what-is-successWhat is success to you? How do you measure success? Today I wanted to talk about the simple truth about success, and the things we can do to find it. This is an inspirational post, gearing you more towards success, and less on your failures. Remember… success starts with YOU, and how you deal with failures.

It’s so easy to start a website, a blog, or some online business where we spend hours and days and even weeks developing content… only to find that nobody is visiting your website or buying your products. It’s very discouraging, and it sucks. It really really sucks.

A Failure

I remember my first website about how to make short films and videos. I was at the Art Institute of California — San Francisco, and I was so excited about making this site. At the time, I was taking an introduction to film class, as well as an introduction to web design class. I even bought my domain name already, and chose a terrible web address. I don’t even want to say what that URL was, but it was a cross between the words “video” and “mages”, like a magician or in medieval times, a sorcerer… wow, lol. Anyways, that website was such a huge failure that I never renewed the domain name.

Now what would’ve happened if I stopped there, for good? I totally failed at that website, not only by the domain name but the content was pretty terrible as well. But I kept going, and failed a dozen more times on different websites and even business ventures. I could’ve stopped and quite, but I just kept moving forward.

How Kids View Success

Now remember when you were a kid and you were learning how to read, write or even how to count? When you messed up on a word or pronounced something wrong, you just kept trying until you got it right. You didn’t worry about failure or how many times it took you to learn a word. As a kid, you don’t have an archive of failures and success because you’re still a kid. You haven’t had those bad experiences yet, so it’s easy for you to get back up and try again.

Kids = try, fail, try, fail, try, succeed.

How Adults View Success

As an adult though, we tend to know exactly when we failed, and sometimes we focus too much on that. In fact, we sometimes view failure as an end of the world catastrophe and quit.

I remember the day I tried to break dance back when I was in High School. It was fun, and most of the time I was just messing around. I would mimic the moves of a break dancer and fall flat on my face! Fast forward to college where I actually met some “real” break dancers, and I never tried to break dance again. I was too scared to fail, and thought it wasn’t for me. And maybe it wasn’t for me, but the point I’m trying to make is that as you get older, we start to see failure as the most embarrassing thing in world! Then, we never get back up.

Adults = try, fail, quit. try, fail, quit.

How Entrepreneurs View Success

Entrepreneurs view success from not one piece of criteria, but all of them combined. They don’t quit after one bad review, or one sour business venture.

  • Thomas Edison, who refined the light bulb, refused to see failure as an excuse to quit and said, “Every wrong attempt discarded is a step forward.” It took him over 10,000 attempts to get it right, and he basically said that if he didn’t fail the 9,999 times, then he wouldn’t have finally succeeded.
  • Michael Jordan is said to have lost over 300 games, and had over 26 chances to make the game winning shot… and missed. But he never quit, because it was those failures in which motivated him the most to succeed.
  • Steve Jobs had a string of failures including getting fired from his own company, Apple! Imagine getting fired by your own company you built from the ground up! But he didn’t quit. He even started his own company called NeXT, which was also a failure but ended up being the building blocks to Apple future software. Steve Jobs later on stated that getting fired from Apple was actually the best thing that ever happened to him. As you can see, Steve didn’t quit after he got fired from Apple, he kept on pushing and moving forward.

How to Become Successful

The key to becoming successful is to never quit, as long as you’re moving forward. It starts in your head, and just simply believing you can do it will get you half way there. I know that this is a motivational post, but it’s one of the most important lessons to learn when starting your own venture, whether it’s a website, a company, a brand, or even just a simple blog.

If you view all your failures as stepping stones to success, you will eventually… succeed. I want to leave you guys with this quote by Robert Collier, and he says, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

Take all of your efforts, your failures, your experiments, your misfortunes, and move forward as if you were just one step closer to success.

Mark Ammay