This past year has taught me a lot about failure. By all accounts, it’s been successful year. My business grew from zero to over 200 stores, we’ve been featured multiple times on national television and we just raised $500,000 in investment. At the same time, there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t get rejected, by everyone from potential customers to buyers at national grocery stores.

When you shoot for the moon, you’re going to get battered by rejection long before you reach any stars. I’ve found that the key to continuing the journey is to not let failing make you feel like a failure. This is where optimism comes in.

The key to continuing the journey is to not let failing make you feel like a failure. Tweet This Quote

Research has long shown that optimists are more successful than pessimists. People who see the glass half full make more money, have happier marriages and live longer than the cynics of the world. Optimism is a particularly important skill for entrepreneurs.

Starting a new venture is like riding the world’s wildest roller coaster. One minute you’re on top of the world; the next you’re so deep in a hole that you don’t know if you’ll ever again see the light. Optimists bask in the glory at the top of the mountain and assume that the valleys will pass. Pessimists are more likely to dismiss their success as a fluke and blame themselves when bad things happen.

My company, Kuli Kuli, had a roller coaster ride recently when we were featured on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show with only two days advance notice. We’d decided to test out a new product, our Moringa Superfood Powder, the week before to see how it sold online before releasing it into stores. The day we were featured on Morning Joe, we received over $30,000 in orders, most of them for our new moringa powder. At the time, we had 50 powder units in stock and were doing all of our order fulfillment ourselves.

Just as you can train your body to adapt to running long distances, you can train your mind towards positivity. Tweet This Quote

The glory of being on national television faded quickly when I began receiving tons of angry emails from customers accustomed to Amazon-style two-day shipping. We source all of our moringa from women’s cooperatives in Ghana. Getting those moringa leaves off the tree and into our jars took longer than usual, given the large order and lack of advance notice. Add to that the fact that we’re a small team unaccustomed to fulfilling thousands of orders ourselves.

The pessimist might have said that we were over our head and should stop making big television appearances until we had our act together. But the optimist in me insisted that this was a learning opportunity. We worked closely with our suppliers to ensure that we would always have enough moringa in stock to meet demand. We also found an incredible fulfillment house that employs people with autism to fulfill our online orders—enabling us to respond quickly to large orders and keeping in line with our social mission.

Failing is absolutely the best way to learn. So much so that startup geeks call it “pivoting.” In order to turn a bad situation into a “pivot,” you need to catch yourself in a moment of despondency and re-focus that negative energy into realizing what you can learn from the situation.

Turning challenges into learnings is the greatest skill that any entrepreneur can learn. Tweet This Quote

Re-focusing your mind on the sunny side of things isn’t easy, especially when your prospects look bleak. But just as you can train your body to adapt to running long distances, you can train your mind towards positivity. For me, that means taking a moment at the end of every day to write down one thing that went well. One experiment showed that just doing this for a week boosted happiness for up to six months.

In a culture so focused on success, it’s easy to forget the importance of failure. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying hard enough. Learning how to be optimistic despite setbacks is key—turning challenges into learnings is the greatest skill any entrepreneur can learn.

About the author

Lisa Curtis

Lisa Curtis

Lisa Curtis is founder and CEO of Kuli Kuli, a mission-driven food startup selling delicious products made with moringa. Lisa founded Kuli Kuli after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa. She was the Communications Director at Mosaic, wrote political briefings for President Obama in the White House, and worked at an impact investment firm in India.

  • rhildner

    Love this article! People often forget that there is much to be learned in failure. Its hard to see past the negatives of the the failure, but once you do, the things you can learn from it can skyrocket you into absolute success.

  • Taylor Schulz

    Love the message in this article. I, myself, am one all for optimism and positivity when it comes to being successful. Why look at the glass half empty when you don’t have to? For me, cheerleading is where I put this mindset to use. I am always trying to get better every day and there is no way that would be possible if I didn’t try new things. And when it comes to trying new things, failure is almost always inevitable. But with failure comes success. My motto is always if you fall down ten times get up eleven. Nothing good comes from being negative and pessimistic so why let that determine your success? Thank you for sharing this article, well done!

  • Edward Ivor McCray

    I’m glad to hear how successful your business has become, that was a difficult situation that your company was put in with the mass amount of orders. I completely agree that optimism is a key trait in entrepreneurs;I believe that one of my valued traits is optimism, not only in business but also in life all together. Failure is the only way we can grow as entrepreneurs, it’s one of the most important aspects of business success. Thank you for a great article.

  • edeyoung

    I learned how much you can learn through failure last year as I finished my freshman year of college. In high school I was so accustom to making perfect grades and having teachers that loved me, but it was not the same in college. I failed my first test and had a professor that did not see eye to eye with me, but I did not let that bring me down. Those circumstances taught me valuable lessons that I was going to have to learn sooner or later if I wanted to make it in the real world. Not everything you do will be perfect, and that is okay.

  • Danielle Hernandez

    I love the idea of training oneself to be positive. Not everyone can have a positive mindset especially in the face of failure. But learning to take failure as an opportunity to change your company for the better is a skill all businesses should possess.

  • alemoin1

    I really love this point of view. This is similar to a recent Dominos commercial where they say it’s ok to fail. It’s something I feel like a lot of people in the general public don’t see and something that happens to the common business or organization. Just because someone is successful, people seem to think that there was no failure or struggle and that everything they tried was successful. It’s nice to have someone bringing it back to the basics of having to fall and learning to pick yourself back up.

  • Russell Lyons

    Curtis makes some very interesting points. I think her comment about how optimists are more likely to succeed than pessimists is very true. So much of getting past rejection is being able to push through. Failure really help a person grow and helps solidify and perfect their ideas.

  • Murugi Kaniaru

    “When you shoot for the moon, you’re going to get battered by rejection long before you reach any stars.” This is sobering and so very true.

  • oliviamontoya

    This is a great article and she makes some really good points. I can definitely relate to having some failures. It is very insightful to here someone say that failing is ok and will help you succeed in the long run. It is so easy to get in the pessimistic mind set when something goes wrong, but optimists are more likely to succeed. Without failure you will never grow.

  • sgawinski

    It’s definitely important to keep a positive mindset! We definitely need to all collectively start seeing failure as a stepping stone rather than something that will permanently affect us or hold us back. But seeing failure in that way is something that takes a lot of practice. I find it inspiring that even though the author’s national TV attention somewhat backfired, she found a way to fix the problem while staying focused and not stopping what she was doing.

  • sirussteele

    Failure is important on the road to success, you kind of have to have some bumpy roads to know which ones are smooth. I want to change the way, I thought about failure this article helped me understand.

  • Amanda Tun

    Approach failure in a positive way. I would not have learned a lot of the things I know today if I hadn’t failed at something. Failure is a part of life and we need to embrace is and learn from our mistakes. It is good not only to have knowledge but also to have experiences to back it up.

  • Frankie Gaudio

    I believe that it isn’t a coincidence that when you dream bigger you fail more. The reason for this is that failing more actually can make you better at what you do thus making the bigger dreams possible. During hockey practice as a child, my coaches would reward us for falling during a drill. I was always confused as to why they would reward us for failure. Now it is clear to me that the reason we were rewarded was because when we were falling, it showed the coaches that we were giving the drill 100% effort. When you put your heart into something and go as hard as you can, you are going to fall. However, every time you fall you learn something that makes you just a little better.

  • atoy333

    I think Curtis makes an inspiring point that optimists go farther than pessimists, but I think she is not giving enough credit to those optimists that succeed. I would imagine that Kuli Kuli and other small business succeed not only due to the positive attitudes of their founders, but through of proper planning, contingency plans, hard work and learning from mistakes. It is easier to be optimistic about a hiccup in the road when you have a plan and budget that is flexible enough to adjust and proceed toward the overall goal. Pessimists may fall harder because they do not have a good plan of action and without a proper business plan and ingenuity they may not see a way around a roadblock. Further, it sounds like Curtis took her mistakes as lessons that she plans not to make again. Positive attitude and hard work pay off.

  • arbrio

    The hyperlink for the research that shows that optimists are more successful than cynics is not working. I am especially intrigued to see this research because I always thought the opposite was true: cynics tend to be more successful than optimists. Cynics are generally unhappier, but they tend to be more grounded in reality and thus know better what to do, in order to get things done.

  • bschrenker

    What jumped out at me most about this article was, “The glory of being on national television faded quickly when I began receiving tons of angry emails from customers accustomed to Amazon-style two-day shipping” People in the US want to support socially innovative and conscious businesses, but expect the same service that they get from large impersonal corporations. I wonder how businesses, such as Kuli Kuli, are stymied or lose customers over the fact that they can’t offer the most convenient access to their products?

  • priperotti

    This was personally very inspiring to me. First, I used to be one of the pessimists of the world. After I realized how bad I felt and how bad I made people feel sometimes I had to change. Failing is probably one of the worsts sensations that we can experience. However, as the author pointed, if we learn to overcome that and use our failures to improve, we will only benefit from that.

  • alansden

    Failure is just as valuable as success as long as you learn from it and take those lessons with you into the future. You also cant be afraid to fail “you’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” -Wayne Gretzky

  • Kuli Kuli

    Thanks everyone for your comments! Keep ’em coming. What’s been your GREATEST failure? – Lisa Curtis

  • melissa

    Maybe some entrepreneurs can’t help but blur the boundaries between their company’s success and their own personal sense of fulfillment. I think this story helps to frame these “blurry” boundaries into a more positive light and help people understand that social entrepreneurs aren’t martyrs – rather they simply prefer to live on this roller coaster. Looking at the glass as half full and writing down positive things about ones day are suggestions to help entrepreneurs who are at the bottom of that roller coaster ride. Thanks and congratulations!

  • mebneter1

    Love the pivot metaphor. That’s the trick to everything, isn’t it? We can reinforce that intention by being conscious of what we can control in our environment. Optimism is contagious, as is pessimism, and awareness of self and circumstances will foster our journey on the path. Great post:)

  • alvalli123

    Learning from the mistakes you make makes you stronger and wiser. But when you can learn to let rejection slip off your back and use it as a force of nature to push you towards your goals, it will help you soar to reach new heights.

  • Matt_Effect

    I liked this article a lot. Finding the positives in everything is unfortunately a struggle for me. After reading this article I really want to focus on the bright sides of everything or look positively out of seemingly not so bright events. By looking at everything, even failure as a bright side or find what’s good in it, you really can grow and practically never be disappointed.

  • adamjcollins86

    I’ve always knew that failing is a part of learning; but to hear an entreprnuer talk about it and his experienes makes it more enjoyable and exciting.

  • haleybehre

    I wouldn’t constitute not being able to fulfill orders in a timely fashion [given you had no prior experience] as a failure at all. It was just a learning experience. Failure, to me, can only come when someone gives up or stops trying. If something is not done to par or correctly, then you learn from it and change the habit accordingly. Failure would be if you let that one experience stop you.

  • LeiderGM20

    I liked hearing that optimists are more successful than pessimists! I feel like many people would have stopped making television appearances when they realized how in over their heads they were. It’s great that you kept pushing through! Even though things might not be going the way you want them to go and you may need to take another path, keep pushing through like you did! Thank you!

  • Alex Dorn

    Optimism is such a key in running a successful company and should not be overlooked. I plan on writing down one thing that went well every day and testing this theory of improved long term happiness.

