Mitch. The only way to learn and grow is to embrace failure.

  7. This is a great way to start the new year Mitch! Thank you. Walt Disney was right and I feel that in this new year!