Success Often Starts with Failure

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Some of the greatest successes you can think of began with failure. What a difference a little perseverance can make.

Workplace expert Nan Russell, author of “The Titleless Leader: How to Get Things Done When You’re Not in Charge,” offers a number of examples of people who were deemed failures – and then surprised big-time.

Albert Einstein was judged to be mentally challenged as a child and told he would never amount to anything. Need we say how that one turned out?

Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because the editor thought he lacked creativity.

Chester Carlson’s early Xerox machines were rejected by 20 companies before he finally found a business partner.

Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before inventing the light bulb. There are many quotes from the great inventor that are worth committing to memory. Here’s just one: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

So while failure may not feel good, it’s often an essential part of success, the trial-and-error that can lead to greater things. If you spend all your time fretting over past mistakes, you might not notice when real opportunity arrives, so by all means, learn from your mistakes – then put them behind you, roll up your sleeves and get back to work.

Here’s one more quote from Edison to think about: “If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”

Adapted from Failure Behind 10 Success Stories at Baseline Magazine.