I’m a Failure, and Damn Proud of It!

I’m-a-Failure-and-Damn-Proud-of-It-Todd-NielsenWow – What an amazing and awesome month. The goal of the 2nd Annual International Blogathon was to give the world a gift of greater leadership acumen from an international stand-point. Learning leadership views from across the globe helps increase our leadership wisdom by giving us differing perspectives. It certainly has met that goal for me personally.

I hope that the blogathon writers have inspired you.

I hope that your world becomes better because of the knowledge gained this month.

I hope that you were inspired to make changes that will impact your success.

What is Success?

Success,” hmm… it’s a very interesting and elusive word. The definition is different for every person, and every organization. It is a goal that is constantly moving to new heights. For the truly successful, it is a journey that never comes to an end. It’s a constant climb that refines you, strengthens you, and fertilizes your growth.

“Success is a climb that never ends, the journey refines you, strengthens you, and fertilizes your growth”  Tweet This!

Recently an individual asked me what some of my strengths were. This person new of my expertise and qualifications, but I thought for a moment and had two things enlighten my mind that were completely opposite and opposing from each other. Could these two things really be my strength?

The first strength that I thought of was that I have had a lot of success in my life. I have associated myself with successful people. I know what works in helping organizations create success. I have seen what successful people do to create even more success, and I have read huge volumes of books in learning how to personally create success in different areas of my personal and professional life.  So I thought, sure why can’t that be a strength?

The Second Strength, That Greatly Outweighs the First

The second strength I thought of – is a polar opposite from the first – and greatly overshadows it. It’s probably the single largest factor that has impacted success in my life. The second strength is, um, well… I have failed. I have a failed a lot. Failure has taught me what does not work, what NOT to do. It has molded me, chopped down the rough edges, and refined and focused me into the person I am today. I am sure the same is true for most people, but my failures greatly outweigh my successes.  So by quantitative comparison, I AM A FAILURE, and as the title suggests, I’m damn proud of it. If it weren’t for the failures I’ve had, I could never have reached the success I now enjoy.

The Failure Masochist

No, I’m not a masochist that enjoys the pain of failure or the struggles that are associated with it. I don’t look for opportunities to fail. I really strive to NOT, set myself up for failure. I strive to learn from my struggles so that I don’t repeat them. Unfortunately, no matter what I do… failures come, and they are almost always painful. They break me down, and make me grow. Like a forest that erupts into blooms after a fire scorches it to the ground, so must we be after our failures come.

Are we on the Path of Success, or the Path of Failure?

It may feel like the path of failure, but it is the path of success. Whenever I begin to veer off the path of success, I get poked and prodded by failures that direct me toward a straighter and faster route to even greater success. Failures are the enablers that help us reach success considerably faster. Without failures, we could never have success.

“Failures are the enablers that help us reach success considerably faster. Without failures, we could never have success.”  Tweet This!

The last month has resulted in some of the greatest successes in my life, but that success has been preceded by a path of innumerable failures, like a thousand fire-ants that I could not shake off. Yet those failures drive me faster towards heaps of successes. I’m sure you and I are alike; we all fail, we’re all human.

While I never look forward to my failures, I am proud of what I have learned from them and you should be proud as well.

The climb to success is wrought with failures… so let us all climb together. Let us support each other, not judge each other, look for the positive, celebrate the small successes, focus on the important things in life, and celebrate the overcoming of the many small weaknesses and failures that set us back.

“We can all do a little better, we can all become great.” Tweet This!

A Month of Success

This blogathon is chock full of examples of successes and failures. Every single writer this month shared their expertise that they have gained, by failing a thousand times first. The wisdom that resulted from those failures and the forthcoming lessons of success are priceless, and only in a small part, documented in this blogathon.

I strive to always hang out with successful people, I have told this to many. In truth though, I guess I actually enjoy hanging out with failures, since that is the path we all have taken to our success. I am honored to call the writers of the 2nd Annual International Leadership Blogathon – friends; they are some of the best group of failures I ever associated with. I only say that in jest, because they are all successful experts that kindly shared the result of their failures and successes with the world.

Until Next Time!

Today we don’t say good bye, the blogathon will live on, connections will be made deals with be stricken, and successes will be amplified. The greatness that is achieved from a single lesson this month might never be known to any us. That’s ok though.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you! It’s been enlightening. Please leave a comment and tell me what you have learned this month. What are the failures that resulted in your success?

About Todd Nielsen

Todd Nielsen helps organizations create miracles of success and profitability through the power of execution. Having served as Vice-President, President, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief Executive Officer of organizations, he has learned how to create a culture that "Gets Things Done." He is passionate about leadership, and is a dynamic and inspirational speaker.


