You can spend all day fishing and catch nothing: 2,375 casts; 2,375 failures.
The next cast could be the one that changes everything.
Since I started my company in 1999, I’ve encountered many dead ends. We’ve had a lot of projects we were excited about, initiatives we were certain would deliver the breakthrough beyond our wildest dreams, that failed—hard.
We’ve lost money, time, and pride. Sometimes, it’s taken a long time to recover. After you’ve been hit by a car so many times, you start to wonder if maybe you should stop standing in the middle of the highway.
But one thing that kept me going was a quote by Thomas Edison, who said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
I guess I was more afraid of being a failure than I was of failing. And there’s a difference.
Dead ends happen. But hitting one doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dead or at the end.
The hope that the big breakthrough could be just around the corner was the fuel I needed to pick myself up from my failures and keep going. Maybe that’s all God needed from me at those times when I was working on enterprises that would never pan out: to just keep going. He was working behind the scenes, on me and on the other things and people that just needed time.
Interestingly, I’m still waiting for that big breakthrough. But the process of getting back up and trying somtething a little different after each failure has bought me enough time for small breakthroughs to pile up. And those little breakthroughs have added up to something pretty special.
No, if something’s not working, you shouldn’t keep doing the same thing over and over again. Try a new type of bait. Change your technique. Move to a new location.
But keep casting.
This is an excerpt from A Chance of Awesome: How Changing the Way You See Changes Everything. It’s about making everything in your life better by strengthening the habit of shifting your perspective. It’s filled with Jason’s colorful artwork and witty anecdotes. Get your copy here.