Pathway to success graphic

Pathway to Success

In a recent conversation with a colleague, we discussed how a client relationship terminated prematurely.  After a bit of reflection, my colleague felt that it was his “fault” for the termination and he felt that he had failed me and Acquirent.  As our conversation continued, I sensed that not only was he sorry for the perceived “failure” but that he was also tremendously embarrassed about the situation.

I asked my colleague to stop and I asked him if he heard of the “Pathways to Success”.  He said that he has not so I drew the above diagrams on a whiteboard.  In my opinion, many view that there is only success or failure.  I disagree and subscribe to the train of thought that to achieve “success” one must go through failure…. not avoid it!  Challenges, roadblocks, failures, conflicts these are all opportunities to grow and should not be seen as dead-ends and signals to turn around or choose a different path but instead welcome these and see them as the opportunities instead.  Consider this Thomas Edison Quote “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Early in my career, I told him that I would do anything to prevent failing or feeling like a failure.  Failing sucks, its uncomfortable… but guess what… everyone fails!  Unfortunately, my life has been full of failures of which I now have come to appreciate experiencing.  I consistently reflect back upon these “failures” as valuable lessons that have made me a better sales professional, business owner, husband, father, friend, etc.

The following are some tips on how to deal with “failure”:

Embrace Your Failures – Failure is just a part of life.  Realizing that you must fail to learn and move forward it key.  In baseball you can make the Hall of Fame with a batting average of .333 (or failing 2 out of 3 times).

Dust Your Self Off – Ok you failed… pout for a second… dust yourself off and figure out “how can you learn from the experience”.

Conduct a Post Mortem – Best way to learn from your mistakes, is to channel your inner “Mortician and conduct your own “autopsy” and figure out what went wrong

Extract All Key Findings and Learnings – After you figure out what went wrong, extract all key learnings you can and build a game plan on how to not let it happen again.  This can be of list of things you may do differently

Get a Second Opinion – It is helpful to run your findings and key learnings past a colleague or peer to make sure you are looking at all angles correctly.

Get Stronger/Move Forward – Accept the failure, internalize your findings, install your game plan and move forward!

Once again, failure happens to everyone… the most successful people realize this fact and are quickest to take their learnings and move forward.  I leave you with a couple great quotes on failure:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan


“Failure is success in progress”

  • Albert Einstein


Happy Selling… Failing…. Learning and Succeeding!