There is a small difference between success and failure

When Bill Gates first started dabbling with computers he saw things that nobody in the world could. At the time computers took up the space of large rooms, yet he was the man who had a huge world vision of a computer on every desk. At the time this BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) was inconceivable… now how many of us have a computer in our pocket?

failure is success
But part of the vision that put a computer on every desktop, and now in our pockets as smartphones, was Mr Gates incredible resolve and ability to deal with failure. He is quoted as saying, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

How many times have you run up against the brick wall that is failure? I know I have thousands of times in my life. Sometimes I find a way to scale the wall, sometimes I burst thru it, and others I have found another way around the wall. But I am human and sometimes failure hurts and I have turned around and said, “forget

Which reminds me of a story of when I first started into private practice. I was at an open house for another business in our local chamber of commerce. It was a nice party and being as my wife and I were in practice only 2 weeks, we were still feeling our way through the awkward conversations that frequently go with networking. Ever been there before?!?! Our client was getting nice results and thought enough of our care that she introduced us to her husband, Lyall.

Lyall had been to chiropractors his whole life, dozens in fact, and after a couple moments of chit chat I handed him a card thinking I could be his next doc. Lyall grabs my card, looks at it with squinting eyes and says “So what makes you guys different?”.

I’m sweating. Gasp. Swallow. What?! Who asks that question? I stammer though some sort of response “we are honest, (stutter) I work with my wife…. (stutter)”

At this point I’m uncomfortable and getting the awwwkward feeling when Lyall hands my card back to me! He didn’t even have the polite reserve to say thanks, stick it in his pocket, and throw it in the trash later like a normal human would. Was this guy a cyborg? I mean cmon!

I was distraught… and pissed. I hit the brick wall HARD! I consulted with Coach Tom what to do about this, and to help me find peace. He told me that this failure was an opportunity to never have this happen again. He said: “It’s time to firm up your vision, and craft your 30-second elevator speech, and know that when you meet the next Lyall you will be ready.” I saw Lyall again at another party a couple weeks later. I walked right up to him and after a moment of networking chit-chat, I told him that I appreciated him handing my card back and that it helped me to hone my craft. I shared my newly firmed up vision with him and told him if he ever needed a chiropractor, to give us a call. And guess what happened a year later? Lyall called!

Today Lyall is the most loyal of all the clients I have ever had the pleasure of serving. He even moved an hour away from our office, and you know what? The guy drives one hour each way, every week, sometimes twice a week, to get adjusted!

Failure hurts. Hitting a brick wall hurts. What’s important is not whether you walk away, scale it or run around the wall. The important part of failure is learning and applying to the future “failures”.

At this point in my life I associate the word failure with “teaching”, as each opportunity to fail is actually an opportunity to learn. Will you look at each failure as an opportunity to learn? And just as important do you have someone to coach you through these learning’s so you can see clearly? Failure doesn’t have to hurt and the team at Full Circle is here to help.


Also See “The Art of Pursuing Your Dreams”

Guest Written by Dr. Jay Breitlow