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Tag: failure

“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” ― Theodore Roosevelt Quote Art

“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

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I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life. Have you?

I’m not saying this because I am proud of my mistakes. I’m not, but I will tell you what I am proud of.

I’m proud of taking chances. I’m proud of bouncing back from failures. I’m proud of continuing to experiment despite the setbacks. I’m proud that I can say I tried.

If you’ve been paying attention to all the talking heads in the startup and business world, you might believe failure is a good thing. I can tell you this much: failure sucks. Failure does not make you better at business. Failure does not pay the bills. Failure is demoralizing. Even so, the truth is failure is inevitable.

If you want to achieve something great, you will also face failure. It’s not because you are dumb. It’s not because you don’t deserve it. It’s not because you aren’t special.

It’s because you don’t know what you are doing. None of us do when we begin our journeys.

It also doesn’t matter how much you follow an expert’s suggestions. You will still encounter failure. You will make mistakes. You will find obstacles all along the way.

The good news is, you will learn from your mistakes. You will learn what to do and what not to do. You will make tweaks to your process. You will adapt and change until you discover what works for you.

That is why we must embrace experimentation. We must embrace taking action despite the fact that we will run over speed bumps along the way. We must be willing to embrace the unknown.

If we don’t, we will never achieve anything. If you want to go through life without any blemishes on your record, you might as well give up now because the only people who don’t make mistakes are those who don’t do anything.

Photo by Pach Brothers

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“Dream big and dare to fail.” – Norman D. Vaughan Quote Art

“Dream big and dare to fail.” – Norman D. Vaughan

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I have to admit that I’ve been holding back. It’s easy to give advice or prescriptions, but it’s much harder to do it yourself. That’s why I want to put myself out there.

For the most part, my dreams have been small. I’ve self-published one book and have another one on the way. I’ve started up a podcast, built this site, and an e-mail list, and I’ve had some wonderful conversations with artists and creatives. But none of these things are part of my ultimate goal.

I’ve heard multiple times, in several conversations, people talk about what they would do if they had a magic wand and could do anything at all. All I know is, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now.

Even though I’ve enjoyed the work I’ve done up to this point, I think I can do much better. I want to visit creatives and see what it takes to create beautiful works of art. I want to help artists grow their businesses. I want to bring artists and creatives together so they can help each other.

I’ve been able to complete my smaller short term goals, but I need to reach much farther. I need to dream big. I need to dare to fail.

Even if you fall on your face, you can always get back up and try again Click To Tweet

We only get so much time on Earth. Which means we need to take some chances. What’s the worst that could happen? Even if you fall on your face, you can always get back up and try again.

It all starts with having a plan. What would your ideal day look like? What would you be doing? How can you begin to make your way towards that ideal life?

I want to live a creatively fulfilling life. I want to spend my days exploring what it means to live life to its fullest. And I want to help you do the same.

So, this is a call to you. What are you struggling with? What is your big dream? Are you pursuing it? If not, I want to know why.

Photo by Unsplash

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“Even when you have doubts, take that step. Take chances…” ― Cat Cora Quote Art

“Even when you have doubts, take that step. Take chances. Mistakes are never a failure—they can be turned into wisdom.” ― Cat Cora

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In school, I was always scared of getting an answer wrong. Red marks across a test or paper would make me cringe. What did I do wrong? I studied so hard. I wanted my grades to be perfect, but perfection was often unattainable.

I’m sure you’ve felt that same fear and embarrassment too. We have been conditioned to always strive for perfection, even if it is unattainable.

Our schools punish kids for their failures, but is that the best way to teach our future generations? They condition us to find the one right answer, but there is rarely ever one solution to a problem.

Those lessons often translate to our lives outside of school. Most companies are searching for people who can come up with innovative solutions.

On the other hand, we expect companies to tell us exactly what to do. We have been conditioned not to take chances. We look at mistakes and believe there is no recovering from them.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from studying creative people, it’s that they are unafraid to take chances. They leap into challenges head first. They treat failures as a chance to learn instead of as an indictment or themselves and their work.

Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone learns from them. Click To Tweet

When they fail, they look at that experience and ask themselves “What could I have done better?” That’s exactly what we all need to do. Stop getting down on yourself for making a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone learns from them.

Don't worry about making a mistake. Mistakes are the foundation of learning. Click To Tweet

We need to be more bold in our thoughts and our actions. So go out there and take chances. Don’t worry about making a mistake. Mistakes are the foundation of learning.

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“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan Quote Art

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Print available on Society6.

Excuse me while I geek out a bit. I am and have always been a fan of sports and greatness. Every so often, those two mix in perfect harmony and give you a player that transcends sports. Someone who is well known beyond his chosen craft. Someone synonymous with greatness. One of those people is Michael Jordan.