  1. My conclusion: Failure is just a temporary stage when you are aware of your capacity to overcome it, and this very awareness is what we can call SUCCESS. Success can be taught and this is the key in developed countries where they are always sending to their people the conviction that it is up to them to reach all they want simply because YOU CAN.

  2. If your failure is not a lesson, it’s indeed a failure.
    Great post Todd! What a blogathon!

    Great team, great blogathon!

  3. I consider myself priviledged to have participated in this 2nd International Leadership Blogathon. Thanks to Todd and all my new friends and colleagues who made this year’s blogathon a success. Gratitude flames within me.

    I wish you all success as you climb the leadership stairs. I thank you all for crossing my path.

    I love you all! Shalom!

    Kind regards,
    Ogwo David.

  4. Folks,

    There is another great group that I have recently joined, inspired by the Blogathon’s own Dan Forbes and where some of you are already members. It’s called Lead with Giants and it can be found on G=, LinkedIn and Facebook.

    I have already had a great welcome and fantastic value akin to this event, and I commend it to you as a way of staying in touch – until next year’s Blogathon!

    Regards and thanks to all.


  5. What a fabulous group of people, topics and wisdom you have pulled together! It was an honor to be a part of it Todd. Thank you!

  6. Hi Todd
    A triumph of substance over rhetoric!
    My farther used to say: ‘ If it’s easy everyone would do it’. Organising the Blogathon can not have been easy and few people could pull it off. Well done.
    I’ve loved being part of the blogathon and reading the perspectives of so many great thinkers. Thanks for inviting me to take part.

  7. Great post to end International Leadership Blogathon month Todd.

    Thanks for your idea and for your hard work. It’s been great to be part of this diverse and inspiring team!

  8. Very nice last post Todd. Your message is truthful, recognizable and also hopeful because (self)leadership and life are indeed continuous learning proceses.

    Thank you also for organising this amazing blogathon and to bring such a big team of ‘failures’ together 🙂 who have given me a lot of new insights. I am feeling very grateful to all of them.

    All the best and let us keep in touch,


  9. Great to be part of something that is larger than anyone of us. Thanks for the opportunity, Looking forward to retweeting many of these blogs to share the Leadership wisdom written by all of us over the course of the year to keep it alive.
    Wouldn’t be where I am today without failing at least once or twice, then bouncing back three times higher.
    Best to all, Jonathan

  10. Well done Todd – what a great month! I’m honoured to be part of it. My best lessons have always been through mistakes, failures and dealing with the challenges that result. I read the quote on Edison the other day about how many times he failed before creating the lightbulb. Imagine if he’d given up easily.

    One more thought… I was at a restaurant yesterday and overheard a waiter speaker to another table. He’d messed up their order but instead of blaming it on the kitchen or saying he didn’t know what happened, he said it was his fault that he didn’t enter it properly. I was impressed because he could have given any number of excuses. Instead he was accountable for it and probably saved some of his tip. We’ll never learn from our mistakes and failures unless we are honest, accountable and transparent about them.

  11. Todd, It was an honor to be among the leaders who contributed to this year’s blogathon. Thank you for the opportunity to be a leader, but most of all a learner.

    I will join you in the Failures Anonymous meeting this week. Anyone who attempted to do or become anything worthwhile has experienced failure. I have failed many times and found her to be my life’s greatest teacher.

    • Likewise Dan, it was an honor to get to know you along with all the other great failures 🙂 in the blogathon. We truly have touched the world.

  12. You did a SUPERB job with this blogathon Todd! Very successful and I was truly honored to be part of it. Thanks again for creating this platform for all of us to share a bit of our own success (and failures)!

  13. Todd – my first comment is Thank You. This blogathon experience has been more than I had ever imagined or hoped for! I too feel as if I have gained many friends during this process – and the beauty of it all is that we will continue our conversations and sharing. Thank you for being the catalyst for that.

    Regarding your post – yes, without failure we will know no success. As we each read this, we will probably start the mental list recounting our failures. But with each one has come great learning. And with each learning a new path is uncovered.

    All the best to you and all of my new blogathon friends.


  14. What a good way to end Todd! At least for the moment. the fine line between failure and success is characterised by learning. I’ve had a great month learning from your friends, hopefully now mine. Thanks for making it all possible and looking forward already to next year!



    • There is no doubt that friendships have been forged. I consider you one of my good friends, even though we have never spoken or met, yet… Thank you for your support and well-written article.


  1. […] I’m a Failure, and Damn Proud of It! […]

  2. […] Wow – What an amazing and awesome month. The goal of the 2nd Annual International Blogathon was to give the world a gift of greater leadership acumen from an international stand-point.  […]

  3. […] Wow – What an amazing and awesome month. The goal of the 2nd Annual International Blogathon was to give the world a gift of greater leadership acumen from an international stand-point.  […]