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April 28th, 2015 by Kevin McManus Leave a reply »

I recently saw an amazing advertisement that included the founder of Go Pro talking about how he felt after his previous failure.  The feeling of “letting down” those he had convinced of the validity his idea was especially resonating.  Obviously he persevered and “got over it” as Go Pro is an exciting product that has taken his company public based on nothing more than being the best at creating the robust camera product and marketing the heck out of it.  (Side note is he didn’t invent the camera, the underwater camera, or the mobile video recorder. They just made it cool to have one that would not break when you crash with it.)

Are we being trained into mediocrity to not even try at the risk of failure?   Below is an info-graphic giving examples of the number of times that successful start-ups and entrepreneurs to failed or be were told ”no”before they got a ”yes”.


Historically quotes from  entrepreneurs through-out history , tell us of how a great success mostly comes after many failures.

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

Do we have the tenacity to dare to fail again after failure?

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy 

Why then do we often stop before trying one more time? According to an unknown author “obstacles are there to signify how bad you want something.”

While the person on the bottom of the graphic above shows a man dejected. I propose that is rarely the case in real business life.  In reality we can persevere even when the cards have not turned out the way we want but there can also be time when you have learned something through the process that can be success enough to not continue down the same road.  Sometimes this is a the knowledge that we take with us to do even greater things.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford

When I was discussing an idea I had in early 2005 , during the internet start-up hype, at a point of indecision one of my mentors wisely told me that I “could not loose”.  If it succeeded then it would provide a valuable service. , and if it did not I would learn a tremendous amount that would help me grow. I was rewarded with the latter.  I look fondly on that time even through it did not work out the way I expected.  Other times it is experience that is gained instead of the monetary success prestige that we had intended.  Things such as a new perspective, a reputation or a network of contacts will return more in the long run.

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” – John Green

Let’s keep on doing the remarkable things that others say can’t be done.  Even if they can’t be done, its better than not trying at all.  Anyone can do that!

Kevin McManus


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