  • rtcooper

    Good information for those looking to get started in entrepreneurship. You definitely need to be able to roll with the punches and flexibility is key.

  • lmbingaman

    “Just as you can train your body to adapt to running long distances, you can train your mind towards positivity.” This is a great way to look at it, and for many it is difficult to see it this way. I absolutely believe that life is what you make of it. You can turn “failures” or what some may view as negative experiences into positive ones. All it takes is the conscious effort to see the good in everything. I am an idealist, so it is easy for me to say…and I am not saying that being a realist is necessarily wrong, but I do know that when I make the conscious effort to be positive and think positively – there is always a positive outcome. This is especially good advice for entrepreneurs who struggle through several years of periods of highs and lows and ultimately lots of doubt. It is good to go into it believing that you are capable, successful for getting this far, and willing to accept failure and turn it into something positive. A failed business does not mean the founders are failures. It may mean society was not ready for the product, the market was not at the right place, or you just need to refine and try again. Regardless, you have learned invaluable skills that can be transferred to future business ventures, projects, or careers. As a future development practitioner, I must look at the world in a positive light. When faced with questions like: ‘how do you eradicate extreme poverty?’ – you are forced to be optimistic and relentless. I could go on and on, but ultimately, great article. I agree – turning challenges into learning opportunities is the best way to be a happy, successful person.

  • kyliekielsky

    This was a fascinating read! It was highly uplifting and quite helpful overall.

  • Sarah M.

    Thanks so much for sharing! Hearing about people’s growth from failure is always inspiring and really refreshing. I find it so easy to beat yourself up over failutres – or even for not meeting your goals, deadlines, etc exactly as you want to. I also really like the practice of writing down one good thing each day.

  • erin oneill

    Thank you Lisa Curtis for this refreshing reminder that response to what, at that moment, seems like failure is a pivot point.
    What we do next is reacting to a key stimulus.
    During a recent tour of a socially motivated creation maker lab, I asked what is your percent of failures? The response was almost aggressive as if trying to keep any thought of failure at the door.

    ‘ What is Failure?’

    Was exclaimed by the teacher the lab director and a fellow student or two.

    Then with measured response “We see opportunity and lessons in what some may see as failures. ” to paraphrase.

    This teachable moment from a forward’ moving innocent question pivoted momentum to the positive in two sentences.

    Bravo to thoughtful positive and nimble response to adversity!

  • Rosa Erika Nunez-Quintana

    I was just talking about failure the other. I have let failure hold me back from starting my business. I think I need to start training my brain to think more positive.

  • hj2

    Mindset is very important. Positive mindset will bring out so much positive influnece. I agree that it wouldn’t be easy to take everything in positive way, however, once you do it, it will be easier and easier.

  • SSangster

    I agree on how your mindset makes the difference. We all know that when we set out on a goal it may not go the way that we expect or even the way we wanted, but trying and failing is better than not trying at all. You need to have the mentality that when you fall you get up and dust yourself off and keep moving.

  • EliabethHart

    Thank you for this article. Just in reading it, it inspires me and reinforces all that I believe. I believe in optimism, yet I sometimes get sucked into questioning if my optimism is really just my way of not seeing “failure”. I let my self fall into the pessimism and become cynical at times, but I try to pull myself up and out of it. To hear other people say the same things I want to believe and hear success stories through the power of ones mind really sheds light on the truth. Thank You again! I will be sure to put more time celebrating my successes and finding my mistakes so I can learn from them.

  • Alexander

    Every loss is a lesson learned to advance your own skills. For this business to increase to such a level and for it to go through some of the obstacles helped develop it into better company all around.

  • Mizu4TheWin

    This is really uplifting. I’m so glad to see the word failure used in a positive way. This is very informative as well. Thank you for writing this.

  • tyler

    Thank you for this article! This is very useful information. I have to agree with you that just looking a situation with a positive outlook has so much of an impact instead of doing it with a negative outlook. Optimism is a key poing in succeding. Even after reading this article, I feel inspired. It caught my attention how you mentioned how pessimists tend to blame themselves. I considered myself to be optimistic, but when things to happen I usually blame myself. Thank you for that eye opener, I need to stop blaming myself for everything that happens. The quote about turning challenges into learning experiences also stood out to me. I think often times when we get upset, we do not always see the good we only see the bad. It really is all about the mindset. We really have to train ourselves to be more positive, and to see the bigger picture rather than the failure. What advice would you tell someone who tries to have a positive outlook on things, but is constantly being confronted with failure?

  • Ebony Wiggins

    Thank you for this positive article. In a world driven by results its easy to get consumed in the outcome versus the process, which I am slowly learning is the most important piece of any project.

  • thompsonjm99

    Thank you for this interesting article. This made me realize that the process to achieve something is more important that worrying about the end result and stressing about it. I agree that optimism is very important. Do you think failure is necessary to learn to achieve success?

  • erin oneill

    I’m no expert nor the author, I do think satisfying benificial success can happen without failure.

    Often people and other creatures try something for the first time and get a big win! Some call it dumb luck I call it clicked in, in the zone, riding the wave, tuning into the sweet spot, or simply at home with mission.
    Sometimes the first try is the best of many attempts at something.
    That’s more likely of a more practiced act – clearly positive mental exersizes and visualization can also bring up up up our positive percentage too.
    Now go bout there and win! You can do it!

  • Brittney Glende

    Thank you Lisa Curtis for sharing this article with us, failure can be a scary thing and I really like the quote you said “The key to continuing the journey it to not let failing feel like a failure.” I agree with you when you say starting a new adventure is liking riding a wild roller coaster. You get on this roller coaster and really don’t have any idea where you are going to end up. You coast on the idea that this track is going to take you to the place you had imagined. When you start your new journey there are those doubts of uncertainty. I have recently gone through this myself with work and school and there comes a time there are low times but the outcome will be all worth it in the end. Thank you again for sharing this article.

  • Alexander

    I believe as well looking at situations with a negative standpoint is critical but can also be crippling to the effort. If one dwells on only the problems and what is wrong there is usually not enough time to fix the problem and this will only lead to a larger failure down the line. I feel its best to take the blows how they come and to adjust while still moving.

  • znazarzai1

    I loved the pivot metaphor as well. It’s important to realize what we can and cannot control. I find that I’m most overwhelmed when I try to “organize” or “fix” things that cannot be organized or fixed. If I focused on smaller and more manageable tasks, I would be able to move forward without the anxiety and without feeling helpless.

  • Boeing7

    Very well written article Ms. Curtis. I, unfortunately, tend to lean to the pessimist side. I am always looking to find something that went wrong and tend to dwell on it when I do find it. It’s been said time and time again that you shouldn’t do this, but it’s a lot harder to change your mindset than most people think. I will have to try the exercise you suggested. Hopefully by writing down one thing that went well everyday will turn me in the right direction.

  • Brandon Yamamoto

    I agree with the thought of failing as not a negative thing that happens but just experience that you gain from something happening. There is no reason to beat yourself up over something bad happening. You cannot have the perfect life and neither can anyone else. Go about your life with a your head up or you might just miss an amazing opportunity.

  • Ryan Geisel

    I always hear about the importance of failing and how it is a given with pretty much every new entrepreneur. Thanks for writing this article and showing us what to do when facing a problem with developing company. It helps to see example of what could be done with the failures that we will face.

  • hank_goettl

    You have a point. There are a lot of companies and individuals that started out and had very little failure.

  • hank_goettl

    Its terrible that society see failure as such a negative thing. It is just a sign that you have to change somethings to succeed the next time

  • ReneeBinder

    Very interesting article. I think that failure is a necessary element to succeed and how you handle that failure determines your success level. If you are successful without challenges then you won’t be successful for long because once a challenge hits you won’t be able to handle it. I also think that you have a greater satisfaction for your success if you have gone through some hurdles to get there.

  • justinAKmulligan

    It is becoming more and more clear that becoming acquainted with the values of failure by the sheer volume of articles and books on the subject. Learning how to not take failure as a let-down but as a building block and pivot point is such an inspiring goal. Thank you for this.

  • awest42

    This was a very interesting article. It goes to show that you’re not going to always succeed right off the bat and it is also necessary to learn how to fail before you learn how to win. Succeeding definitely feels better after you’ve been through a struggle on the journey to get there.

  • AutryS

    In this culture of instant recognition and validation through avenues of Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, it has been said that the emerging young adults lack humility and don’t understand the value of failure. Most ventures go through trials and tribulations to become successful but, in the media, that journey is rarely told. Failures are equally important as successes when highlighting the stories of impactful organizations and an imperative learning tool for potential entrepreneurs.

  • Fernando Topete


    Thank you for sharing and reminding us that failure when looking at it with optimism can be a great thing. I completely agree and I can say that given any situation we can always learn.

  • Hannah Leggett-Hintz

    I am absolutely in love with this article. To me, I relate finding optimism throughout failure to my faith to God. I know that no matter where life is taking me, no matter what I may be going through, I just need to give it to God. Through my faith, I find more than optimism. I find hope, peace of mind and heart, a future full of blessings and so much more. I am obedient to my faith and that the Lord will always provide through my life. I do believe also that we learn a lot through hardships. Those are the times we see most truth in ourselves and the people around us.

  • I really appreciate the title of this article on ‘how to be good at failure’. Life and work is all about challenges, competition, rejection and so on but those who are able to get up and move forward are the successful ones. It is great to be reminded of how mind can be trained towards positivity and solution creation. While we train our minds to positive way of looking ahead, we become skilled, experienced and increase our possibilities to achieve a higher level success in the near future.

  • Katie Lentz

    I have never heard of the pivot idea before, but I will definitely be thinking about it when “failures” occur. It’s easy when those things happen to let it weigh a person down, but if one sees it as a new opportunity instead of a setback, it can make all the difference in the world on a person’s success.

  • Bryan Parylak

    Very well written article. All too often, people see failure as just that.. a failure. People need to see failure as a positive thing. Without failure, we would not be able to learn from our mistakes.

    “Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” -Thomas Wayne

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    Thank you for this great article. I could not agree more, just because you fail doesn’t make you a failure. Lots of people have failed over and over again and made it big. If I could ask the author a question it would be, what was your biggest fail?

  • Natasha Tynczuk

    This was a very interesting article. I have failed many times in my life, but I wouldn’t change it if I could. I personally believe failure makes you appreciate your success, and helps you learn from your mistakes to become even more successful. So, failure is a good thing as long as you are looking at the glass half-full.

  • HelpHealth002

    Thanks for writing this article! I think everybody should read this because everyone at one time or another, has failed at something in life. Everybody makes mistakes but the important thing is to learn from them and to continue on! I’ve had some failures in my life that caused me to become more pessimistic but as I grew older, I realized that those ‘failures’ were also huge learning experiences and helped me become the person I am today! A lot of people will say they would go back and re-do certain tasks so they wouldn’t have failed but when I look back, there’s many failures that I wouldn’t re-do because then I wouldn’t have some of the knowledge about myself that I have now. Are there any failures you would go back and re-do Lisa or would you keep your life exactly how it is?
    Failures can help you step back and look at your life. They’ve helped me realize that at times I wasn’t going down the path Christ planned for me and the failures helped set me straight so I could continue on the plan He designed.

