I Hope You Fail

Not in a bitter way but to hope you go onto great success. Success never seems to come easy but rather is built upon stepping stones of failed ventures.

Many well known and not so famous entrepreneurs have a litany of ideas that did not succeed. But that did not stop them and they ultimately went on to achieve success.

Thomas Edison. Photo: U.S. Information Agency

Among Thomas Edison’s many inventions perhaps his best known is the electric light bulb. He wasn’t the first with many others competing to create one. By using a carbonised bamboo filament his team succeeded in making commercially viable electric light bulb that resulted in his 1879 patent. They reportedly went through thousands of combinations.

“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas A. Edison

Henry Ford in his first car. From the book ‘The truth about Henry Ford’ by Sarah T Bushnell

Henry Ford worked nights at Edison Illuminating Company while working days on building an automobile. Early versions failed because they could not be mass produced to be commercially viable.

“Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
– Henry Ford

His fourth attempt succeeded because Ford invented the modern assembly line that revolutionised how goods were manufactured.

Oprah Winfrey. Photo: Bill Ebbesen

Oprah Winfrey, fresh out of college, got a big break as a TV news anchor in Baltimore. Within few months Winfrey was fired, apparently due to poor marketing by the TV station. She went on to other TV shows and eventually form the Oprah empire.

“Failure is another stepping stone to greatness”
– Oprah Winfrey

J.K. Rowling. Photo: Steven Hill

While writing Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling had a failed marriage, lost her job, relied on welfare and with her daughter moved in with her sister. The early Harry Potter manuscript was rejected by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury accepted it. Rowling’s books have gone onto break sales records worldwide and make her the world’s highest paid author.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
– JK Rowling

Not everything you do will be successful. Success can be quantified in many ways: financial, personal, fame, career or by your own measure. Don’t let early failures put you off. They can be hard lessons that give you the experience needed to succeed in new ways.