Failing Your Way To Success

When I first had the idea to start private tutoring, it was a very exciting moment. The idea came to me during an exercise whilst on a NLP weekend course in London. Out of no where, BANG, the idea popped into my head. 

I smiled and my heart began to beat faster as I imagined how things may look in the months to come if I made this Idea happen.

The idea stuck in my head for a few days before I decided to take a step towards making it happen. After all, Ideas are worth nothing- they don't exist in reality.

The first question I had to consider was 'How am I going to find students to tutor'?

An answer that came to me was to put an advert in the newsagent's window. So I excitedly popped down to the road to write the advert.

Once at the shop, I paid for a 4 week advert, borrowed a pen from the girl behind the till and filled out the card. I can't remember exactly what I wrote but it was something like 'Tutor Available- Maths/English support for students aged up to 16. £10 per hour', along with my contact details. You don't get a lot of space for words so I had to be straight to the point!

I strolled home, imagining the response I would get.

 My optimistic mind conjured up sounds of my mobile ringing as concerned parents asked me when I was free to tutor their struggling child. I imagined returning home to find Email inquiries in my inbox. 

But how would the response really be?

I waited. I waited some more. I slept, I woke up. I waited some more.

Four long weeks went by and I didn't receive a single response.

Not one phone call! Not one Email inquiry! 

By now I had imagined I'd be turning parents away as I'd be overbooked.

How wrong I was.

In the eyes of many, this attempt would be written off as a Failure. Not the grandest failure of all time but a failure still. I didn't view it this way though.

I had a choice of what this meant, in fact I had many.

I could interpret this event as a failure- a sign that I should give up. This could be the universe's way of telling me that I wasn't cut out to be a Tutor.

I didn't chose to believe this version of events. I use the word choose on purpose, all we are ever doing is choosing what experiences mean.

I didn't view this as a failure.

I didn't choose to believe that I should give up there and then.

This was a lesson.

But what had I learned? One way of not moving forward with my goal!


At the end of the day, that is all it really was. I took an action, I didn't get the reaction I had wanted.

Thomas Edison put it perfectly when he said 'I haven't failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won't work'.

Life is too short to dwell and regret on the past.

We know this as children: when we're learning to walk, we pick ourselves back up when we fall over.

One failure doesn't mean its over. It's a lesson.

How would things be different if you viewed your failures as lessons?

If you think back to times you've failed, what could you learn from that experience?

You are enough. You are not your failures. You have a choice to move forward.

Be Extraordinary,

With Love, Will

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