  • aopstad

    All I have to say is thank you for the article. I think that a lot of young entrepreneurs like myself always find themselves with a big goal in mind and when you are fumbling and dropping the ball on the way to the finish line they usually get discourage or all together just give up. This article says yes you will fail and yes it will suck, but learn from your mistakes and move on.

  • kreynol3

    I think this an extremely important idea that everyone should adopt, not only social entrepreneurs. I like the the sentence “In a culture so focused on success, it’s easy to forget the importance of failure.” As someone who was brought up to succeed it’s extremely hard to fail and turn it into a positive however, in reality failing truly is a learning lesson.

  • Alise Brown

    I definitly agree that failure can be our strongest attribute. I have repeatidly found myself failing at something, and that being my greatest life lesson. When I do something right or succeed at something it feels great, but it is an even better feeling to have failed at something, learned and improved, and then create your own success. To fail is not really to fail because it means you tried for something, and means you had a goal and a plan to achieve something that you wanted. Overall failure is not usually in our plans, but without it we wouldn’t get where we are today.

  • I believe that without failure there is not success and a person would not appreciate success as much without it. I love this article, I plan to share it with many friends. The power of optimism is infinite, it can make anyone go far, because there is not one person in this world that will live without failure and without learning from mistakes. I also believe that the people who are able to get out of the rut that is failure are the truly inspiring people.

  • reedwar3

    I do like this article. I am feel like I am an optimist for the most part I am only human so I do have my points where I get discouraged like everyone. But I can say that I never really thought of failure as the most positive influence till after i read this article thank you for this article i will start to think about this more often when I do fail at something from now on.

  • mbah7

    I think this article gives great advice but the one thing I didn’t agree with was the statement “Failing is absolutely the best way to learn” because I don’t believe for example, you need to go bankrupt in order to learn how to better run your business. It might teach you what not to do but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best way to learn what not to do.

  • dcanonic

    As a parent of four, I use failures as a teaching tool. Using
    corrective comments to help rather than focusing on the failure itself, teaches
    the principles of perseverance and moving on. I tell my children not to dwell
    to long on their failures but to celebrate their successes. I can speak from
    experience as my first business failed during the last recession. I have since
    learned better ways to manage and plan for these types of economic swings. My
    current business is up and running and I can say I have learned so much from my
    original failure.

  • omrsrf

    I understand why you are not agreeing with her about failing is the best way to learn. However, she is not trying to say that fail and you will get better. What she is meaning with that is trying to do something and failing on that will help you to realize your mistakes and fix them if you can. If you don’t try to get up everytime you fail, you won’t go forward at all.

  • Justin Rudick

    I agree with this article. I believe its true you don’t need to necessarily fail to succeed in everything, but the way I see it, how do you know when things are the best they can be if you haven’t seen the worst of it? I tend to fail the first time quite a bit, but I do pretty well at knocking it out of the park the next time. I think that kind of thing happens with everyone. Good read.

  • Caroline Isabel Alsept

    Well here we go again another, WOW!!!! It took me a while to comment, I had to dry my eyes, your article, Lisa Curtis, just moved every emotion in me. I was so inspired by everything you said, what really grab me was, “When you shoot for the moon, you’re going to get battered by rejection long before you reach any stars.” I laughed so hard, because, what you said is so very true! I always used to say reach for the stars and you just might grab the moon. Everything you said was amazing, even the experience of being on a national television program and not quite being prepared, but you did it,,,, I have to wonder, if that had not happened, would you have even thought of and pursued the fulfillment house that employs people with autism to fulfill your online orders—which enabled you to respond quickly to you large orders and allowed you to keep in line with a social mission and your social mission. That in itself, must have been rewarding as an Entrepreneur, not only for what your doing in West Africa, but also now here in the United States. Your right, so many people do not understand that without failures, you might not have the WIN, WIN, that can be totally unexpected. By that experience you could have thrown your hands in the air and said, enough, but instead, your creative genius sent you down the path, that you were meant to go down. Pessimism doesn’t exist in my vocabulary, maybe its my up bring, or living abroad for so many years, I look at it as challenges, and maybe I am being directed down a new path by the universe. Good luck, with your Moringa products, I forwarded your company profile and this article to a friend of mine in Argentina, who just happens to be a vegan and can never find anything to eat, that’s got it all…. Thanks again for inspiring us!!!

  • omrsrf

    I think this is a really well written article about a subject we know about. It shouldn’t sound like failing is a good thing. We can make it look like a baby trying to learn how to walk. He is trying to walk forward and keep falling down. But he is trying so hard that falling down doesnt stop him. He keeps trying, trying, trying, and at the end he walks and starts running. Therefore, everyone in life should be like that, because we all have been a baby and we did it once, we can do it again.

  • kyle055

    The first part is basically all that it is about. It all starts with the mindset. If that is tuned right, then just continue and stay positive. There are times when you need to listen to others, but knowing those times defiantly helps make the journey smoother.

  • eayala3

    I strongly agree with this author that optimism is the key to recovering from failure. My optimistic mindset has helped me overcome so many obstacles in my past.

  • sergio moyano

    This was a very interesting article, it is very true that being optimistic and taking things with a positive attitude will help us being successful, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes every day, if we learn from our mistakes and rescue the positives from it instead of focusing on the negative side, i guarantee you will become better, more knowledgeable, more careful, and more successful on your next try.

  • sergio moyano

    i agree with you and that was a great example. We all are going to fail at some point in our live but what we do after we fail is what determines how we will end up. Failing is a good thing sometimes because it help us grow and learn and just like the baby example you just gave us, we need to keep getting up and keep going forward until we reach success.

  • Kent Miehe

    Thank you for sharing! I agree that even through mistakes, people can learn great things. Just because you fail doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You gain experience through the mistakes you make. Can you also learn from your success, and not just failure?

  • cdcraig

    I have always believed that failing is one of the most valuable asset in learning and growing. I loved that this article provided experience and example of seeing the two ways one could be pessimistic or optimistic from a situation. Dont let the trolls get you down.

  • mrmanuz

    Failure is more likely to generate a response from us as people because there isn’t much to respond to with success. When we fail, we as humans try to overcome these failures. We become more intimate with the details of our problem than we would have if we would have done the job right in the first place.

  • jdroger7

    You might be an entrepreneur if someone informs you that 3 out of 4 startups fail and your thoughts are “I like those odds”

  • JamesSpadge

    Great article with the research and first had experience to back it up. I found it very interesting that it talked about training your mind to be positive by writing down good things. Im going to have to do this myself.

  • David Vega

    I firmly believe that we need to teach others (especially entrepreneurs) to embrace and learn from failures and adversity when it arrives, and to adjust ourselves accordingly. So many people are taught to fear failure and run at the first signs of trouble, but if we could get more people to pivot when trouble arose, I think the results could truly change the world.

  • Ashley Easterly

    This is so great! This reminds me of a startup that one of my friends/peers at my university began called ComeFail. Their mission statement reads: “We are an online community of entrepreneurs who are not afraid to fail. ComeFail is where entrepreneurs share their ideas to get feedback and find others to collaborate with.” They provide grant money to startups with innovative ideas, and self describe as “an idea hub where learning occurs and connections take place. By failing and iterating quickly, truly valuable ideas are created.” They embrace failing and are innovating by challenging the culture surrounding startups to recreate a better system.

  • Ashley Easterly

    Constructive criticism is so important! People are generally quick to criticize destructively rather than constructively, which is indicative of the kind of black and white, right or wrong, binary thinking our society has perpetuated through socially constructed norms. Constructive criticism is about the “both, and” thinking style in social innovation and entrepreneurship and is so very important. Thank you for being a constructive rather than destructive parent! Failure is important because of what it teaches us, and we need to embrace failure more.

  • vsantoro

    I completely agree. A lot of times we will be rejected, backtracked, or have to start completely over. This is why it is essential in life to be good at failing. If we stay optimistic and keep learning we can reach our goals rather than giving up.

  • aalasow

    When reading about successful people or companies, failures are practically never mentioned. That’s why people like me, get frustrated with failures, assuming that successful people are amazing. They accomplished their goals flawlessly. Great article in respect to the honest truth to success.

  • ZecCepeidaConner

    Learning to learn from failure is a great skill set to have. Failure is a common experience that occurs. It needs to be lived with, and learned from to progress, not digress. Great article!

  • Anna Umansky

    Love this quote- “But just as you can train your body to adapt to running long distances, you can train your mind towards positivity.” I think thinking positively can be applied to any field. There are two sides to every coin!

  • Anto George

    While studying from Successes might be a good idea, it narrows one’s mindset quite a bit. If you were to look at ONLY your successes, you would completely ignore what does NOT work. What if you were to go down that path one day? Not knowing that the path that you’re heading on will work or not can be a costly endeavor, not to mention a fatal one for capital-low start-ups.

  • cody selseth

    It seems growing up school and life in general teaches us and gets us in the mind set that you have to overachieve to be noticed and you have to succeed at everything to be any worth. None of that is true and a this article points out, failing is just as beneficial as succeeding.

  • kevinlattin

    Many do not realize that failure is something that even the most successful have been through. The difference between some people is that some build off of that failure and create something bigger and better, and others let that failure get the best of them. Failing is bound to happen.

  • JonathanYK

    Great point there, people need to go through failure to reach success. We could train our mind to think positively, and we could learn from our mistakes and never make the same mistake again.

  • Cameron Sides

    Great article, but stress is sometimes a good thing. When you are stressed about an idea or goal, it means its important and you think about it a lot. That time spent, at least for me, helps make better decisions.

  • Catey Navarro

    I really enjoyed this article and even though some may already know some of this information, it won’t hurt to read it again. Looking at the glass half full instead of half empty is something that not all people are even capable of doing. Some are naturally negative. I feel that I am blessed in the sense that I can look at the glass half full as well as looking at the big picture. To me it is about the long run and what small steps I can take to get there.

  • jburgard

    Failure is absolutely the best way to learn, and turning challenges into opportunities is a necessary skill for anyone. Maybe–probably?–I’m a pessimist but I’m “failing” (pardon the pun) to see an example of failure in this article. National television exposure and a surge in demand for an otherwise small-scale product, seems like a win any way you slice it, even if there were a few disgruntled customers in the process. Surprises are the nature of business, especially entrepreneurial endeavors, but I wouldn’t classify this instance as a failure.

  • Dena Keizer

    I often forget to be optimistic about certain things. I worry easily. In high school, i even wrote a paper on how worrying can affect a person. I get so worried about failing when sometimes the best way to learn is to learn from your failures.

  • Dena Keizer

    I agree with your comment! Sometimes it’s hard to be optimistic but when we are, we are able to see things in a different way!

  • Dena Keizer

    I also like that quote! We have to train ourselves to look at the positive sides of things instead of worrying about all of the “what-ifs”. Thinking positively can certainly be applied to anything in life.

  • hmtorre1

    Sometimes, we must fail, in order to achieve.

  • Ben Spears

    @mebneter1 Quick anecdote that sounds trivial at first: I became pessimistic recently about an online account setup process that had failed me at least five times over the last month. A friend came in yesterday, added a little positivity (and brute force), and we handled it. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but often optimism and persistence are hard. Thanks for your comment

  • epron

    I really value the idea of “training you mind towards positivity” and I do not think it is has enough exposure considering everyone can benefit greatly from this skill (even generally optimistic people as everyone faces aversion at some point). The way you respond to aversion (however small or large) can determine so much about the outcome of a situation which can have major long term effects.

