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Failure is not an option. Or is it?

September 11, 2009
Cindy Donaldson, Marketing Director - Founders Insurance Group

Cindy Donaldson, Marketing Director - Founders Insurance Group

Failure is NOT an option – it’s something I say often to our sales team.  It doesn’t mean that you need to get every sale, or that every day you need to be 100%. That isn’t realistic.  It does mean that in the long run – we will succeed.  Work hard, play hard and success will come your way. 

But what is in the middle? Many failures that will become opportunities for growth and success.

Most new salespeople have a hard time grasping the need for failure.  Complete failure makes you vulnerable, leaves you at your bare minimum and makes you appreciate the little things in life and can often push you to reach far outside your comfort zone.  I’ve had my share of big failures and big successes. I owned a company with a friend that failed miserably and not only cost me thousands of dollars but cost me a good friend.  Although it was devastating, and there are still lingering affects from that time in my life – I learned some valuable lessons.  I learned what not to do when I started my next company – a company that succeeded.

 A new found friend, Donna Bak from Peak Sales Performance – a Sandler Institute Company( ) was very gracious when she compared my life story to that of J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame.  Now of course we all know that Ms. Rowling achieved what most writers can only dream of – but she got that because she believed in herself and never gave up her dream even when others told her she should.  Ms. Rowling was the commencement speaker at Harvard last year.  Take a look at her speech.  ( It’s in two parts – but make sure you watch it all.)   She concurs that failure – although horrible when you are in the midst of it – can be what pushes many a successful person to greater heights.

We are alike in that we had points in our life where we were at the bottom, and had nowhere to go but up.  We both decided to just move forward, believe in ourselves and defy the odds.  Failure turned out to be a blessing.  Ms. Rowling is wealthier than the Queen, and I have a great new home at Founders Insurance Group.  I’m not up there with royalty – but I am pretty happy with where my journey has brought me.

Here is my motivational tidbit of the day:  Failure is not an option for the long run – but on a daily basis a little failure can be a blessing.  Learn from your mistakes, be open to new ideas and reach for the stars – you might just catch one!

Cheers and happy failing!

Cindy Donaldson

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2009 2:37 pm

    Very nicely said Cindy. Keep up the good work!

  2. September 15, 2009 2:35 pm

    Cindy, Great post as always. I often see people put down in our industry for a failure instead of using it as a learning opportunity. I can’t think of any successful person that hasn’t failed at something.

    • September 16, 2009 8:37 am

      Hi Pat,
      Thanks for the comments – looking forward to seeing you in Chicago at Brand Camp!

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