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  • Writer's pictureYusko Consulting

Failure... Sucks!

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

By Andrew T. Yusko Jr.


Failure.


Failure sucks.


I have to be honest, for most of my life I have hated failing.


Life is full of disappointment and failure, yet, for most of us, we keep moving forward. It is like that great Rocky quote “It isn’t about how many times you get hit, it’s about how many times you can get hit and keep moving forward.” I probably butchered that, but you get the point. Life has a way of really getting to you, and then sometimes, kicking you while you are down.


It is safe to say that I, like most, have been through the ups and downs of life. The highs and the lows. I progressed through my career quickly, I was diligent, I kept my head down, I worked long hours, and I was committed. While friends and family went out on weekends or took vacations, I worked, or worked on school work.


I didn’t take the traditional approach to my education. It took me a bit to get my head on straight. When I finally did I completed my B.S. and M.A. degree while working full time. I didn’t quit. I had goals written down that I wanted to achieve, and nothing was going to stop me. My perspective of life was that those who work hard get ahead and those who don’t, don’t. To me if everyone would just work as hard as me then they wouldn’t be struggling. That worked great for many years through multiple promotions. It all worked great, until it didn’t.


If I’m honest I probably hurt a lot of people along the way with my callousness.


Sometimes life has a way of humbling you, especially when you refuse to humble yourself.

I think many of you know where this is going. Well my “I’ll just work hard” mantra didn’t work out too well in the end. I went from the golden boy to the whipping boy pretty quickly. Years of hard work down the drain, years of success forgotten, years of business relationships seemingly dried up. Where before I had nothing but success, I found myself leaving a trail of failure, from failed business endeavors to failed interview attempts. I couldn’t do anything right. What happened?


The simple answer: Nothing.


Life doesn’t always work out the way we plan it. Life doesn’t always play by the rules. And life doesn’t always ask us what our preference is. In a word life can really “suck.”


Failure is a part of life, but failure makes us stronger.


I’ve been in the business of failure my whole life. That is to say, I’ve been in sales, sales leadership, or consulting, all of my life. In sales, often you are measured not by how many times you succeed, but by how few times you fail. Like in baseball, if you fail 7 out of 10 times at the plate you can get to the hall of fame.

I chose the quote by Michael (the GOAT btw) today to help me define my point.


As a business leader I have always loved quotes. I have journals full of my favorite ones. As a sales leader I often would share an inspirational quote daily or weekly with my team. I have eclectic taste when it comes to quotes as well. My portfolio spans from Mark Twain to Abraham Lincoln to Derek Jeter.


The quote at the top of the page by Michael Jordan is a favorite one of mine and a quote that I recently shared with a sales team I am leading.


I’ve never missed 9,000 opportunities, I’ve never lost 300 deals. Yet. Before the past couple of years of my life I used to lament every opportunity I lost, or every deal I didn’t close. As I said before I hated failing, and not only hated, but I HATED failing, with a capital everything!


That’s different now. I realize that failure is a part of playing the game. I have also realized that if used properly failure can be a tool that you use to define your rebirth. You can look through the ashes of the man or woman you once were before you failed, and you can choose to take the good and leave behind the bad.


Failure is an opportunity to redefine yourself.


I’ve been so many things in the past that I don’t desire to be anymore. I’ve made mistakes that I don’t care to repeat, I lost deals and clients because of poor decisions. All of these situations are failures, but used properly, all of them can be used to define my next, and perhaps, greatest successes.


That is why I love this quote. To me failure does define you. Except, you get to decide if it defines you for the better and motivates you to move forward, or if it defines you for worse and you dwell on it.


Choose to keep moving forward when you get hit and remember, keep your gloves up.


Andrew T. Yusko Jr. M.A.

Director of Sales

Campany Roof Maintenance

&

Managing Consultant

Yusko Consulting Services LLC

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