  • epron

    I really value the idea of “training you mind towards positivity” and I do not think it is has enough exposure considering everyone can benefit greatly from this skill (even generally optimistic people as everyone faces aversion at some point). The way you respond to aversion (however small or large) can determine so much about the outcome of a situation which can have major long term effects.

  • hmcavey

    The idea of turning an originally terrible situation into an eventual improvement or success is wonderful. A pivot point is an idea that everyone can comprehend, mastering it takes a different kind of person. It’s so easy to see the difference in optimists v pessimists in every day life but it’s important to remember the importance it carries into the business world.

  • knapprl17

    Thank you for this article. I opened my eyes to the fact that it is okay to fail. I believe that when you try hard not to fail and you play it safe you are hurting the opportunities you create for yourself and are not living up to your full potential. What is the biggest thing you have done to help keep you positive in difficult situations?

  • David Kessler

    Thanks for the article, Lisa. It is interesting think that failure could be a factor that weeds out those who are willing to persist and realize their vision and those who fall short. It seems that the final product created by one thats choses to keep moving through the failure will be a lot better than that of one who doesn’t experience failure, for that person has truly created a precise product with “all the kinks” worked out. I also agree that it can be tough with today’s status quo of what it means to be successful as negativity and pessimism may just be what prohibits “failures” from being overall successful.

  • danac501

    thanks for your article! I have to say being in college has made me a pessimistic. I hate failing in school so when I do I dwell on it because I am afraid of not passing the class instead of taking it as a positive learning experience. How does a college student become optimistic when you cant fail assignment after test after assignment to pass a class? I am going to try your experiment and write down one thing a day that I did good and see if it boosts my happiness. That sounds like it could be rewarding

  • Abbey Stibbs

    I really enjoyed reading this article because this entire year has been full of failures for me. I try to be an optimistic person the majority of the time, but when things are constantly going wrong in your life it is difficult to have a positive attitude toward things. I also stress about everything! I know this is awful for my health, but with everything that has been going on in my life (death of two family members, almost losing my house, etc.) it is difficult to not worry about things. After reading this article I have made some what of a realization that things do go wrong in everybody’s life, and if you keep with the negative attitude, your life will just be a huge mess! I also want to try your experiment that you did by writing down something positive that happened each day. I really think that, that will help me see the good things in my life!

  • hasselbemj31

    I also really enjoyed this article as well. I thought it was a very interesting topic that many of us never think about. This made me realize that worrying and stressing out about issues isn’t going to get me any where. I agree that optimism is extremely important asset to have in life, without it, it is hard to be successful. We as human beings need to think with the glass half full, not empty. Without this thinking we will be angry and miserable. I’ve seen two type of people, the optimist and the pessimists and personally the optimists always seem to be happier.

  • hasselbemj31

    I absolutely think that optimism is important but I do agree that failure is necessary to achieve success. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. If we don’t make mistakes in life and do things on our own, it is hard to learn right from wrong. I believe by making mistakes in life, it will guide us in the future. Not only by knowing what not to do the next time but how to teach others from the mistakes you have made. I don’t believe that by failing you are considered a pessimists though. I think if you don’t get down on yourself and think everything bad happens to you and only you and you start to use those mistakes to form your identity.

  • Tess228

    This harkens to an article published recently evaluating confidence’s effect on solving math problems. Some students were told before the test that “all the problems you will encounter are problems you have been taught and know how to solve” and the other group was told “Some of the problems you haven’t been taught how to do and may not recognize”. The group who had their confidence artificially boosted well out performed the “downtrodden” group. Just goes to show, as this article supports, believing and being optimistic about your chances of success actually do correlate to higher rates of success.

  • Zoe Blumenthal

    I am so glad that I read this amazing article. Part of becoming successful is failing. Everyone fails in their life and people, including myself, need to deal with that. You are not going to get an A on every test or get a job every time you have an interview. However, a failure usually leads to a success if you fix what needs to be changed. If you except your failures then you will not be successful.

  • Megan Kizzort

    This reminded me of an education related topic too. People are starting to talk more about “grit” as a predictor of which students will be successful in terms of GPA and graduation rates, and I think the concept of turning challenges into learnings is really related to the concept of grit. It makes sense that optimism and resilience would be good qualities for entrepreneurs also.

  • Jessica White

    Doesn’t failure make you appreciate the successes even more? This article can be applied to more than just starting up a business. School, parenting, sports or even just starting a new habit. Grasping the concept that everyone makes mistakes is the first step, then learning how to look at it in a positive way and learn from those mistakes is the next step. I really like the idea of writing down one success every day. Even on a particularly difficult day, writing one success makes the day seem a little better. This was a very interesting article. Thank you!

  • KLChristianson

    I definitely think so. When I think back to what I am most proud of, the end outcome is often preceded by a failure at first. I have been fortunate to experience many “failure-free” successes as well…but those do not stick with me in the same way, and are no where near as satisfying. I imagine the same can be said for starting a business…success is so much sweeter if it comes after some bumps in the road.

  • ReneeKirch19

    I really enjoyed this read, thanks for sharing! You are so right, failing is a part of our life and we should not let it bring us down. As a college student, I find myself failing more times than I probably should, but I’ve realized that I only learn from my failures. In my mind, I believe that failing is inevitable. If we have goals, we fail. We can’t always get it right the first time. I love how you said that “failing is the best way to learn.” How do you suggest people get past their failures and look towards the positive side?

  • CAFuller

    A very good point. I suppose, in some ways, it all depends on your definition of failure. If something ultimately benefits us, though we face an obstacle along the way, can we really call it a failure? If we are unprepared or underprepared some a situation, but we learn from it, can we call it a failure?

    I also think it’s worth thinking about our definition of optimism here. Entrepreneurs aren’t simply optimistic, they’re savvy. Blind, stubborn, relentless optimism is foolish and can be detrimental to a venture. Knowing when to fold, as they say, is important to winning the game. So is knowing when to push ahead, or change course. The entrepreneurial spirit is as much about wisdom as it is optimism. I recently heard the COO of a major consulting firm discuss what he has come to identify as a uniquely American entrepreneurial spirit. What defines that spirit, he said, is not just a willingness to start new ventures, or creativity, or innovation, but American entrepreneurs’ willingness to let things fail and move on. He said: “They don’t throw good money after bad.” And in his view, often entrepreneurs in other cultures will stubbornly sink money into something when they should cut their losses or change course.

    An interesting observation, I thought.

  • Kristina Padlo

    This article is so refreshing. I think it is important to
    remember that failing is important. In order to learn from our mistakes we have
    to refocus on what we could have done better. It is also such a good life
    lesson to think on the optimistic side of things, getting overly bothered with
    the negative can hold us back from great opportunity and success in all aspects
    of life.

  • Nathan

    Thanks! I really enjoyed where you said that optimist live longer, have happier marraiges, and live better lives. This is so true! I am confused about how to convince people to be optimists?

  • Lana Williams

    i love this article. I think failure definitely helps to push and can often times be especially motivating. Unfortunately, not everything is going to be easy or right the first time around so I believe in failing fast picking yourself up and moving on to achieve success.

  • Steffiheuer

    Thank you for your article! I believe that it is very important to stay positive even when the odds are against you. I am a gymnast and if this sport has taught me anything it is that without a positive mind set you cannot achieve your goals. The only way to push past your fears is to be positive and know that you can do anything that you set your mind to.

  • karinaz10

    Many do not realize that failure is beneficial and can have a positive outcome. Failing is inevitable and most successful people in today’s world first failed before they succeeded. “Failing is the absolute best way to learn.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Instead of succumbing to defeat, look at failure as a valuable lesson to learn from.

  • dillonleeperez

    I think optimism is a beautiful thing to keep in mind, but I also think that people too often try to make it a cop-out of true change. Sometimes ideas fail because they are not good ides; sometimes ideas fail because you do not have the skillset to put forth those ideas in the first place. I think that a tinge of optimism is important, but it has to be leveled with realism and security. I think failure is great because it may reveal to us that a whole new path may be necessary to accomplish our dreams.

  • Jeff Binstein

    I really enjoyed this article because many people see failing as a negative thing. Failure can help people eventually reach their final goals. Failure allows people to learn from their mistakes, and by doing so helps them achieve their final goals

  • Lilla McMillan

    The idea of pivoting when faced with failure is completely spot on. It’s about having tolerance for adversity, you have to be able to make the most of what you have and stay positive. When you are in a leadership position you are responsible for group moral but also maintaining enthusiasm towards reaching goals.

  • Olivia Stoick

    Rejection is very hard for people to comprehend. Once I become ok with rejection, I learned that I was much happier with my life.

  • DallasJMills

    Optimism I would have to agree is one of the greatest tools someone can have. I bet you cannot name me one optimistic person that you know that has ever quit at anything. An optimist will fight through adversity and come out the other side stronger and smarter for it. I agree with Lisa failure is an important part of growing but only if you are optimistic about it.

  • tygonzalez

    I really liked this article. Everyone gets rejected and has multiple failures, but you learn from your mistakes and always bounce back. “Optimism is a particularly important skill for entrepreneurs” , I couldn’t agree anymore that basically sums it up.

  • Jaelyn Edwards

    The idea of refocusing that the article points out is an important one. It can be the hardest one though. it takes a special kind of entrepreneur to realize there is a problem and be humble enough to make a meaningful change. Being an optimist if great and all but if the individuals pride or obliviousness gets in the way, thier life works can take a turn for the worst.

  • Julia Kramer-Golinkoff

    This article elaborates on a very important, simple point — you can learn from failure. Being afraid to fail limits people in an extreme way. By taking risks, people learn and grow, wether they fail or succeed.

  • Jakob Cohen

    I have always hoped that my optimism will be a great asset to me throughout life. I’ve always looked on the bright side of things but once I’ve gotten more into the business world I sometimes lose my way. It can be hard to apply a mindset that we have on a social or small scale level to work and serious business. However, I know that I can control my own mindset going into something and as long as I stay positive, I will be happier at the end of the day. Learning from your mistakes is very elementary, but the most important way to grow as an individual from childhood through adulthood.

  • ranramirez15

    We shouldnt be scared of failure. Failing will make you learn new things all the time and will help you do better. Everybody fails even the richest people on Earth so you shouldnt get affected by it. Take advantage of failure and try to do things better so you wont fail.

  • surffox

    Thank you Lisa for the reminder that in addition to recognizing failures may/will happen the best way to keep going is to be positive. Yes, there are many books on positive thinking (Norman Vincent Peale, etc.) and I have heard and read quite a few things on the need to fail recently. But, I was happy to find this article that stitched them together. The reminder to think on what has gone right every day is something I am going to try. Thank you!

  • ThePymann

    I agree, it’s not all about the end result.

  • Fernando Topete

    I agree that optimism is a lot better than being pessimist. I use to think that having many friends brought me joy but in reality I was surrounded with people that only saw the negative in others or in any given situation. Over the last few years and in my new home state of Arizona I have less than a fraction or friends I use to have back in Idaho. I though am I not friendly enough? Quite the opposite, i may have less but the few I have are those whom I choose because they see the best in most and not all situations. Having that positivity is good for the soul and it is contagious. It helps with any type of situation good or bad.
    Fernando Topete-ASU

  • Nathan

    Thanks! Everyone seems to get caught up on worrying about the end result when they have to go through the process of achieving something first. Do you think that failure has to be an option for people?

