Sometimes failure just sucks…or does it?

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For most of our lives, we’ve been told to look at failure as just another opportunity for learning, an event that gets you one step closer to success. I’ve believed and shared this opinion many times.

Because the alternative is a tough pill to swallow.

But, serial entrepreneur, speaker and author, Barry Moltz offers another possibility in his new book, Bounce: Failure, Resiliency and Confidence To Achieve Your Next Great Success. When it comes to business and entrepreneurship, says Barry…

Sometimes failure just sucks, there’s nothing to learn…

To understand why, check out this short interview I did with Barry at the Small Business Summit in NYC today:

So, my question is…

Can some good come out of every business/career failure if you look hard enough?

Or, like Barry offers, do some failures just plain suck and require you to let go of the quest for meaning, bounce-back and move on to your next great success?

What do you think?

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14 responses

14 responses to “Sometimes failure just sucks…or does it?”

  1. Barry Moltz says:

    Good to meet you in NYC yesterday at the Summit. After celebrating our success or grieving our failures, it is important to let go and move on- bounce! so we can take the next action that gets us closer to that next success. Holding on to your failures or successes, while comfortable does not allow us to move forward in our lives.

  2. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Barry – My pleasure, it was fun chatting. Thanks for the interview!

  3. “Sometimes failure just sucks, there’s nothing to learn…”

    Did you ever see the Steve Jobs commencement speech???

    When one of the most successful men in the country talks about how his failures made him a success, I pay attention.

  4. Robert says:

    I strongly believe some good comes from all failures. The fact that you had a failure of some kind is an education in itself, which is a good thing, I think.

  5. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Hayden – yeah, not only have I seen Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech, I actually quote it in the book I am working on. It’s tremendous.

    I tend to agree with David Packard’s famous quote, “the fastest way to succeed is to double your rate of failure.” I have a hard time swallowing the notion that some failures truly add nothing, but Barry’s book makes some interesting arguments. Barry, if you’re out there, feel free to chime in…

  6. Whatley says:

    It is what it is and sometimes that all that it is.

  7. I haven’t listened to the interview, I’ll admit. (I’m not big on video). But to answer the question you posed, let me offer this:

    Failure is a figment of the imagination. It is our perception that warps the good in all events into a negative experience.

    Every experience we have, positive or negative, brings growth, wisdom, lessons and maturity. None of this may be evident at first or tangible enough to understand, but the good in every bad experience is there. Every bad situation achieves something good. The challenge lies in finding it.

    We can choose to wallow in our feelings of hurt or self-pity, or we can acknowledge what we did achieve and use it to its fullest potential.

  8. Shama Hyder says:


    I do believe there is a lesson in everything. It’s best summed like this-no, no, no, no, no, no, yes.

  9. Barry Moltz says:

    Great conversation. The point that I am making is that there ALWAYS isn’t something to learn from failure. Yes, sometimes there is something to learn but other times there is not and it just holds us back from taking the action that will move us forward to have another chance at success.

  10. […] newest fan. I met him at the Small Business Tech Conference in New York on Monday. As his blog, Awake at the Wheel says: “Wake up your mind (he is a yoga guy too) – this ain’t your mamma’s self […]

  11. John says:

    I think there’s something to what he’s saying here. I think you can maybe learn that something didn’t work, but that’s all – you’ve just got to move on.

    Sometimes we get to caught up in trying to give meaning to everything. While there are many deep meanings to be found in life, sometimes we’ve got to just let things go.

  12. Arwen Taylor says:

    I think there is always something to be learned from failure even if all you learn is what “didn’t” work. However, I do agree with Mr. Moltz in that we should not wallow in failure but do as those MaryKay girls are so fond of saying: Pull up your big girl panties and deal with it.

    Dwelling on failure will only hold you back. Absorb what you need to from it, discard the rest and move on. Great interview. I’m actually thinking about getting the book for a friend who is in the process of selling her business for less than stellar reasons. Maybe it will help her pick herself up so she can move on and be the success I know she can be.


  13. Barry Moltz says:

    Love the MaryKay quote! Sometimes it is hard to know when to move on especially when to close a business or sell it. I have helped many in this area. If you friend wants to talk, we can contact me at my website or through Jonathan.

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