Failing My Way to Success As A Web Designer and Business Owner

Author : , Date : August 25, 2014

If you’ve been in business for longer than a few months, you already have started to figure out that you don’t know what you don’t know. At some point, it happens to us all. But it doesn’t have to be the end all. You can always learn more. The question is how?

Do you learn best by reading? Maybe?

Do you learn best through a mentor? It sure doesn’t hurt.

Do you learn through time and experience? There we go…


failEvery business owner has to learn to live with failure if you’re going to succeed. In fact, failure may just be the secret recipe to success. I’m talking about the earth breaking, glass shattering type of failure that will rock your world and leave you wondering what in the world were you thinking when you decided you wanted to start a business.

Like many other successful entrepreneurs I’ve come across, I have noticed a pattern I saw in myself.

You’ve probably experienced by now that there were moments of fear, insecurity and worry. Maybe you made some decisions that if you could take them back you would. I haven’t met a business owner that was successful that doesn’t look back and think to ask themselves hard questions.


Good Things Come Out of Adversity


adversity--walt-disneyIt’s true, good things come out of adversity if you can keep a level head and a positive mindset. My first business ten years ago was a local online community website. It was a GREAT experience. As I shared events around town from council meetings to school board meetings, sales and special events at local businesses and happenings in the chamber; people started feeding me things that were going on. It was amazing!

But a few years later I made one of those life altering decisions that I thought was a really good move but turned out not to be.

If you’re an entrepreneur for any length of time you’ve been there and done that!

I turned this highly profitable community website into an online newspaper. I got a partner that I thought would help me, and we went off and did it.

Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be what I expected so eighteen months later I sold it to my partner.

That turned out to be a great decision!

Over the four years I had been dong the community website and online newspaper I had been building some websites for local companies. I was making some really nice money from it and I was good at it so I decided to do it full-time!

Soon after I hired a business coach and learned about systems and processes and how to put them in place for my business. I learned that if you don’t handle marketing, sales, production, customer service and administration right you will end up on a world of hurt or in a world of extreme blessing.

Over a three year period I learned what to do more by failure than by any successes. In gross, the company made $1.5 million in revenues. I had a lot to learn and some ups and downs. Believe me when I tell you that my learning came through the challenging times, not the easy profitable ones.

I had to learn what I didn’t know. What were the things I had to overcome?


  • Technology is always changing and the need for constant research is always pressing verses the demands of production
  • I had to learn over ten years how to become a business owner and not an employee inside my own company
  • I had to learn every facet about business possible including:
  • How to understand and develop my vision, mission, strategies, goals and objectives
  • How to really learn about marketing, sales, production, customer service and administration
  • I had to learn how to deal with personalities and conflict
  • How to run lean there is no money and when there is plentiful money
  • How to analyze reports and learn from those reports how to make my business better


Don’t be afraid of the down times, the challenging times, the questioning times; adversity is your friend! If you learn from it, it will make your business amazing. Don’t shy away from something because it’s hard. Only shy away from something because it doesn’t make sense in your mission or the risk to benefit ration isn’t there, or your gut tells you to do it.

Sometimes the only way to learn these things is to go through the tough times and learn from them.


Pay Attention to Your Feelings


feelingsSometimes as business owners we get so busy doing that we stop paying attention to the things that really matter. Your mental and emotional health is critical to your success and yet we tend to ignore, suppress, and tell ourselves different stories than the ones that are the truth. We try to protect ourselves, reassure ourselves, and give ourselves a reason to go on another day. Don’t do this! Don’t ignore the reality happening around you.

You cannot fix what you do not acknowledge is a problem.

I learned that how you feel about yourself will determine a lot of things:


  • The good or bad choices you will make
  • The people you will surround yourself with
  • The stories you will tell yourself to validate your feelings
  • What happens to your wallet
  • How your family is affected as they go through it with you
  • If you’re not careful, you will make a bad decision worse.


When you start feeling pressure and the squeeze is on, don’t ignore how you feel and what is going through your mind. You have to stay level headed! You cannot afford to get to high or too low at any given moment. You have to see how things really are so that you can plan, anticipate and be ready for what is still ahead.

Your success depends upon it!!!


How Did My Failures Setup My Success


successfulNot being afraid of failure is critical if you’re going to succeed. I know I keep saying that, but it’s so true. If you’re going to make it you have to come to grips with this reality.

I am making more money than I have in my entire life. It has been ten years in the making.

What is the root to my current success?


