Career Success from Failing Successfully

John Herman is a pretty cool guy.  He runs a bed and breakfast in Baltimore called The Abacromie.  He used to be a business turnaround specialist.  I love his career advice on to fail successfully.  We all will fail every now and then in our attempts at creating the career success we deserve.  Failing successfully is the difference between career success and career failure.

Mr. Herman has three tips for how to fail successfully.

  1. Don’t be a “skeptator”.  Both a skeptic and a spectator, skeptators are not willing to risk their necks on something that might not work out, so they stand on the sidelines of life.  If you harbor this kind of attitude, you’ll miss out on much that life has to offer, as well as what you have to offer the world.
  2. Roll with the punches.  You have two choices when you have failed at a task, a business or even a relationship – give up and never try again, or take what you’ve learned from the situation and apply it to your next adventure.  It’s your choice.
  3. Failure is never fatal.  It is merely another step along the path to achievement and personal fulfillment.  Don’t make it a habit to do things badly, but allow yourself to fail once in a while with the knowledge that isn’t the end of the world.

Pretty good common sense advice from John Herman.  I particularly like what he has to say about not being a skeptator.   Career success is not a spectator sport.  You have be in there every day giving it your best.

Mr Herman has written a book called The Innkeeper Tales.  I found seven “Hermanisms”.  I think they are worth posting here because they are common sense life and career success advice.

  1. No owner has ever calculated the time that must be put in to succeed — or they would never even try.
  2. Experience always costs you something — and it is always worth the cost.
  3. Listen to others who know what they are talking about.
  4. The desire to win or succeed numbs the pain it takes to get there.
  5. Is it better to squeeze a higher price or charge less and calculate the difference as payment for a new “ambassador” who will rave about the value he got for his money?
  6. When you look in the mirror, see what is there.
  7. What you learn may be worth more than what you make.

Mr. Herman is a man after my own heart.  He deals in common sense.  I particularly like Hermanism number 2.  In my life, I have found this to be very true.  While painful, experience is always well worth it – but only if you choose to do something with it.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  As John Herman says, you can’t be a skeptator – a cross between being a skeptic and spectator – when it comes to creating the life and career success you want and deserve.  You have to be in there every day working hard to make your dreams a reality.  When you fail or fall short of a goal, don’t sulk or get into a major funk.  Use the experience to learn and move forward toward your career success.  As Mr. Herman says, “experience always costs you something — and it is always worth the cost.”  I agree.

That’s the career advice I got from John Herman and his “Hermanisms.”  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  And, as always, thanks for taking the time to read 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 last September.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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