Career Success and Successful Failure

I read an interesting article on line the other day.  It had some great career success advice.  It was called “The 7 Keys to Successful Failure.”  Mindy Crary a financial coach at Creative Money is the author.

This is my kind of article.  Tweet 34 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Treat failures as the tuition you pay for success.  If you have a setback, choose to react positively and learn something.  Mindy thinks along the same lines.  Here are her seven tips (in bold) – with my thoughts added — for dealing with failure…

  1. Reject Rejection – Stay positive.  Don’t take a failure personally.  Don’t feel rejected just because you failed.  We all fail sometime.
  2. Take Blame – Or, as I would put it, accept responsibility. Figure out what you did that caused the failure.  Use this knowledge as you go forward.
  3. See Failure as Temporary – American Football Coach and broadcaster, Mike Ditka, says, “Success isn’t permanent and failure is rarely fatal.”  In other words, you can recover from your failures.
  4. Set Realistic Expectations – Get realistic about what you can achieve at any given time.  Unrealistic expectations can lead to colossal failure.  Take is slow and steady.
  5. Focus on Strengths – This is a good one.  Identify your strengths and build on them.  You have to overcome glaring weaknesses, but it’s easier to do so if you focus on the things at which you’re already good.
  6. Vary Approaches to Achievement – Don’t be afraid to try something new or different; especially after a failure.  Smart people don’t keep doing the same thing over and over, especially when it results in failure.
  7. Bounce Back – Be resilient.  All successful people are.  Use your failures to motivate you to greater success.  Career success is more sweet when you have had to overcome a few failures along the way.

Mindy concludes her article with some great career advice.

“It’s nearly impossible for people to believe they are a failure and move forward at the same time…My hope is that anyone who has suffered setbacks recently will be able to separate life’s unfortunate events from their self-worth and future action. Failure is a constant. Your response to failure holds the key to what happens next.

She’s right.  And that’s the message behind Tweet 34 in Success Tweets.  In a blog post I wrote about that tweet, I shared the stories of 50 famous people who failed at first.  Check it out.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people commit to taking personal responsibility for their career success.  They set high goals and do whatever it takes to achieve them.  They also react positively to the people and events in their lives – especially the negative people and events.  Mindy Crary’s 7 Keys to Successful Failure are a great place to start when it comes to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success: 1) Reject rejection; 2) Take blame; 3) See failure as temporary; 4) Set realistic expectations; 5) Focus on your strengths; 6) Vary your approaches to achievement; and 7) Bounce back.  This career advice is tied closely to that in Tweet 34 in Success Tweets.  “Treat failure as the tuition you pay to succeed.  If you have a setback, choose to react positively and learn something.”  In a blog post I wrote about that tweet, I told the stories of 50 well-known people who ended up being wildly successful and well known because they learned from their mistakes and failures.  Use this career advice; let these successful people be an example and inspiration for you the next time you feel up because you’ve failed.

That’s the career advice prompted by Mindy Crary’s blog post on using failure to build your life and career success.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  I’d really appreciate it if you would share your stories of overcoming failure along the road to success.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site on September 1.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  To celebrate the grand opening, I’m giving away a new career advice book I’ve written called I Want YOU…To Succeed in Your Corporate Climb.  You can find out about the membership site and get the career advice in I Want YOU… for free by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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