  • cdcraig

    It’s funny; this concept has actually accidentally been somewhat of a theme for me and my life in the past several weeks. I’ve always had this concept of being the very best at one thing in particular. I feel like I’ve spent my whole life being inspired by different people being so great at different things and then trying to be that great at it myself. Every time I realize that I’m not supposed to be the world’s best drummer, singer, photographer, illustrator, filmmaker, etc. I’ve tried many things and have only been disappointed by my failure at every single one of them….until recently. I’ve been slowly teaching myself to realize and permanently adopt the concept that the gift of failure is quite possibly the strongest opportunity one may have (provided that you’re intellectually humble). If you’re not and never let yourself fail but instead blame your failures on any and every other component involved, you will rob yourself of the richest lessons available. Failure is crucial to success. That’s a very refreshing realization.

  • CarleighMaloney

    Hi Lisa! Thank you for this wonderful article! As a college senior I am debating where to go next in life when i leave school and my biggest fear is failure in a new place. I think what’s important to realize is that failure is even better than succeeding–it shows you where to go next and how to become even better at what you love. I wonder however, when optimism should be put to the side and a touch of reality is needed? I would think that there may come a point when this is important but I wonder what your thoughts are?

  • Mitch Sween

    Thanks for the article!
    I believe the complaints you got were not failures but constructive criticism that are great for reshaping or changing a business model. It seems to be you are very successful.

  • shackletka05

    Thank you for sharing! I completely agree with this article and how positive thoughts make a way to get through struggles faster and make it just that little bit easier. It is so important to turn challenges into learning will benefit your life tremendously because you will not dwell on tough situations or failure but grow from them instead toward something greater. I really enjoyed this article and will strive for the right mindset into each day or challenge that I face.

  • Alex Prailes

    This is something I have learned to do this year. Since I have been taking harder classes and working on getting a better job, I have faced rejection and failure multiple times. However, if I quit when I failed I would never learn how to take it as a learning experience. Failing shows you where you need to improve to become better, it doesn’t mean you should quit.

  • Tracy_Werner

    I absolutely think that optimism has the power to change a situation itself. Thinking positively can give you the motivation you need to power through a tough time and go beyond what is necessary. I have learned from my experiences at work that even when times get hard, you need to stay positive, especially if you are in a leadership role. If others see that you are down and struggling to come up for air, they won’t feel that positivity and encouragement that they need to get their work done. Optimism goes a long way.

  • hicksjd11

    Failure is a part of life and I think it’s important to know what it feels like in order to find success. Keeping a positive attitude is just as important. You have to trust the process and know that in the end it will all be worth it.

  • hicksjd11

    I don’t necessarily think that it has to be an option. But I do think that it will be beneficial to that person to know what it feels like to be at the bottom and it will make them more grateful when they do find success.

  • ReneeBinder

    This article raises a really good point-attitude is everything. I personally get too caught up in my day to day activities to remember this. This article was definitely a great reminder to keep your head up because it makes the tough times not so bad.

  • imendez

    This is a message that everyone can learn from. You may not be able to control everything in the world around you, but you can control your attitude. In turn, your attitude can help you change the world around you. My parents instilled this in me from a very young age, and while it did take me years to understand and adapt, it has made me a better person. To relate failure to pivoting is so clever. It shows that the so-called “startup geeks” who coined this term truly have a positive outlook on life. As another commenter stated, that really is the trick to everything.

  • Jansscor16

    This is a great article, thank you for posting it. I find it easy to get yourself in a rut, but the hard part is getting out. Your advice is crucial to getting out, most likely all the large companies and founders have been in similar situations. Your advice at the end, I find to be very important, especially turning challenges into learnings. I plan to build upon the optimistic inside of me and to always keep trying.

  • Ashley Nicole Rietbrock

    I agree with you that everything happens for a reason and people should learn for there mistakes. Your suppose to make mistakes in life it is how you learn for them, grow for them, and can teach other people not to make the same mistakes as you did. Even be making a mistake in life can lead to bigger and better things in life.

  • MattDennert

    This article really hit me because I am starting to sell Advocare products and I have been getting a little discouraged that I haven’t been getting a lot of sales. This article showed me that you just need to be patient with these types of things and jsut keep working at it.

  • Teresa Joyce

    This is a great article, it reminded me risk taking isn’t bad. You need to take them to learn from them the good and the bad. I do think to be successful you have to fail, nothing is perfect there is always bumps in the road. You need to know the bumps will get you at times and just get up pat yourself off and start over.
    Thank you Lisa for this article, it definitely reminded me that we aren’t perfect and it’s good to fail it’ll make you a better entrepreneur.

  • ChaiseSheldon

    Lisa stresses a very important outlook on failure here. Sure success is always great but I believe failure to be better. In failure you learn not only what you did wrong but also what aspects you might have already done right. Not only that but no failure is a complete one. To have a complete failure one must gain absolutely nothing from the experience and I belive that is impossible. Like Lisa said though the key is optimism and this is were many people have problems not all of us are filled with the self esteem and confidence that we should. If we can stay positive we can take our failures as the lessons that they are

  • Marcy Glad

    It is ironic that those that have the most recognition for great success have generally learned to live with a significant amount of failure. It is very generous of you to share your wisdom on overcoming discouragement in the face of setbacks. Rather than viewing difficulties as reasons to discontinue the mission, they are instead opportunities to pinpoint how to make the business better. I wish all entrepreneurs this kind of fortitude!

  • DuchAM21

    I found this blog post to be very interesting. I always believed in the saying “everything happens for a reason”. Sometimes it is hard to understand the reason, but i try to see the good in all situations. I believe that we go through hard times to really appreciate the good times. Also, we will never learn if we do not make mistakes in the process.

  • amykahl8

    Once you reach a goal or destination you spent so much time and energy trying to get to, it is so much more satisfying knowing that you struggled along the way but still made it. If everything was just handed to you then there would be no sense of accomplishment. The thing people struggle with is their doubt that they will ever reach the goal. But I am someone who believes if you want something bad enough and work hard enough it will come in one form or another.

  • january26throwaway

    The author would be singing a different tune if her 200 store superfoods chain flopped. That’s a failure. If you are remarkably successful in major areas (like the author pointed out, she is), then I suppose it is easy to “fail” if you consider “failure” to be daily rejections be people who overall don’t really matter to your main means of support. This is like rich people telling poor people to be happy about being poor; pull yourself up buy your bootstraps. So easy to say “I’m good at failing” when in reality, that is is unqualified. Perhaps “good at failing…by things I determine to be unimportant because I’m so successful in other ways”.

    Also interesting that in terms of the article, failure is designated as financial only. how about failing at a marriage? Failing at a relationship? A sport? Last place never gets a trophy…

  • Tawni Meyer

    I think being an optimist person is a fantastic skillset for daily lives. I have read from many authors that when they recieve their first rejection letter from a publishling company that get excited. For now they are one step closer to publishing and some rejection letters are not going to keep them for sending in their manuscripts again waiting for the right person to read it. While saying being an optimist is ideal for day to day life, it can often be a hard goal to reach. But with encouragment i think anyone can reach high optimisim! Saying that I also agree it is crucial to learn from your failures because they get you one step closer to your goals.

  • nherzick

    This is an awesome article and I think this is good for everyone from high school to the new entrepreneur. Sometimes you fail and other times you don’t.

  • Faisal AH

    This is a really good article to read, It’s important to realize what we can and cannot control. I think when we fail its a good listen to us to achieve what we want.

  • nbaker3

    So based on what Kuli Kuli accomplished, it appears that emphasis on social mission is greater than logistics. Also, this is probably already assumed but in order for optimism to mean anything there has to be 110% hard work. Combining these above ideas tells me that when we focus on getting things done for the community in great hope of return we will exceed more than if we focus on cautionary motives. The bottomline: Entrepreneurship is the best lifestyle for those who have a positive worldview and a blessed work ethic.

  • Thy Q

    Everyone needs to fail, so that they can understand and appreciate success when they achieve it. Failure just makes you work harder and harder in order to achieve success. Anyone who had success handed to them do not deserve it. Success is so much more meaningful, when you’ve work for it.

  • Abby2017

    I like that there was research done that proved that optimists are more successful than pessimists. They are more happy in general people and they can live a calmer lifestyle.Knowing that failing is the best way to learn is true. No one likes to fail, but sometimes it has to happen. I try to keep that in mind during school if i do poorly on something. I try to keep a positive mindset. If I didn’t I might not be here today. I also keep in mind there will be worse things and harder trials in life.

  • gmurillo86

    This is a very interesting article, I’ve noticed I’m a pessimist a lot of the time, when good things happen to me(its not as important than when bad things happen to me). I should stop focusing on the negatives and focus more on the positives, because I could realize that a lot more good happens to me than bad. Also i’m always worrying about things, I feel as though I worry too much, and there is no need.

  • byrnesbk24

    I remember when my busy and roommate started personal training, specifically Crossfit. We started in our garage/ driveway and I had my doubts. I told him “maybe you should just get certified and find a gym to work at”. He was hell bent on starting his own Crossfit gym. I didn’t think it would go anywhere. He stuck with it and 4 years later he is doing it. He started from nothing, a garage with some barbells and now has a warehouse stock full of equipment and members, me being one of the original ones. I tell him all the time that I am proud of him and that I’m sorry I doubted him. If you stay optimistic you and work hard you can make it happen, and that’s what he did. He believed in himself and in Crossfit.

  • Radaya123

    A mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it, if you learn from a mistake it is a lesson learned.

    Optimistic thinking.

  • GSonDUBS

    It’s okay to make a mistake, as long as you don’t make the same mistake twice. I love hearing up and coming companies not afraid and willing to share their mistakes. I’m in the process of doing a startup, I don’t want to say :”I can’t wait to run into my first mistake….” but the article is absolutely right. If you are not failing, you are not trying hard enough.

  • Kendra Larson

    I think you bring fourth a very important message. Failing is the best way to learn. It is hard to look at failure with a postive additude. This is something that all society struggles with. However, like you said, we should not think at failure with negative additudes; instead we should think more postive about it. Through life, everyone fails and by failing we all learn from the mistakes that we made. Instead of giving up after we have failed, we should look at that experience and ask ourselves what we learned, and how we could improve, in order to succeed next time. Failure does not mark the end of a journey, but instead creates a stronger path. I want to thank you for sharing these words of wisdom, and I look forward to reading more of your inspiring stories.

  • alexlavine

    I think the biggest take away from this post is to be open to new challenges, new ideas, and the unexpected. Do things to the best of your ability at all times, but don’t let failures define you. In fact, take the failures and turn them into something positive. Learn something that will help you going forward. No matter who we are we are bound to fail at some point, but those who are pessimists let all these failures build up on top of each other. Fail and move on… you need to fail to succeed. Find the positive in everything… it could change your life.

  • Amy Rink

    Thank you for posting this article! There was a quote within the article that I found to be very useful with whatever I am doing with my life, “The key to continuing the journey is to not let failing make you feel like a failure.” With our generation today I feel like we are so afraid of failing that we aren’t taking the risks we should to better ourselves as people. It is okay to fail and to turn learn from those mistakes because if we don’t then we will never know how far we can push ourselves!

