Fail Or Succeed: Make Sure It’s On Your Terms

Create Your Opportunity

In every situation you’re either going to fail or succeed. There’s no other outcome but you have to develop the opportunity to succeed.

You just need to make sure that whatever the outcome, it was on your own terms.

Can you remember a time you failed because you didn’t act?

Yesterday, Booktopia finally delivered Tim Ferris’s new book Tribe Of MentorsThis morning I started reading it, while I was in my Batman slippers, of course.

I came to Terry Crews section.

Holy Shit!

He is one inspiring guy and his section opened my eyes.

But there was one quote that stuck.

I decided that if I was going to succeed or fail, it was going to be up to me

Honestly, this quote was like a rose among more roses but it got me thinking.

When was a time I failed on my terms?

One moment stood out.

Last year I was working for my father’s advertising agency as an Account Manager. I loved the role but I wanted out.

It was a small agency. About 18 people and we worked in the B2B space. Our clients were tractor companies, tradies, trucks and insurance. Not exactly ‘exciting’ stuff but I still loved it.

I was always on my toes, always busy and the days went quickly.

But there’s a problem with small agencies, there’s no career path. All the jobs above you have been filled, so you’re stuck where you are. This was an issue for me, I wanted a path.

One of my clients had an opening for a Marketing Co-ordinator role, which my father had shown me. It was a Tuesday, entries closed on Friday and he wanted me to apply. I put if off until that Friday, thinking I had no chance.

At the last minute I said ‘screw it’. What’s the worst that could happen?

I applied.

Instead of going through the required channels, I just sent an email straight to the Marketing Manager, since he was my client and hoped for the best.

2 weeks later I got a call.

I had an interview.

Which was surprising, I was under qualified. Were they just doing it for good will?

Regardless, I went to the interview, which went really well. I’d done my homework. I knew the business, I knew the products, I knew the strategy. I nailed all the questions.

I went home feeling really good and relaxed knowing I had nailed it.

1 month passed. I heard nothing.

Eventually, the client came into work for a catch up meeting on their marketing.

I took the chance and asked the question.

‘Have you got any news on the job?’

The response went along the lines of, ‘We haven’t picked anyone yet as it’s a busy time but on paper and based off your interview, you’re the stand out’.

I was pumped!!

A week later I got a call and was told I didn’t get the job. I was gutted, in fact it chewed me up for a couple of days. So, I decided to call the Marketing Manager and ask where I went wrong.

The only excuse for not hiring me was that they were worried about a conflict of interest, with them being my client.

On a side note – I like to tell myself it was because I was such a god damn good Account Manager they didn’t want to lose me.

This triggered a chain reaction and within a few weeks I had a new job working where I am now. A Communications Officer for a University.

Regardless of the failed outcome, I’m proud.

I may have failed but it was because I acted.

Image If I had decided not to apply. Imagine if my thoughts had taken over and I got into the mindset that I had no chance?

I would never have known.

I was close, real close to getting the job. While it hurt at the time, it triggered my mindset to want to chase something more.

So, I did what I could to get a new job. The result? I got one.

You never want to be in a situation where you failed because you didn’t act.

You have to take control of your life and fail on your own terms.

If I didn’t apply for that job, I would have guaranteed failed and I would most likely still be working for my father. Not trying means you will always fail.

But by applying, I created a chance. I showed up and had created an opportunity.

So what if I didn’t get the job? Thats not the point. The point is you have to show up! You need to take that chance.

If you want to get ahead in life, you have to show up.

It’s 90% of the battle. If you don’t show up, you’ve guaranteed yourself a failure but if you show up, at least you have a chance. 

Have you got a time you failed because you didn’t take action? How did you learn from it? Leave a comment!




  1. Don’t actually believe this. Constantly working only leads to burnout. It doesn’t allow for things to grow on their own. Goals aren’t a race to some end. If you don’t work on your goals for a day, you don’t fall behind. You just didn’t work on your goals.

    • You will never get closer to your goals having a day off, no matter how you try to justify it. Hard work beats everything.

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