John Maxwell’s 15 Steps To Failing Forward

failing forward

“Great ideas mean nothing without a person who can execute them” – Kevin O’Leary

Shark Tank investor and founder of O’Leary Funds, Kevin O’Leary says…

I like to invest in entrepreneurs who have failed at least once. And they have the sting of failure in their DNA. Because then they know how important it is to have a business plan and execute it.

Not to glorify failure, because there’s nothing fun or exciting about it, BUT it is a pre-requisite to success. In fact there would be no winning without losing. There can’t be a first place without last. And there certainly can’t be success without failure.

It is how we learn what NOT to do. It’s the best feedback you can receive. And, it makes succeeding that much greater. The feeling of accomplishment knowing you’ve overcome great obstacles just wouldn’t be the same without them.

This is one of the reasons why lottery winners usually end up broke. There wasn’t much of a journey to acquire the money. Easy come, easy go. But when you put your blood, sweat and tears into it, you value it much more.

Michael Jordan says…

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”

I used to think that failure is… well, it’s just failure. But it’s not.

Thanks to John Maxwell‘s classic book “Failing Forward”, turns out there are 2 ways you can fail:

1. You can fail forward.

2. You can fail backwards.

That choice is yours.

Most people choose the later. Or I should say default to, not really choose. Although lack of choosing, is a choice in of itself.

Anyways… most people who fail at anything, stumble and fall and say to themselves…

– That’s just me
– That’s just my nature
– I knew I wouldn’t succeed
– I can never do anything right
– Maybe it’s just not meant to be
– Maybe my 3rd grade teacher was right, I really am not going to amount to anything
– Some people are just luckier than others

And so on…

Btw, that last one (about luck), that is a biggie around where I come from. For some strange reason, most of my family used to think that big success has to do with luck.

When I was 16 and decided to go into the jewelry business (which I failed at), I remember telling my parents – “I’m going to create my own luck.”

Isn’t it every parent’s dream to hear their kids say that?

Back to failing…

John Maxwell’s 15 Steps To Failing Forward

  • Realize there is one major difference between average people and achievers. The difference is how they respond to failure.
  • Learn a new definition of failure.
  • Remove the “you” from failure. Don’t take it personally.
  • Take action and reduce your fear.
  • Change your response to failure by accepting responsibility.
  • Don’t let failure from outside get insdide you.
  • Say good-bye to yesterday.
  • Change yourself, and your world changes.
  • Get over yourself and start giving yourself.
  • Find the benefit in every bad experience.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try something harder.
  • Learn from a bad experience and make it a good experience.
  • Work on the weakness that weakens you.
  • Understand there’s not much difference between failure and success.
  • Get up, get over it, get going.

You have a choice how you respond to anything that happens to you. Most people choose the easy path.

It’s easier to be down and negative, especially when things don’t go right, than to be positive and optimistic. But it is a choice.

You can choose to see the let temporary defeat keep you down OR you can choose to motivate you to keep going.

You can choose to see failure as failure OR you can choose to turn it into a learning experience.

You can choose to dwell on past mistakes OR you can look at them as the feedback you need to do the right things.

You can choose to see stumbling blocks as disappointments OR you can choose to see them as stepping stones to success.

failing forward

Blaming others, repeating the same mistakes, expecting to never fail again, and dwelling on past failures which only limit you are all as much of a choice as choosing to be responsible for your actions and your outcomes, keeping a positive attitude and persevering.


Napoleon Hill once said something very wise…

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit

The KEY is to train yourself to react this way every time something doesn’t go the way you planned. When you do, your life will change.

If you found John Maxwell’s 15 Steps To Failing Forward valuable… please feel free to like, share, retweet and comment.

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Vitaly Grinblat has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and advertising. Including running his own financial services agency for over 10 years. Since 2005, he has created a number of information products online, as well consulted with and designed advertising campaigns for private clients, generating over $10,000,000 in sales. Currently Vitaly is involved in a number of businesses and projects including creating marketing campaigns for a large publication company, running an e-commerce business, a nutraceutical company and Success Thread.


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