Jordan is widely considered the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball. It is not often that you have near unanimous agreement about a sports player. It’s hard to compare players in different time periods. The games and styles of play are completely different. But when it comes to Michael Jordan, there are very few arguments.

There’s a reason why. In sports, most players never even reach a championship. Jordan won six. Only the best of the best win an MVP. Jordan won five. Jordan has won the scoring title in a season ten times, more than anyone who has ever played basketball. He won two Olympic gold medals for the USA. The most impressive thing might be that he did all of this while retiring three times. Two of which were temporary.

The reason I bring this up is, without failure, none of that success would have been possible. Like his quote says, Michael Jordan failed a lot. He missed over 9,000 shots. He lost 300 games and missed the game winning shot 26 times.

Failure is just part of the game. Even one of the greatest basketball players of all time faced failure. Failure, however, isn’t the goal. It’s what you do after failure that really matters.

Will you let failure keep you down or will you rise above it? Click To Tweet

Will you let failure keep you down or will you rise above it? Will you learn from your mistakes or let your mistakes keep you down forever?

Failure is one of life's greatest teachers. Every mistake you make is a lesson learned Click To Tweet

These are the questions you must ask yourself if you ever want to be great. Failure is one of life’s greatest teachers. Every mistake you make is a lesson learned. They reveal life’s pitfalls and lead you on the path towards success.

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Photos by RyanMcGuire and Unsplash

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” – Confucius Quote Art

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”- Confucius

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Far too often we’re concerned with reaching our destination. We want to do things as fast as we can. We want to “make it” before we’ve had the chance to think things through. The problem is, when we don’t immediately find the success we are looking for, we give up.

We have become far too impatient with ourselves and the world around us Click To Tweet

We have become far too impatient with ourselves and the world around us. We rarely take the time to reflect on our goals and how we can achieve them. There’s a reason they say Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Here are some things I try to tell myself when things aren’t going as quickly as I would like:

Greatness isn’t achieved overnight

Everything worth doing takes time Click To Tweet

Everything worth doing takes time. We shouldn’t try to rush to success. We need to be more patient with ourselves.

Leonardo da Vinci, the master of his craft, spent 3-4 years painting the Mona Lisa, and still wasn’t done. Michelangelo, another great master, took over two years to create the statue of David. It took Disney and his crew 3 years to make Snow White. J.K. Rowling spent five years planning out the seven books in the Harry Potter series, and it took seven years between coming up with the idea to publishing her first book.

All this goes to show that great works of art take time. You don’t need to rush to bring your idea, or your piece of art, to the world.

The important thing to remember is to not give up. If you truly believe in what you are creating, you won’t give up at the first sign of adversity. Give your art as much time as it needs.

Failure isn’t permanent

Failure is not the end of the world. Every failure teaches us a valuable lesson. We can’t let a single failure set us back. Instead, we need to learn from them.

Albert Einstein wasn’t always considered a genius. He didn’t speak until he was four. According to legend, Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before he created the light bulb. Abraham Lincoln had multiple business failures and lost many elections before he became president of the United States. Oprah Winfrey’s first boss told her she was too emotional and not right for TV.

It's what you do after failures that truly matters Click To Tweet

Everyone encounters failure. It is inevitable. It’s what you do after failures that truly matters. Will you give up in the face of adversity or will you learn from your mistakes?

Stop trying to be an instant success. Failure is part of the game.

The next time you think about quitting, just remember success takes time. It doesn’t matter if it takes you one year or ten years. If you are persistent and dedicated, you will find success.

So many people give up. You automatically have a leg up on the competition simply by persisting. Just take your time, learn from your failures, and don’t give up on your dreams.

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Photo by Saff’s Photography

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill Quote Art

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

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Like I have talked about many times before, failure is not something to be ashamed of. Each of us encounters failure in some form or fashion throughout our lives. Artists from Walt Disney to J.K. Rowling had to go through hardship to find success.

Here are just a few notable examples of people who have failed:

Walt Disney

Early in his career Disney created an animation studio called Laugh-O-Gram Films. This studio became loaded with debt and ended up bankrupt. He could have quit after this failure, but he chose to go Hollywood instead. There Walt and his brother Roy set up another studio.

Now, Disney is one of the most iconic brands in the world, and his characters are nearly universally recognized.

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg may be known for his many blockbusters, but he hasn’t always been so successful. Before becoming the icon he is today, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Cinema Arts three times for having poor grades.

Spielberg went on the create some of the most iconic movies in film history. In 1995 he was rewarded an honorary degree from USC, and in 1996 he became a trustee.

