Drawing Inspirations from Your Miserable Failures

By Ellesse

I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t mind.

Recently, the new Google Analytics code that I’ve installed on Goal Setting College gave me pretty startling statistics. I managed to configure it to remove my own clicks to the site and only then did I get a true picture of my traffic status. My first thought was “Gosh! I’ve been doing this stuff for so long and that’s how much traffic I’ve got?” I sounded like a miserable failure.

It really affected my mood for many days after. I begin to lose interest writing articles and things just got worse. Without content, visitors just aren’t going to come. Without content, you can’t draw readers to click on the nice Google text ads sprinkled all over the site. All went spiraling. Downwards, that was.

Finally deciding that enough was enough, I took out a piece of paper and started mind mapping to help me evaluate the situation. Guess what? It was a revelation! Here’s what I’ve learnt.

(1) An Outcome, not a Miserable Failure

When I was mind mapping my thoughts, I suddenly remembered listening to a Tony Robbin’s audio last year. He was sharing a story about Federal Express’ success. When Fedex first took flight, they managed to deliver only 6 packages, 4 were from the operations testing the system and 2 were from real customers.

Instead of deeming his business as a miserable failure, Fredrick W. Smith, the founder of Fedex told his sales team “Fix bayonets. We’re in the trenches now. Our dream is a reality. Let’s make it happen.” At that point of time, his mind was set. Since the company had successfully delivered 2 packages, his inspiration then was to increase the number. He interpreted his business performance as an outcome instead of a miserable failure and that propelled his subconscious to believe that his business model was working. And he drilled the same thought to his team members. Believing is seeing. When you start to believe, it will manifest through the Universe maneuvering to provide the opportunities. All you have to do is act, when it comes.

Hey, remembering this story is quite a big deal to me! If a large corporation like Fedex had undergone such low moments before and managed to turn its fortune around, what makes it more difficult for an individual like myself or anyone else to do the same? My site’s statistics may be low now but at the very least, it’s increasing and people know about it. As long as I continue to work on it, with the right SEO techniques in place, I’m sure it’ll improve.

It’s a great inspiration!

You too. Do you have a moment or a situation that you feel you’re a total miserable failure? Treat it as an outcome and think about the ways to improve. You aren’t a miserable failure unless you’ve consciously agreed you’re one.

(2) When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going

Do you know how many times Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Colonel Sanders was rejected before his now famous recipe was accepted by his first franchisee? 1009 times! Wow. Only someone with strong, and in this case, very strong belief in his product would have surmounted that kind of obstacle.

Most want to take the easy way out. That’s why so many people have succumbed to-get-rich quick schemes sprung all over the internet. But it’s also good news for people who are willing to work hard to learn the skills, master the techniques, test the methods despite all odds, because, with their attitude, chances of excelling is huge. These are the serious contenders, the 1% who make it big in arenas such as blogging, art or music.

When I thought about this, I started asking myself. Do I belong to the 1% seeking to beat the odds, challenge the crowd? Or am I part of 99% clamouring to take up space and make the 1% feel proud to have defeated?

I certainly want to be in that 1% sector. Stay the course and win the race. Yes. That’s what I’ve decided.

What about you?

(3) “Self Interest is insufficient Motivation.”~ Steve Pavlina

I’ve to admit when I first started Goal Setting College, there were a few instances when I was inspired by personal interest. Having heard from so many internet marketers about earning a substantial income from blogging, creating websites, I was indeed taken aback when a famous personal development blogger Steve Pavlina shared the above quote. But he’s very right.

Who has the motivation to preserve and ride against all odds to constantly practice, try and create, if not for a higher cause? Look at famous inventors such as Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. Did they invent the electric light bulb and telephone respectively because they knew they could patent their products and earn big bucks from it? What about Shakespeare or Beethovan, did they write wonderful literacy works or compose great music pieces because they wanted to get royalty checks every time someone buys their books or scripts? I don’t think so. But no one can doubt the value of their contribution.