  • epmcinty

    This article truly captures the importance of failing. Just like the author, I am currently reading a book entitled “EntreLeadership” where the guy lost everything before he gained everything. To be successful, it is vital to take your failures like your accomplishments, and build off them and utilize them to continue to only grow and learn more. Staying optimistic is key, optimistic people live longer and happier lives according to studies I read in a Human Resource Management course. If you can do these things, there is no doubt with your attitude and perseverance to learn from your mistakes, that you will become very successful in what you pursue.

  • TrumanHale

    This is one hundred percent true. I don think its even necessary to call it optimistic thinking, just common sense; or what should be.

  • BastarKm06

    Completely agree. A lot of people dwell on failing. But why? You still learned something from the situation. Maybe you didn’t succeed in making a light bulb, but, you did learn how not to make a light bulb. All depends on how you look at it.

  • conner_faulkner

    I believe everyone needs to fail and learn from their failure before they can TRULY succeed. People like to be perfect but in truth… no can be 100% perfect. Not to say you should be ok with failure because failure isn’t positive. Failure should be disappointing and give you the drive to finally succeed.

  • SkylerZahner

    Failure is definitely necessary to achieve success because it prepares you for more circumstances and makes you ready to complete any task at hand that you have seen before. Without failure you may succeed but for a short period of time before you and your company come crashing down because you did not climb the latter and learn from mistakes that you made in the past.

  • awither1

    I agree with this comment completely. You have to be able to take the good from any situation and learn from it.

  • Katelyn Vaughn

    I really enjoyed this article and I agree with it 100%. In the past, I always tried to make perfect choices and decisions because life is too short and there is no time for mistake. But now, after going through college and making plenty of mistakes, I have found that I have grown and matured in more ways than one. You gain wisdom from learning from your past mistakes and failures. Also, I learned that it is okay to make mistakes. Everyone fails at some point in their lives but I feel that mistakes make you a stronger individual. Failure can make you a more successful person when you learn from that experience. Because I have failed before, I am more motivated to work harder for the things I want to achieve in life.

  • rntom

    I like learning from mistakes rather than seeing them only as mistakes that we can’t grow from.

  • Vanessa Roman

    Sometimes in order for us to grow we must fall so we can learn from our errors.

  • ali Alamri

    very interesting article I really like the Quotation” The key to continuing the journey is to not let failing make you feel like a failures “

  • Shae Moyano

    I completely agree, with mistakes and failure will then someone find success. You learn how not to do something now lets try to figure out how to do it. And through failure there can be success within something else

  • Shae Moyano

    I think it is. When someone can succeed at something they need to learn what it is and what it is not. So when someone fails at achieving success that’ll give them a strong fighting change, desire, and will power to keep going, they also need to learn what it is to succeed and to fail.

  • Eric Strimple

    This is a great lesson to take away, because as long as you can avoid “fatal failures” for your company, then they become stepping stones to the next big breakthrough. Pushing forward and not allowing yourself to become deterred in necessary to make it.

  • wschutt

    I am in love with this article because of the entirety of its positive nature. As a society. I feel that we tend to focus negativity on ourselves, instead of focusing on the positive aspects in life’s roller coaster. And just like a roller coaster, you may make it to the top, but right after that you end up spiraling downwards, twisting and turning. If you stay and ride it out though, you will be at the top again.

    It is easiest to learn from a mistake if you don’t see it as a mistake, but an opportunity.

  • Britt27LaM

    Optimistic thinking is often overlooked as a successful skill in the workplace. I find it to be such a beneficial tool when working past failures and criticism. It is the most important thing for a young adult to learn- make mistakes, learn from them, and move on! The journey always provides so much more learning and benefit than the destination.

  • Jennifer Diaz

    There are many things that I have failed at. Each time I have failed, I have learned a lesson from it and have grown to be who I am because of it. Great post!

  • Thomas Tessier

    I really like this statement and completely agree with you. Mistakes need to be limited so they don’t happen often and learning from those mistakes is futile.

  • Kendra Larson

    I agree, I have had multiple failtures throughout my life time and they have only made me stronger. Throughout my college education, I have had plently of struggles and many failures, and there were times were I would tell myself what is it worth if I continue to fail? I had many doubts about if I would succeed. However, even through the midst of my doubt, I never gave up and I see now, how far I have come. I have failed many times, and kept going and through never giving up, I have come a long way. I learned that failure is not the end of the road, and that succeess is always possible if you never give up.

  • GSonDUBS

    every failure takes you a step close to success.

  • AndreaOlsen22

    This article spoke a lot to me. I am a perfectionist and become very upset or angry when I am unsuccessful. Even though I know we must fail in order to succeed I cannot stand it. However, the feeling of failing makes me work even harder because I know I don’t want to feel this way again. When we do poorly on an exam, we maybe study a little more next time if we care enough. If we shoot the basketball poorly during a game, we may get in the gym more often to get additional shots up. It is all a learning experience. No one likes to fail, but we need to remember it’s going to happen and that it IS in fact okay and even GOOD sometimes. Being optimistic is key when we fail. We must choose to get up and know we can accomplish at least something good in the remainder of the day. We must also remember there is always worse.

  • schoenherr2424

    Very good story! one can learn a lot from the successes, failures, and motivations of others. But the best way is to go out and get those experiences yourself.

  • asprain

    Interesting article. I agree that if you aren’t failing and learning from it you can’t move forward very fast or at all. Learning from other people’s mistakes is also valuable if just listen and learn.

  • kellydieball

    Celebrate your failures! Learn and Laugh!!

  • kellydieball

    I really admire this comment

  • clbradley2015

    Failing is hard to get over, but as this article stated it’s the best way to learn. I felt like a failure last Friday when I was 10 minute late for a teleconference I had scheduled. I was late because I forgot it was at 1 p.m. The ironic part is the teleconference (10 people) was to review an upcoming event’s critical timeline and make sure that everyone understood how important it was for them to complete their job timely. about 5 minutes in to the call my boss called and said “hey, you going to call in?”. Ugh. I felt so bad that I failed to demonstrate the importance of not wasting other peoples time. But, when I returned to the office I walked in to my boss’s office and said “I wanted everyone to realize how annoying it is to have to wait on others and therefore would complete their event tasks timely”. The boss bought it!

  • Abplanalp916

    Using a pivot is a great way to turn around the look of failing. Failing is the best way to learn and that is how I true to utilize it in my personal life. It truly takes a lot of practice to see failing as an opportunity to learn. I think this post helps individuals to see that.

  • Jessica Andrew

    Thank you for sharing this article. I really enjoyed this article. There usually comes a good from every mistake you made. You have to look at the bright side and not just the bad side. It is a very good idea to write down positive things that happened everyday. You want to be able to feel good about what you have done.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I would consider myself to be an optimistic person, but I’ve realized over time that I can be extremely pessimistic if I feel like things aren’t going right. At times, I feel like I’ve failed at school, my job, my relationships with friends and family, etc, but I am a firm believer that it led me to where I am today. I am extremely happy with the way things are going in my life right now. I feel like I am excelling in school, my relationships with friends and family are improving, and I feel less stress financially. I really like the idea of writing down positive things that I am doing and reflecting on that. It only takes one situation or problem to make me feel like I am a complete failure. Sometimes it feels like everything is spiraling out of control. I’ve learned that it is important that I am in control of most situations and I need to take action to change something that I don’t like.

  • Michellelele123

    I absolutely loved this article. I relate to it in so many ways. I tend to lean more towards the pessimist side but constantly try to ‘train my mind towards positivity’. I’m the person that when something good happens -it must be a fluke. But this article is really uplifting and points out so many truths And gives -even me- a little bit of hope.

  • Katelyn Vaughn

    I agree with this statement. Nobody enjoys making mistakes, but with every mistake comes a learning experience. Mistakes are a part of life, everyone makes them from time to time. People just need to realize that it is okay if you make a mistake and don’t be to hard on yourself. Try to pull something positive out of the mistakes you make.

  • Katelyn Vaughn

    I agree with you post. I found the research on pessimism and optimism to be very interesting as well. I try to remain positive during school, but sometimes it can be difficult. Keeping a positive mind set is definitely something I need to work on. I liked how you wrote that you wouldn’t be where you are today if it wasn’t for keeping a positive mindset. It is just another example on why staying positive can benefit an individual throughout life.

  • Jessica Peardon

    I really liked this quote “But just as you can train your body to adapt to running long distances, you can train your mind towards positivity.” So many people try to run for miles without adequately training. Then they wonder why they fail. The same goes for everything in your life. You need to train for working long hours and thinking positively. Life is only as good as you make it. People will always try to push you down, and you need to not let them. You need to want to be happy and not let anyone get in your way.

  • Anniep1023

    This article was really inspiring. It just proves that you can never give up. Although something terrible might have just happened, it is important to keep a positive outlook. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that we have to feel sadness in order to appreciate happiness. I also thought that it was interesting that optimists seem to have happier lives and marriages. It proves that negativity can only hurt you more that it can help you.

  • Jon Micsa

    Very good post! Instead of accepting a short term setback as defeat or failure, optimistically appreciate the challenge and try different angles until an approach builds positive momentum.

  • Shae Moyano

    I think that no body is perfect and we all make mistakes and we fall sometimes on our paths, but how we get up and keep on going is whats important, because sometimes we need to fail in order to succeed, we need to learn and grow from our mistakes and become better.

  • Maggie Hansen

    Thank you for your article. I really enjoyed it! I think life is a lot about failure. The whole saying of “if you’ve never failed, you’ve never tried something new”… With this, life is about trying new things and learning from your mistakes. I play college softball and the game is based off you failing. If you can’t bounce back from your failures, then you are just giving up. It’s okay to fail. But you just need to be able to get back up and try again to reach your goal

  • Maggie Hansen

    I like you mentioned appreciate the challenge because it’s true, you should see it as a good thing you are getting the opportunity to be pushed to your limits and find what works.

  • I really liked this article it had several really good points and helpful tips to take away from it. My favorite quote was “When you shoot for the moon, you’re going to get battered by rejection long before you reach any stars”. This in other words tells me that people need to realize if you’re going to try to do something that is difficult you shouldn’t expect overnight success. You should know that many trials and tribulations are going to come your way and that you will need the resolve to get past them no matter what to see your ambitions fulfilled.

  • leeana liska

    I liked the quote “failure is absolutely the best way to learn”. While growing up, I always remember having competitions against other people in my classes and having prizes for winning. It seems like today that is starting to disappear because “everyone is a winner” and “it doesn’t matter who is in first”. Maybe they’re right that it doesn’t matter who is in first, but if there is no competition how do people learn how to loose and learn how to win the next time? failing is the best way to learn because it challenges us and makes us want to be better.

  • rped

    I loved this article. I don’t know about you, but I have failed many times in my life. It’s easy to say that you shouldn’t let failure get you down to a point that you stop trying, but actually practicing that advice is a whole other topic. I once started a small business where I sold a product. The product i created and spent alot of time and sweat and attention to ultimately was not wanted or desired in the marketplace. The failure of this product really hit me hard and I was depressed for quite awhile. I was having a discussion with my dad, and told him how disappointed I was that the product didn’t sell. My dad told me that I should be proud that I even tried, and that I should try something else, and learn from the precious business and build on it.
    This was such basic advice, but it was so true. A lot of people never even try to to build and sell a new idea or product. Failures are a different way of saying it growth and learning.
    Really enjoyed this article.

