Friday, November 8, 2013

Failure, The Key to Success

I love to write, but marketing my books after they are published is not my favorite past time. The other day I sent out a press release. I expected some response from it, but got nothing. I felt a little depressed and then more depressed. What else could I do?
I have a wonderful, plucky author friend, Drienie Hattingh, originally from South Africa, who has had good success  marketing books. I was complaining to her that I was a failure, and she told me I had to be more proactive--do more than just send out an electronic press release. "Go to the newspaper or the radio station in person and take them a book."
I did it, and found success.
What did my sweet friend teach me?
1.         I needed to be more proactive. I could do more than just sit and wait. In short, I needed a giant dose of persistence.
2.         If things didn't go just like I wanted them to, I had to find another way. People that are successful are resilient enough to try something else.
3.         If one thing doesn't work, try something else. I went to a workshop where I heard the phrase, 'No only means next.'

Here are a few famous people who failed before they found success.

Walt Disney by Nasa
Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job because the editor told him he didn't have an imagination or good ideas. Disney went on to start several more businesses that failed and ended in bankruptcy.

Abraham Lincoln by Edward Mendel
Abraham Lincoln lost his job, failed in business, was defeated for Congress and the Senate among other trials. He was finally elected President in 1860. What would our country have been without his persistence and resilience?

J.K. Rowling by Daniel Ogren
J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, began the first book as a poor divorcee with a child to raise. She only had an old manual typewriter to write the first book on. After she finished the book, twelve publishers refused the manuscript. The editor at Bloomsbury who finally accepted the novel told her to get a day job because there was no money in books for kids.

 “You might never fail on the scale I did,” Rowling said. “But it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default."

So now I feel embarrassed and somewhat ashamed of my complaints because of my own lack of effort. My success will be measured by how many times I can keep going despite hearing 'no.'

Use your failures as stepping stones to success.

Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. Dale Carnegie


  1. What a great post and very empowering. I know you will have success no matter what. I love your books and am so happy that you are my friend. You inspire and uplift me all the time. I do know that when you fall you must rise and go forth with faith again and sometimes again.