Their desire to contribute to the society must have inspired them to move beyond their personal gratification and work towards contribution. Reflecting on this, it suddenly dawned on me that as long as there is 1 reader who’s reading my site, I should continue to keep it going, to share my own personal struggles and lessons about goal setting, personal development. It may have been self elevating to compare myself with the famous inventors, writers and musicians but doesn’t anyone start from somewhere?

When you start shifting the focus from “us” to “them”, it helps to draw the pressure away from the result, giving you better control on your reality and better appreciation on the process. Next time I get a new visitor, I’ll be deeply grateful. Because it’s not just 1 more number to add on the statistics, but rather, a genuine human being that I’ve managed to reach out to.

If you’re reading this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


13 Responses to “Drawing Inspirations from Your Miserable Failures”

  1. Ed Mamula at 4:12 pm

    Ellesse, great article. Success and failure are subjective bars that you have the power to set, and as you say, you can only be a failure if you’ve consciously agreed that you are one.

    Data is just feedback on your status, and without at least one beacon in the darkness, how would you know what to focus on in order to improve?

  2. Ellesse at 12:51 am

    Ed, I admit it’s difficult to really comprehend some of the traffic stats but the beauty of Google Analytics is that it tells you everything. The stickiness of your articles, the tutorial downloads. It’s back to a bit of trial and error to know what works and what doesn’t. Everything else can be tweaked and modified. Only 1 fundamental rule remains unchanged. Good Content.

  3. Lyman Reed at 5:48 pm

    Now that is a fantastic article. I love that Steve Pavlina quote. And it really is true… when I stopped worrying so much about “What’s in it for me,” and started focusing more on “What can I give?”, not only did I feel better about myself and what I was doing, but the results I got were more in line with what I wanted.

    Thanks for writing this!

  4. Ellesse at 1:45 pm

    Lyman, yes! I’ve starting to really comprehend Steve’s quotes. Not only have the traffic increased, I’ve managed to get to know some like minded friends. Thanks everyone!

  5. Stephen at 4:28 pm

    What an inspirational post! This is going on the blogroll immediately. Thanks for stopping at my blog to offer your help, I truly appreciate it.

    I will come back and updaate you on the results.

  6. Ellesse at 12:56 am

    Hey Stephen, Thanks for dropping by! Sure, I’ll wait for your good news!

  7. viv King at 2:02 pm

    Yep- that’s a bit like I am feeling now – been away for almost 2 weeks and only had 2 visitors to my blog….AAAARGH – what am I doing wrong…..

  8. Ellesse at 12:59 am

    Viv, it can be a real test of our patience when it comes to blogging. All I can say is, stay focused, produce good content regularly and actively promote it like what you’re already doing and things will definitely get better… :)

  9. Al at 7P at 2:50 pm

    This is a great post Ellesse – definitely one I’m going to read over and over again when I need to lift my spirits. Thank you!

  10. Ellesse at 11:57 pm

    Al, in whatever we do, we’re bound to encounter setbacks. I guess this article reminds me of that and I’m glad it’s helpful for you!

  11. Matt Belcher at 7:45 am


    This is exactly why so many people think that they are failing…when actually they are getting closer to their goal.

    The best analogy I think i heard was about a torpedo. When you fire a torpedo in water it has to constantly makes small adjustments until it gets on target.

    That is exactly what we have to do. If you look at any person who has achieved success you will see they have failed many times.

    If you look at each failure as a positive…then it’s a good experience!


  12. Linda Harpole at 8:49 pm

    I just want to say that I am really enjoying your site. I too, stumbled upon it while researching motivation. I am 53 tears old and attending college. It’s been 35 years since I was in a classroom!
    I can not believe what I have been missing out on for all these years. I am so starved for learning that I just can’t seem to get enough of it.
    Your website has been giving me wonderful ideas and thoughts and I just wanted to say, “Thank you!”

  13. Ellesse at 4:53 pm

    @Matt I liked the analogy. Failing is all part and parcel of learning. Some of life’s best lessons are all gained through failures.

    @Linda Thanks for your kind words! And kudos for the seeking spirit! So many people have given up on learning using age as an excuse. I’m glad to know that instead of using it as a barrier, that made you appreciate the whole learning process even more! Think Susan Boyle and we all know that age is no limit for achieving our dreams.


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