  • I took a deep inventory of the last four years. The logical and emotional. Isn’t it amazing what you learn when you get real with yourself and figure out where you need to improve in both your life and in your business?
  • I have complete clarity and focus. I know who I am and what I bring to the table. Everyone is different but for many that can take some time to sort through. An open, honest mind combined with experience will help you gain clarity and focus which will help you execute.
  • I have tried a lot of different things both online and offline. Some things work and other things didn’t. I was committed to some things and other things I really wasn’t. Nonetheless, I have a lot of unique and different experiences.
  • I have committed to growing my business by helping people learn who they are, what business they are really in, and what problems they solve.
  • I have spent ten years learning what to do and more importantly what not to do.
  • I am around the right people who will champion me, believe in me, and will tell me the hard truths not because they are trying to get anything out of me but because they care.


One of the biggest lessons I learned is that no one can build a business by themselves. Business is demanding, hard and challenging. You need good people in your life that will listen and then offer good advice. You need people in your life who have gone ahead of you. They have been there and done that and as a result they can see things you cannot.

It’s not good when you are the most experienced person you know!

If I had not failed a few times, my business would not be positioned for the growth it is today. There is no way four years ago I could help people the way I can today, which is what I’m really wired to do.

But I could not do it without twenty years of:


  • Learning who I am and what makes me tick
  • Mastering fundraising and sales
  • Learning how to create processes and systems
  • Learning how to recognize the right people that need to be in my life
  • Thinking and learning more purposefully and intentionally about my business
  • Going through adversity and proving to myself that I can overcome it and do it no matter what the obstacles are in front of me
  • People in my life who cared enough to challenge me and push me to be better every single day


The biggest thing I’ve learned is that success doesn’t come just because you start a business or you just because you do it. I hear that kind of talk everywhere and I’m here to tell you its non-sense.

Success finds you when:


  • You’re ready for it
  • You can handle it
  • You’ve learned who you really are
  • You’re ready to make a positive contribution to the world without thinking about yourself.


That means you have to go through some stuff in life and business and get comfortable with yourself.


Defining Success


So let’s define success.

Many define success as the outward appearance of things like:


  • Houses
  • Cars
  • Clothes
  • Expensive entertainment venues
  • And other status symbols


Those things may represent the outward appearance of success


But real success is:

  • The perseverance and endurance to continue on in the face of adversity.
  • Not accepting who you are; but the constant pursuit of who you could become.
  • When you’re able to set aside your ideas and listen to the ideas of others and incorporate them where it’s appropriate.
  • Is not what you receive; it’s what you give that leaves a lasting contribution to those you are blessed to help.


In the last year not only have we been blessed to see real, substantial growth in our business; I have got to do things that I couldn’t have imagined two years ago. I’m living my dream now and I’m still nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m in hot pursuit.

You may feel like you have been struggling for years and years. You’ve made some really bad decisions and you’ve suffered the consequences of those decision. Your checkbook may be empty and you may be questioning yourself and asking why are you doing this? People may have turned on you and hurt you deeply? You may have lost more than you ever feel you could gain?

My failures have taught me these things are not true! It may feel like it for a time, but feelings and reality can be very different things.

My failures taught me to not feel pity or get caught in the trap of feeling sorry for myself!

Put your pants back on. The sun has come back up just like it always has and it’s a new day.  It’s time that you realize you can live your dreams if you just put your failures in context.

There is only one reason for failure in my opinion: To teach us how to succeed!

If I can do it, I know you can as well!


However, there comes a time when we all need some help. Maybe you’re not where you want to be in your business?

If you’re in web design, web development, social media or graphic design I completely get you. If you want to grow your business I get you even more!!!

I have created a unique program that is designed how to teach you more about yourself and your business. It’s perfect for freelance web designers, small companies and those that want to achieve results.

In this program I will work with you one-on-one to show you all the things I’ve learned through my failures that have transformed my businesses and helped me start living my dreams.


Here is what a few people going through my program are saying:


“I’ve been working with Don for 2 solid months now, and in the short period I’ve had the privilege to work with him, the improvement to my organization has already been substantial. His approach of taking you to water but allowing you to decide if you’ll drink is not only effective but enlightening, every week we’ve worked together. I’ve been able to take specific tactics and tools shown to me by Don, directly improving my marketing, sales, production and administration. I can’t wait to see what month 3, 4 and 5 bring! Don – thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your mentorship with us.” ~Yolanda Teuber Toober Group


“Don has been instrumental in helping me to see my business as my clients see it and helping me focus on the problems that I can solve for my clients, not the products or services that I sell.” ~ Jon Martin, social media expert and trainer


“I highly recommend following Don Purdum. He has provided me with business coaching on the fly several times over the past couple of years, and his guidance is always spot on. This guy knows how to do it right!” ~ Leslie Thompson


If you want to learn more.? Visit the Begin Here page and discover how I can help you!

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Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
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48 thoughts on “Failing My Way to Success As A Web Designer and Business Owner

  1. Hi Don,
    Thanks for your article, I’ve learnt some nuggets from you. I have set goals for tangible rewards such as houses, cars and travel. But like you said the Real Success is who I become.