  • Ruochen Su

    I like the article and the opinion is very useful in my life now. I always think people should be positive instead of be negative whatever you suffer from anything. And the most success is not how much many you get or how much power you have, it is “how to be good at failing.”

  • tcwells

    My whole life i have been doing my darnedest to be the best. In most cases I do really well in school but a few years back when I started Calculus I had high hopes and expectations. Then life took a turn for the worst and I started to fail, not just Calculus but at everything. I was beat down into the ground like a railroad spike driven by John Henry himself. This constant failure brought back my depression that I have worked so hard to get rid of my entire life. However, looking back at my challenges and the failures I now see that I was not heading into the right field of study. You could say that there was some sort of Godly intervention that has set me down this path that leads me to help people rather than sitting in a cubicle typing away at a CAD system to build a bridge or the next super skyscraper. I realized that making money is important but leading a life that makes me happy is just as important or more important rather.

  • Samantha Lavenau

    I agree completely, everyone makes mistakes. The best way to come on top is to learn from your mistakes

  • faisal algannas

    Great article!! I like this research, its help you learn from your mistakes to become even more successful. I
    found it very interesting that it talked about training your mind to be
    positive by writing down good things. I will do this
    with myself!!

  • Jessica Andrew

    I completely agree with what you are saying. I also liked that quote! You are right. You are the one who is in control of your life. If you are not happy doing something, then go out and find something that you enjoy doing everyday. If you fail, then just get right back up and learn from your mistakes!

  • Erin

    I completely agree with your comment about how failing is a great way to learn. I feel like if people haven’t failed throughout their lifetime then they don’t fully understand the feeling of success either. How would you ever know if you’re doing better at something if you don’t fail at it a couple times first? I loved the quote you shared about how you shouldn’t see yourself as a failure if you fail at something. You just use that to motivate you to work harder and get better at whatever task you are trying to accomplish. The idea behind this definitely relates to positive thinking, which was mentioned in this article. I think the way you look at a situation can change the outcome you get. More people need to think positively even in their daily lives. It can really make a difference in the way one lives.

  • Erin

    I definitely agree with what you are saying here. Mistakes are always going to be a part of everyones lives. The only difference is, how each person reacts to those mistakes. And I think how you say to try and pull something positive out of it is great. Because you don’t necessarily need to be positive about the whole situation but if you can at least pull out a couple positives it could go a long way.

  • rschneider2800

    This quote is something I’ve heard so many times but it’s interesting that I never truly lived by it until college. I think we are trained to always try for perfection and that if we think perfection isn’t possible, then we shouldn’t even attempt to try. How many times have you thought of doing something but have been so paralyzed at the thought of failing that you drop it as a dumb idea? Then you see those ideas you had on the news because someone made a ton of money off them and you feel like a fool. @Radaya123 best piece of wisdom.

  • l2yza

    I hope you explained the situation to those people who sent you angry letters like you did in here. I feel like most people would be understanding of that fact.

  • Alex Marski

    one of my favorite quotes from mark Cuban” I’ve failed as many times as I have succeeded” Mark is a extremely wealthy and credible business man and even he has failed at big things in life. don’t be afraid of failing be afraid of not learning from failing.

  • Rvann1

    I agree with what you both had to say. There is also a quote from a book that I read recently, “Fail fast and fail often to succeed sooner”. One of the things that I try to live by is if I feel the need or want to complain about something then I need to change it one way or another. I think that for a lot of people we tend to set goals that are very easy so when we are faced with challenges that require more effort, more time, and requires us to re-evaluate we tend to give up and just scrap the whole idea instead of taking it as a learning experience or one of the many failures on our way to success.

  • DallasJMills

    This makes a lot of since, if you don’t learn from something you will continue to make the same mistakes over and over. If you learn from that mistake the first time it actually helps you because you will not make the same mistake again.

  • Kendra Larson

    I really liked what you mentioned in your comment. You said, Mistakes are always going to be a part of our lives. The only difference is how the person reacts to those mistakes. I think you bring forward a very clear point. Mistakes are going to be a part of our lives, until the day we die. We are human and we all make mistakes, even if we do not want to admit it. The key though is, like you said, the way a person reacts to the mistake is critical. If you take the mistake and look at it as completely negative, it is going to bring you down, and it is going to be hard for you to move forward in your life. However, if you look at the mistake as a learning experience and something that is positive, you will be able to move forward and learn from the mistake you made, and not make the same mistake again.

  • Kendra Larson

    I agree, just think of the most successful inventors! They did not succeed the first time that they tried. In fact, they failed multiple of times until they finally succeed. It is true, like you said, if people haven’t failed throughout their lifetime, then they do not fully understand the feeling of success. Your right, you never know if you are getting better at something, if you haven’t failed a few times at first. Through your failures, you see what you did wrong and then you know what to do differently next time to get you closer to where you want to be.

  • Thomas Miller

    I’ve often found that my greatest successes in life have come from failures. Like she said, failures teach the best lessons about life and about yourself. When you fail, you start to find out what you’re really made of. When you fail, that’s when you find out that it’s possible to bounce back stronger and smarter than before.

  • wegener61

    I agree 100% but I feel like it isn’t easy or always possible to leave and do what you want. For example a college degree is almost a necessity to succeed in today’s world, while a college kid could be contempt with what they are doing, but need to finish their degree before they can move on.

  • leeana liska

    I liked this quote too! There are lots of struggles with training your body to run long distances, the same as it is to train your mind towards positivity. There is so much negativity around us everyday, and someday’s I wonder how some people are still able to see the bright sides. However, if we all try harder to train ourselves to evaluate the positive that are still left in situations, we can feed off of them and propel forward into more positive actions.

  • leeana liska

    I agree! Appreciating and looking back and the challenge that gets you to where you want to be in one of the more satisfying and best feelings. With success, the best part is knowing how we got there, what we had to do, and what we had to overcome. It’s about the journey, not the final product.

  • jack holland

    This is a great piece-i really enjoy the part where you talk about how
    you learn from your mistakes, and by allowing yourself to feel that you
    have failed is really when the learning curve comes into place. The
    feeling of failure is never a good one, especially when you have put in
    an abundance of time and effort to try and prevent that failure from
    happening. Once you fail, you don’t want to feel that pain again, so
    you start to learn and develop the skills to not make the same
    mistake-point being made is if you dont get up and try again you’ll
    never be able to achieve your original goal…just like the way many people learned to ride bikes

  • CamilleYip

    I really liked the part in this article when you talked about how failing is the best way to learn because I completely agree with that comment. I think that its impossible to do everything right the first time so its okay to fail because then you’ll be able to improve!

  • kellydieball

    i love this! you learn from your failure and celebrate it and get better from there!!

  • Ashley Gardner

    I love your post! It is all so true. That quote was one of my favorites as well. It holds so much truth. People always want the result, without working towards it. Without hard work and training your mind to think differently, you won’t get result. People need to remember that “Rome wasnt built in a day.”

  • Alex Tomaszewski

    Learning from your mistakes is such a valuable tool. I feel like a lot of us don’t end up where we want to be as a result of being afraid to fail. What a lot of us have failed to realize is that everyone at some point in their life will have setbacks and sometimes fail. It’s at those moments we can separate the weak from the strong. I say this because it’s true. People that are afraid of failure are bound to stay down for obvious reasons, they are afraid to fail again. It’s the people who stay down who clearly don’t know what they want. Someone with clear intentions is bound to spring to their feet and conquer what never lays ahead. Failure is a good thing.

  • catec18

    This post scares me. I am definitely a person who likes to do things right the first time around. I ask questions, I move cautiously, and I pay attention to what is going to happen 3 steps later so I can be prepared. Failure is not easy for me. I’ve been told many times that failing is a part of life and it’s one of the best ways to learn. No one expects me to be perfect, as long as I am trying. But still, my perfectionist attitude can’t let go of the fear of failure. This post is great, don’t get me wrong. But what can people do to let go of the fear of failure? I know I don’t do everything right and perfectly so when I do end up “failing” at something it can really get to me. In the moment it is very hard to see the learning opportunity. But I usually look back and can see that the situation helped me to grow, and sometimes it’s a lot of growth!

  • Garrett Nelson

    What a great message, thank you for sharing! I think it is great to turn challenges in to learnings, rather than looking at it in a negative way where there is more to do, and another tough challenge ahead. Sometimes I think it can be hard to manage these challenges and stresses if they aren’t moderated and balanced, especially if you are working independently. Staying positive and optimistic, and willing to accept failure all seems like it is super easy, but how do you walk this talk consistently? What are some things to do (exercises, nutritional plans, motivational activities, etc.) that will help drive out the pessemisn inside of all of us, in order for us to accept failure and learn from it?

  • shelbysterling

    I love this. My dad started his own businesses and this is one piece of advice that he gives me all the time. Not just in business but in life, you have to take everything you might call a failure and just look at it as a learning experience. You have to fall before you know how to walk, and I think that is something that really separated a lot of entrepreneurs from 9-5 workers. If you don’t take the risks you will never have such a huge success, but taking that leap of faith can be scary. We all fall, but we need to learn from it, grow and keep trying! I also really loved “I’ve found the key to continuing the journey is not let failing make you feel like a failure”. That is so true, you can’t get down on yourself because you fail, you have to get back up and try again. You live and you learn!

  • Garrett Nelson

    I agree with this, staying positive and maintaining a good attitude is huge when striving to succeed at something. This could relate to anything such as a team striving to reach a common goal, or an individual that has a plan and goal set in action for their own self fulfillment. When you get pushed down by others, the first intitial reaction might be to give up and forget about what you are trying to accomplish, but if you don’t let that affect you, but build off of it to use it as motivation, that could lead to success. What are some other ways or explamples where you can plan to fail, but use it as an incentive to get better?

  • Jessica Peardon

    I love that quote! People are so impatient in todays fast paced world. We think that the faster we do something the better. Whether it be with food, work, or exercise. That is not true at all. We need to savor our time and our experiences. We need to start living in the moment instead of thinking about the next one.

  • Jessica Peardon

    I agree with you about how much negativity there is. Especially on social media and the news. It seems that the bad stories always get on there before the good ones. But, we do need to help each other. We need to make each other smile and laugh. We are social beings that rely on each other.

  • Travis Mattice

    I really like this article. It has a great message and I think that more people should read this one. I feel like it could apply to more than just business, it could apply to your daily life. Thank you for sharing.

  • Elaminsj25

    I have really been working on being optimistic. I feel like I have been failing at everything I try lately. Its very frustrating and discouraging. It’s hard not knowing when things are going to take a turn in the right direction and its hard to keep being optimistic. My mentor recently told me that I should just think positive thoughts and eventually everything will fall into place. I have been trying to keep a positive mentality and I just hope that there is something waiting for me in the future that will make sense of all these failures.

  • ClaytonEI08

    I really enjoyed this Lisa. Learning to deal with failure is a necessity if you ask me, because it is inevitable. I have yet to meet a human being that hasn’t failed at something in life. Failure has hurt me in my own life, but has also fueled me to go harder then I’ve ever went. I’ve succeeded in many things, but I can honestly say that if I didn’t know what failure felt like, winning wouldn’t feel as good. Unfortunately, not everyone can deal with failure. I’ve seen it completely destroy some people, but if you can learn to deal with it, go through it, feel all of its pain and turn that pain into hunger to better yourself and situation, it can be a very useful tool.

