Do You Have What It Takes To Fail

How do you react to failure? Are you the type who throws up your hands, puts on a sad face and declares that you fail at everything you do? Or are you the person who looks at failure and thinks, “Look! I just learned something that doesn’t work.” In the words of Henry Ford, (you know, that car-maker guy) “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

Good old Hank, came up with several of my favorite quotes. Here’s another:

“Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again.”


“One of the greatest discoveries a person makes, one of their great surprises, is to find they can do what they were afraid they couldn’t do.”

Good advice from a man who had a gasoline engine running by 1893, but it wasn’t until 1896 that he built his first car. Three years of failure? How about Tom Edison? Here’s what he thought about failure:

When Thomas Edison was interviewed by a young reporter who boldly asked Edison if he felt like a failure, and if he thought he should just give up by now, a perplexed Edison replied, “Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.” And shortly after that, and over 10,000 attempts, Edison invented the light bulb. (Credit: Yahoo Answers)

Whew! I’m not so sure I’d have that kind of stick-to-it-tive-ness, but that quality propelled Thomas Edison to become one of the greatest inventors of all time! He also was the founder of major companies including General Electric, the Edison Illuminating Company, Edison Studios, Edison Records, and more!

But, I think his greatest invention had to be the light bulb. Did you know he invented it so people could stay up all night to listen to his phonograph or run his motion picture camera or talk into his carbon microphone? Ok, maybe it wasn’t really that way…but…

Will you run your photography business until it fails again, and again, and again, until it finally succeeds? Is success almost in your grasp? Maybe if you work at solving the problems of running a photo studio just one more time, you will find the gold at the end of the rainbow. But remember: the rainbow only comes after the storm.

Personally, I gave up a successful teaching career with tenure and a guaranteed paycheck every other week to launch my own photography business. Was I afraid? You bet! Did I fail at different aspects of running my studio? You bet! Did I stick with it? Bingo! Success! By the way, I kept attending professional photography programs and seminars and I put my time in at Eastman Kodak Company learning about color printing. The University of Rochester was the site of my gaining hands-on experience from other teaching professional photographers.

Maybe it’s time sign up for a photography class or two, online or in person. First, it will make you feel like you are controlling your destiny. Next, you’ll be gaining the expertise to make your business profitable.

One last quote from Henry Ford:

“When everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it ….”