There Is Room For Failure and Mistakes In The Journey Of Success.

There Is Room For Failure and Mistakes In The Journey Of Success.

I grew up in the village in most of my early years. This means that I was schooled in the village, interacted with its environs, got shaped by its morals and grew to its standards. I often remember the many instances I was told that I should not make mistakes in doing this and that. Growing up, perfection was all I wanted to achieve.

While doing my reading awhile back, I bumped on one statement I found quite stimulating. It was by Virgin group CEO and Founder Sir Richard Branson. He said, “One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes.” What a powerful statement that even finds application in real life struggles.

I came to make sense of this statement when I started my real life journey after college. Beginning up my entrepreneurial journey, I found out that it was true that everyone around me was making mistakes. I could be stressed a lot about how some things slipped through our fingers with my team and turned wrong. Then I learnt that it was certain, consider the non-provisional aspect of possibility that mistakes cannot be done away with. So I have taken every opportunity for mistakes to be a learning opportunity.

Get it right, that even though as a team we will make mistakes, it should not be something we do freely. We should learn from the mistakes so that the aspect of continuous improvement takes credence or that we don’t get to the same mistakes again and again.

I take it as a policy that every idea should be tested. This is very important for two reasons. First that we will be able to know which ideas work and which ones do not work. Two, that after knowing which ones do not work, it could save our time next time we are doing something similar. By extension, we will know precisely where an improvement needs to be made to achieve the success sought after.

I am very certain and sure that those guys we look up to, those who are very successful today , made so many mistakes before they achieved their pinnacle of success. Their stories of failure are many compared to the success stories they talk about or we know. The mistakes part is what defines the real passionate and self-driven individuals who make it in life. There is no options in this.

The iconic basketball player Michael Jordan said that he lost the most of the shots that promised to give his team the winning lead. Did he give up then that he had failed? Nay. That is what gave him more motivation for the next game and the next one.

We don’t remember his failures today, we celebrate Jordan as a great player and this is the very reason why we should never fear to fail because before success comes our way, everyone in our teams including ourselves will make mistakes.

Denzel Washington, while giving his commencement speech at The University of Philadelphia said he had failed so many times. He tried auditioning for a leading role in a music group, he didn’t get it. He further alludes to Thomas Edison’s trial to make the light bulb. Despite the numerous trials and fails, he didn’t give up. He kept trying and finally the light bulb is credited to him. Numerous movies are also credited to Hollywood actor Denzel Washington due to his perseverance.

Cyrus West Field, an American of the 19th century is another example of the so-called failures who persisted and persevered despite so many failures in trying to lay the first longest undersea telegraph cable between Ireland and Newfoundland. It took him over 10 years to make his dream a success. With every failure, he went back and identified the mistakes, then he made an improvement that pulled him closer and closer to achieving his dream.

He is the brainchild behind the undersea optic cable that has made mobile communication and internet connections affordable across continents. Had he made mistakes and failed and decided not to learn from them, had he looked at the huge dollar bills he had spent and decided to call it quits, perhaps we could be going the expensive satellite way to this day.

Here is the catch about making mistakes and failing in the journey of success. Accept that there is no short cuts with failure and mistakes. Always take each failure as a case study and rectify any mistakes that led to that failure. You will always be glad you failed.

I could go on and on about great people who failed before they succeeded. I could also list their many mistakes and how they pushed on amidst those challenges. They later shone and brought to us the world changing innovations. That is the most important thing.


Go out and follow your dreams. Fail and rise up above your fears. Rectify your mistakes and learn from them and make things happen. The journey in this process may take longer – to achieve your dreams – but as it has been told before, it leads to a success that lasts. The short cut process leads to a success that doesn’t stand the test of time. Don’t fear then that it will take longer than you expected.

I wish you all the best in your success journeys.

Copyright @ 2017.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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