  • Taysia Justus

    I’m definitely on the road to keeping your head up while “failing”. I am currently 17 days away from graduating college and my massive job hunt is well underway. Whereas I have been rejected, I’ve also had many opportunities come my way. Just have to keep being good at failing!

  • Taysia Justus

    I completely agree. I’ve been discouraged lately with graduation approaching and I’m still in the middle of my job search. However even though I’ve been let down, I’ve never let anything stop me from continuing to keep hunting!

  • Taysia Justus

    I love that you said “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. That is so true. When I’m going through a rough time where I feel as though failure is all I have accomplished. I try so hard to keep my head up and know that I need to keep working at what I want in order to get results.

  • Taysia Justus

    I love this. We can’t continue to let ourselves make the same mistakes over and over again. No matter what happens we need to take it and learn from it.

  • Taysia Justus

    Some of the best lessons I’ve learned in life have been from mistakes I’ve made. I see my mistakes only as learning experiences.

  • barema28

    In order to learn and advance, failure is almost necessary. From failing, you learn a lot about yourself, the people around you and your business. Training yourself is key. You mind and your body.

  • ryanstorto

    Great point in saying to “not let failing make you feel like a failure. this is where optimism comes in.” I never thought of it this way and hope I can remember this next time I am struggling to succeed and have failed in my first attempt at something. I think it’s important for us to know that if we fail at something once, that will make us twice as strong the next time we try to succeed at an assignment or competition.

  • ryanstorto

    Great statement by saying the “key to continuing the journey is to not let failing make you feel like a failure. This is where optimism comes in.” I’ve never really looked at it that way before and hope that I remember this the next time I fail or don’t succeed at something in my fist attempt. We learn from our success, but now I realize that I can learn just as much, if not more, from our failures. We should work twice as hard the next time at something if we don’t get the initial results we were looking for. I couldn’t agree more with how you ended by stating that “turning challenges into learning is the greatest skill.”

  • kolinjk29

    I completely agree with this message. I believe that failure is a good thing in some cases. If you fail at something you will only come back stronger the next time by reevaluating the situation and taking time to think how you can make it better. This goes for so many aspects in life. For example, when you are weight training you may try to take so many reps in which you cannot do. If you keep up with the time and effort you will only grow stronger and gain ground on completing your goals. A question that I have for you is how do you keep your motivation high when you fail at something more than 3 times? What would you do to rethink your plan of action? Thanks for posting.

  • kolinjk29

    You have a great approach. I am in a similar situation as you are. I am approaching the end of my college career and have began browsing the job outlook. Right now it is very difficult to find a steady teaching job in the state of Wisconsin. I have not given up though< I have been exploring other states to go teach at when I graduate. I believe that if I keep up with posting resumes something eventually good will come. Sometimes its frustrating when you can't find work in your field, but if you stay on top something will eventually fall into your hands. Good luck

  • flaschbm09

    I agree. I feel that I’m truly an optimistic person but when I’m really stressed out or feel that things are going wrong, I start to become a pessimist. I’m glad that you are happy with where you are in life. I think that’s huge! I think I might trying writing down positive things the next time I feel like “the world is ending” or when I feel pessimistic.

  • Austin Jones

    There would not be progress without failure. a lot of times i believe failure is a good thing, the only time youll become a failure is when you give up. keep failing and keep improving and when you dont fail youll know youve made it

  • Nathan Tessar

    I really enjoyed that quote also, it made me realize that I cannot give up on the things I love to do everyday just because of one simple accident that brought me down. This article really hit home and made me want to push more and more everyday. I think this article is an article a lot of people should read to help them out in the near future.

  • Warhawk88

    Failure is one of the biggest learning tools. When we fail at something we tend to not forget that we failed. We want to correct our mistakes that we make. Nothing is perfect and everyone is going to encounter some speed bumps here and there. I really like the part where you said that “We can train our bodies to run long distances and we can also train our minds to think positively.” I think that is so true and that everyone should think like that.

  • Warhawk88

    I said the same thing! I really liked that quote too. Thinking about different situations in a positive light can greatly impact on how we feel. By looking at something that is ultimately a bad situation with a positive learning experience mentality, we can correct our mistakes.

  • Emily Krueger

    I love the quote you used in this article. That you can train your mind toward positive thought when life through you for a curve ball. Overall, just keep your head held high every day and let nothing stand in your way.

  • McKennaKJ29

    I loved this article. It makes sense that optimism is much more powerful than pessimism. The ability to keep going and not get bogged down by smaller failures can be a powerful tool.

  • McKennaKJ29

    I totally agree. College goes by so fast. The job search can be an incredibly discouraging experience. Applying to job after job, interview after interview and not gettting it can be hard. Just got to keep going!

  • McKennaKJ29

    I totally agree. Mass media always tends to blow up the negative news stories. Plenty of good things happen in the world but they arent necessarily news worthy. The media makes people loose faith sometimes.

  • McKennaKJ29

    You are completely right. Mistakes are inevitable. Sometimes when people dont learn from them it is becuase people don’t view what happened as a mistake. Ignorance can make people stagnate in their behavior.

  • McKennaKJ29

    I totally agree. Nobody ever learns much from successes. They just continue their behavior. Only when you lose or fail do people ever reevaluate their methods.

  • McKennaKJ29

    Sometimes it feels easier to be pessimistic. Holding one’s head up after a lot of bad things happen requires one to be really strong. After a lot a stuff happens it becomes hard to be strong all the time.

  • McKennaKJ29

    I loved that quote too. I some people want to succeed but do not expect any troubles or setbacks. Managing failure is all about perspective and looking forward.

  • Tyler Hebert

    Turning your challenges into learning experiences is the greatest thing a person can do. I have always done this and I have always accepted the fact that failing will be happen and I am prepared for it to happen. From failing comes learning.

  • purperoar21

    Really it comes down to the use of words when discussing failure. It could be you losing, or it could be an obstacle or learning experience. Whatever you determine the result is, is what it will be. If you feel you lost, you lost. However, if you choose that you will be successful by learning from your mistake then you will do just that. It all comes down to self fulfilling prophecies. Some people are born with a thick skin while others have to earn it, earning it through “failing” is what will build that skin up. Therefore, with that thick skin you will not perceive things to be failures like you used to.

  • Jpl89

    I do not fail. I either learn or I win. This is the best quote ever. There is no failing you should learn from your experience if you don’t succeed. Failing shouldn’t be viewed as a negative it should be viewed as a sign of effort to excel.

  • Jerry

    It should seem reassuring to hear “if you aren’t failing then you aren’t trying hard enough,” but these “pivots” sometimes call for a complete realignment of your goals and expectations, and that can often feel like going back to a clean slate. I know that this can be a great impetus for innovation and iteration, but when these pivots add up it can have you questioning your own desire to complete the project. i would love to hear some ideas for regaining the spark when your original great idea, the one so logically planned and fastidiously studied, is no longer viable, despite the pivots and iterations. It seems to me it is not so much a question of optimism but of negotiating the essence of your concept.

  • Joel Davila

    This article really resonated with me, particularly because the thought and fear of failure is something that seems to be on my mind constantly. I am a senior Business student at the University of Florida on the verge of graduation with just one short semester away. With my last semester at school quickly approaching, the unknown of what is to come next coupled with the idea of possible failure is the most frightening.

    However, I have failed many times before, and have had great successes as well along the way. If college has taught me anything, it is that failing is completely okay. This article reminded me of that. Failing offers the opportunity of growth, which I have learned is a reason to welcome the idea of failing instead of fearing it. The quote “..just as you can train your body to adapt to running long distances, you can train your mind towards positivity.” definitely lent to that idea.

  • Brooke Taylor

    Lisa, thank you so much for this wonderful article. I
    constantly hear people complaining about negative things occurring in their
    lives and it’s extremely refreshing to read the opposite from you. I agree that
    failures are so important. It’s actually funny because many businesses started
    from failures. I also agree that failing is the best way to learn. They say
    that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and I think that applies really
    well to this article. For example, your incident with not being able to fulfill
    the orders on time quickly enough allowed you to become stronger in the end.
    This has happened to me many times where I did not do well in something but
    instead of beating myself up about it, I learned how to do better next time and
    became a stronger person. Your article really resonated with me because I am
    graduated from college tomorrow. I think that my generation fears failure
    because they have been raised with so much praise from family members and
    teachers and have not really had to deal with failure before. This article
    encouraged me to deal better with failures and look at them as opportunities.
    Also, I really like how you mentioned that you can train your brain similar to
    training your body. The mind is such a powerful tool and I think that people
    forget that it can be trained. Too often, people let their mind control them
    rather than just controlling their minds. This is something that I really would
    like to practice further. I am curious to know what the neurological studies
    are behind this? Anyways, just wanted to thank you for writing such a great
    article and shining light on how failures can be seen in such a positive way.

  • Caitlin Goss

    Great article Lisa, by far one of my favorites on here! It’s interesting to read about the different outlooks and ways that people approach failure. I would definitely describe myself as an optimist when it comes to failure and as well as most things in life. It’s better for me to look at the glass half full because it’s nice to know that something is working out in my favor. I embrace challenges when they cross my path because I like to think that not only do they help me grow as a person but also they will one day help my venture grow.
    I loved the quote “But just as you can train your body to adapt to running long distances, you can train your mind towards positivity”, because I think people have the idea that there are only certain things that can be learned. Have you had the chance to read Social Entrepreneurship What Everyone Needs To Know by David Bornstein and Susan Davis? There’s a section of the book that talks about the idea that it’s hard to change the mindset of individuals and that unquestionably applies to the idea of failure. With such a negative connotation, it can be hard to warm people up to the idea of failure as a good thing. I think your article definitely shows failure in a good light, for once. When people start to embrace failure I think we will start to grow more than we once thought possible.
    I’m interested in knowing how you would change someone’s mindset. You talk about the importance of having a positive approach to the idea of failure but for some people that’s hard. Do you have any ideas on ways that people can start to see things different? I think that it’s something that will take time and proven results. In reference to an example you gave, I feel like pessimistic people will have to continue to experience success to begin to realize that it wasn’t a fluke.

  • Bonce

    Thank you Lisa Curtis for this inspiring post! I really loved your quote that “Turning challenges into learning is the greatest skill any entrepreneur can learn.” I could not agree more with this sentiment. I am in college right now studying entrepreneurship and have often been asked finish seemingly impossible assignments, all to learn that we were actually supposed to fail! Failure creates two paths that weed out who of us are optimistic and passionate, and who of us are pessimistic and apathetic. While I do not believe that failure is necessary for success, I do believe that an optimistic outlook is indeed required. That said, I have made it a goal to practice having a more optimistic outlook through using a tracking app on my phone thanks to you!

    I agree but find it kind of ironic that in a culture that so highly values success, we so highly demonize failure. Without failure, we would not know what success looks like. Success only exists because so too does failure. As Thomas Edison once succinctly put it, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb.” I think that the way that Edison framed “failure” as not simply being failure, but as a tool to learn from is a genius way to help others focus on learning. Just like with the age old question about whether a glass is half empty or half full, both while both answers technically are correct, only one answer leads to a chance of happiness/optimism. I believe that framing failure in such a way as this would be greatly beneficial to any society that so highly values success. It would help transform defeat not into some irreversible demonized “failure”, but instead into a “successful discovery” of how not to achieve success!