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success and failure

Does The Opposite of Success Have To Be Failure?

/ / Sass Savvy & Success

Success and Failure seem to be a constant thread throughout our lives… and I believe the process is not always useful, nor accurate.

Whether on a personal level or in a business sense, parameters can get blurred, or misconstrued, and sometimes be a source of defeat.  The subject came to mind recently while discussing the failure rates of small businesses.

One of my favourite phrases is “You don’t know what you don’t know”. It comes into play here, and everywhere statistics are spouted.

I created my own business

A number of years ago I gave up a great career, moved cities to care for my aging mother, and created my own brick and mortar business, a B&B. The bricks and mortar were my own home which meant my mother was on-site.

Within 18 months of opening, my business was really starting to take off. I was moving up the Google ladder in searches and was pretty well paying my way.

Then it became stressful

My mother, however, was not doing so well. As dementia claimed more and more of her brain, her behaviours became more and more random. Whether railing at me, her care-giver, for imagined transgressions, or invading the personal space of my clients with her stories or crying for me in the night as her environment felt less and less understandable, it became more and more stressful for me to run my business.

I could not always be in the moment to run interference with my guests; it was hard to explain to strangers that your mother’s accusations were the result of a demented mind, not reality; and it was impossible to charge exclusive B&B rates when sleep had been interrupted by a wailing senior.

I closed my business

So I closed my business. My first priority was my mother. It was a no-brainer, and I had Plan B and C and D in my back pocket.

In closing my business, was I failing? Not at all. I was still making choices; I was still in the driver’s seat. I did not fail; I just didn’t succeed. The difference, however subtle to some, is important.

Keep this concept in mind

You need to keep this concept in mind whether you’re developing a business or trying something more personal.  Sometimes you will try something that you soon learn is not going to move your life forward.  Instead of waiting until you need to jump off the sinking ship, take the initiative to move on from the endeavour to something more promising.  Before you “fail”, accept you cannot succeed and change gears, or lanes, whatever is necessary to keep your developing.

Success and Failure

Don’t get me wrong – I’m well aware that Success and Failure are always with us, however, I like to subscribe to the theory of one of my mentors Danny Iny: “Failure is only failure if it happens in the last chapter.  Otherwise, it’s a plot twist.”

Of course, an easy way to avoid the discussion of success or failure is to not try at all.

What’s your choice?



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Bren Lee
2 years ago

We’ll never know what could be unless we try, right? Whether you succeed on the first try or have a minor setback, we need to remember to keep pushing forward. An inspirational read.

2 years ago

I love this message!!

Judith Pratt-Jefferies

I am sure you know what I would choose. What adventurous soul would not try. A plot twist or a pivot – there is always another path to take.

2 years ago

I love the quote at the end. Making a choice to change things is not a failure. It is an opportunity. I found you today from MLSTL.

2 years ago

I love both of your quotes. The last one is so true and it is all in how you look at things anyhow.

Leanne |

That was a really interesting take on the whole idea of failure – I like that it’s a controlled choice – rather than failing because you ignored all the warning signs. Life is one big learning curve and there are no guarantees that it will all be smooth sailing, or that it will go exactly how we planned it. Having back-up plans is also a really smart move – it saves you being left high and dry if that plot twist happens. Lovely to have you linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx… Read more »

Shirley Corder
2 years ago

Well done, Agnes on having the ability and strength to make the right choice. I love this post and you’re so right. I’d love you to select one of these posts from the complete list of Improve your Life, Improve your Mind posts and leave a comment.#atoz

2 years ago

Hi Agnes, I agree with you. We have to try and can only give it our best shot. You did just that and caring for your mother was a priority for you. I take my hat off to you! Life is all about the moments along the way.
Visiting from #mlstl

2 years ago

Hi Agnes, I totally agree. The opposite success is not failure. I think that throughout life we have to pivot. Our failures are just stepping stones to future success. I commend you on the decision you made to put your Mum first and close your business – that’s hard. But I believe that your next choice will be fuelled by your gracious motives.

Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

Hi Agnes and welcome to the Midlife Share the Love Party. What a great attitude and I totally agree. Sometimes we look at things black and white and don’t take into account the little bumps that life brings in our journey. Loved your message and its great to connect. I have a weekly guest series and would love you to be a guest writer. I am scheduled up until July but if you are interested just drop me an email at and I can send you the details. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and I’ve shared on social media.… Read more »