Harrison Ford

You may know Harrison Ford as one of his many iconic characters like Han Solo or Indiana Jones, but Ford was not always a successful actor.

Ford began his acting career as a contract player earning $150 a week. Initially, he did not find much success. One studio official even told Ford he would never be a movie star. Before catching his big break, he had to become a carpenter to supplement his income.

Ford is now one of the most well known actors in Hollywood and has acted for over 40 years.

Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel was the editor-in-chief of the Darthmouth humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern, and was kicked off the staff for breaking the Prohibition law. So he began using the pseudonym “Seuss.” He later became known for his pen name Dr. Seuss.

Seuss spent years making a living by drawing cartoons for advertisements and magazines. On his boat trip back from Europe, Seuss, the rhythm of the ship’s engine inspired his first book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. This book was rejected 27 times.

Seuss was going to destroy the book until he had a chance encounter with a friend who had just become editor at a publishing house’s children’s section.

That moment changed his life. The book became a sensation, and he wound up publishing over 60 books including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.

Stephen King

Stephen King may be known as one the the greatest horror writers, but it wasn’t always this way.

When King left university, he got a teaching certificate, but wasn’t able to find a job initially. So he had to work at a laundry, where he wrote short stories on the side.

King even threw away his first novel, Carrie, because he became discouraged writing. His wife retrieved it from the trash and encourage him to finish it. That ended up being the tipping point of his career.

Since completing Carrie, King has written over 50 novels and nearly 200 short stories. He has sold over 350 million copies of his books and many of them have been adapted into films and mini series.

J.K. Rowling

Before J.K. Rowling found fame with Harry Potter, she considered herself a failure. She had a failed marriage. She was jobless and raising a child by herself. She was clinically diagnosed with depression and contemplated suicide.

Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book while on welfare. You might think after the outrageous success the books had that publishers would have killed for the chance to publish the book. You would be wrong. The book was submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected it.

We know the rest of the story. Rowling ended up writing seven Harry Potter books in total, which turned into eight films. According to Forbes, she became the first billionaire writer and the second-richest female entertainer.

These stories show the failures of some of the most well known artists of our time. Each one reached a low point in their careers, but was able to overcome them and move on to great things.

Failure is not uncommon, it is inevitable. Click To Tweet

If you are to learn anything from these people it’s that failure is not uncommon, it is inevitable. It is only by making it through these failures that one will find success.

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Thanks to Business Insider for the list of failures.

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” Quote Art

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

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This quote is often misattributed to Winston Churchill. Learn more about its origins on Quote Investigator.


Most people think success is a destination you can reach. “If only I was as successful as she is.” What you don’t know is, that person you look up to is thinking the same thing. We think “making it” is a tangible status you can achieve but it isn’t.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.”
– Robert Collier

Instead of thinking of success as a destination, think of it as a mindset Click To Tweet

Instead of thinking of success as a destination, think of it as a mindset. Success as a mindset means always trying your best. It means moving forward despite the obstacles. It means learning from your mistakes. It means you are always growing.


Failure is far from fatal, it is a way to learn from your mistakes Click To Tweet

People think failure is the worst thing that can happen to them. They think failure is impossible to overcome. Failure is far from fatal, it is a way to learn from your mistakes.

Things fail for a reason. It usually comes down to a lack of foresight, a lack of preparation, or a lack of execution. Instead of seeing failure as an insurmountable obstacle, think of it as a lesson learned. What can you learn from your failure? How can you improve next time? After each failure, dissect what went wrong, and avoid doing it again.

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”.

– Michael Jordan

You need to think failure as an outcome rather than letting it define you Click To Tweet

An important thing to remember about failure is it does not reflect who you are. People too often attribute failure to themselves. When things go right we feel invincible but when things go wrong we feel worthless. You need to think failure as an outcome rather than letting it define you. Your projects and goals can end in failure, but don’t attach that failure to yourself. It is hard to become better when you always blame yourself.


The most overlooked attribute of successful people is persistence. Anyone can be successful if they never face adversity, if things never went wrong. The true test of character occurs when things don’t go exactly as planned. During these moments you have two choices. You can pack your things up and go, or you can suck it up and find a solution.

So many people quit just on the edge of success. It is within their grasp but instead of staying the course, they choose to give up.

If you have done your homework and know your idea can work, you can’t give up. Did you know Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because he lacked imagination? What would happen if J.K. Rowling had given up on Harry Potter when so many people told her to? How much different would the world be if great people had given up instead of challenging themselves?

We live in the greatest time in human history. We owe it to ourselves to do what we love. So, the next time you feel like giving up, think of Walt Disney and J.K. Rowling. Think of the greatness they achieved and the gifts they gave to the world. You can give your gifts to the world too.

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