The Truth About Failure


William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson, CEO

I’m an avid social media user. In fact, feel free to follow me on Twitter, (@TheClothier). One thing I’ve noticed about social media is the abundance of outrageous bravados and innuendos concerning failure. I can’t tell you how many tweets I’ve read with pure foolishness; “Refuse to lose,” “Failure is not an option,” “All I do is win,” and things like that. That is great propaganda as they sound great in rap songs and sports commercials. But the fact is, failure is not only an option, at some point, it’s a guarantee. It’s not a matter of IF, but is a matter of WHEN you will fail. Now I want you to understand something, failing, or losing, does not always mean catastrophe. Failure is part of success. You’re going to have wins and you’re going to have losses. That’s just part of the deal. You just hope that your wins overshadow your losses.

Ask any successful person and they will give you a laundry list of failures and ideas that didn’t work. They will tell you how their ideas made perfect sense and they knew they would work. They will tell you about the heartbreak of realizing their “can’t miss” missed big time. They will tell you about sitting up at night, wondering how they will make payroll. They will tell you of the pressures of worrying about if they will get another customer in time to keep the doors open. They will inundate you with countless stories of falling short of their hopes and dreams, and the feeling of pain that came with it.

However, if you continue talking with them, they will follow that up with the story of when one of their ideas finally worked. How it felt to finally break through the heartache and disappointment to finally taste sweet success. They will tell you how it felt to finally have a win to offset the negative opinions of the naysayers and non-believers that constantly told them they would fail, or that they weren’t good enough (Naysayers are what professionals call “haters”). But most importantly, they will tell you that finally winning made ALL the losing worthwhile.

I fail. I failed A LOT. I have more failures than I care to remember. I fail because I try things. I fail because I attempt to traverse the path less traveled. Some of my failures are small, but some are very big, and very public. In fact, just a couple of months ago I sent a tie to President Obama in hopes he would wear it during the Inauguration, and he did not. True enough, he may wear it at some point. But I wanted him to wear it during the Inauguration. THAT was my objective. I was willing to take the State of the Union as a consolation prize. But he didn’t wear it then either. I thought I had as good a shot as anyone, and I did. It just wasn’t in God’s plan, and it’s OK because I kept going, and I have had some great wins since then. I was asked to design the Champion’s Jacket for the Sprint All-Star Race, as well as the Official Speedway Club Member’s Jacket. So, though I had a big loss, I gained two big wins.

My point is, don’t fall for hype and bravado. Success may be easy, or difficult, depending on what you are attempting to do. But one thing that it’s guaranteed to be is fleeting. A win today means nothing next week. So you can neither get to high on a win nor too low on a loss; you just have to keep playing the game. If you do that, and give God room to operate, eventually you will win and it will be so very sweet!  Until next time….

God Bless and Dress Well,

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

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