    As an Options trader on the US market, it is a lonely game where successes are celebrated alone and losses make me crawl deeper into the hole. The trader’s psychology is very important for clarity and decision-making, and I have taken note on what I feel when loss happens. I use EFT acupressure as well as Natural Self-healing, a mind-energy-body technique to create the success vision and the clarity that I need. Although I spend only an hour trading, that one hour is crucial for decision-making, I need to focus 100%, and not multi-task like I tend t do sometimes.

    I do have a give-back hobby where I help others suffering from eczema and chronic pain using Natural Self-healing. I believe that as you give so shall you receive. I’ll look forward to your next post on expanding a small (healing) practice into a sustainable one.

    1. Hi May,

      I’m so sorry I didn’t see your post sooner. I always try to get to each one ASAP!

      An Options Trader, sounds like you have a demanding job! I can only imagine the amount of energy that is required to focus so intetently for so long. I’m sure you have a lot of research and knowledge as well as things to keep up with in real time in order to make the best decisions possible.

      Today’s article may have dealt with a number of issues regarding building a sustainable practice. Perhaps you will check it out:

      It deals with achieving success through failure.

      Thanks so much for commenting May! I appreciate your sharing and if I can help with anything please don’t hesitate to contact me.


      1. Hi Don
        Nice to great from you. I’m actually embarking on a plan to organize a healing retreat to assist those with Alzheimers, insomnia, depression and eczema problems. I want to target global attendees n sufferrers. Do you think crowd-funding is a good idea to raise funds?
        Our technique of a combination of Mind-Body with Chinese Qi energy treatment is a very effective in addressing the roots of diseases and disorders.
        I’m open to discuss marketing campaign if you are interested. Please also visit my website

        Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

        1. Hi May,

          Crowd funding can be a great place. But, and I stress but… you better be on your “A” game. You must really know your business, market, passion and be able to articulate very well.

          It’s not important what you do, it’s important how people perceive and feel before they give up their money.

          I would love to chat with you!!! Please email me at and let’s schedule a time soon to chat.

          ~ Don

  2. Hi Don,

    I like the way you present the message in this article and you present it very well. 🙂

    Indeed, adversity exist to strengthen us. If we ever fail to do something, that means you need to get started and try again in a different way.

    The important key is never give up. When you give up, then it’s all over. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Don.
    Really helpful!


    1. Hi Nanda,

      Adversity does strengthen us and keeps us on the straight and narrow path to success. Without it, we become complacent, lazy, and have unrealistic expectations.

      I like to say that success makes us brats while adversity creates mature adults and businesses.

      I appreciate your kind words and I hope you have an amazing day!

      ~ Don

  3. Don…I got pretty good at failing over the past few years…and it took me a while to start seeing the failures as learning experiences. I mean…it really took me a while.

    For one thing, I had a pretty unhealthy set of acquaintances who did not understand the drive of entrepreneurship. Nor did they understand that it’s a process that takes time and learning. Some learn quickly and some take more time – like me.

    Once I started to earn money from my online work, I was quite happy…but it still took a bit for me to connect the dots and understand that it had been my failures that had led to the current success. The money is not yet where I want it to be…but it’s getting there, thank God.

    Thank you for this article. It’s yet another reminder that I am heading in the right direction, failures and all!

    1. Hi Christi,

      I sure wish I had known you during that time so that I and some others could have encouraged you. I get how hard it really is. My best friends have never owned a business and they are amazing people. But, they don’t understand what we go through sometimes.

      I’m okay with that. What I struggle with is when they decide they know something I don’t and I should give it all up and go work for someone else.

      What they don’t understand is the job they have came from someone who struggled, toiled, kicked, fought, scratched and worked hard to make their dreams happen all the while sacrificing as they went through it.

      No one can understand and that’s just the way it is unless you’ve been there.

      The only way to success is through failure. All successful entrepreneur know it and embrace it. They don’t like it, but they embrace it as part of the process.

      Keep your head up. You’re going to do amazing things! If you ever need a ear to listen to, let me know.

      Have a great evening and a wonderful week Christi!

      ~ Don

  4. Hey Don,

    What a great post. There’s a saying my old mentor, Jim Straw, use to say. “You can only learn from your mistakes. I’ve learned everything from my mistakes. My successes never taught me anything.”

    When I first started out in business a few years ago, I never would have believe that to be true. My thinking was, I don’t want to fail … nor do I plan to. But I had a rude awakening. But what I learned was failing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s the greatest teacher there is out there. As long as you actually learn from your failures, then you should be on a path to success.

    Interesting thing you mentioned there about your online community, you said it didn’t do so well when you decided to make it an online newspaper? I’m really surprised that didn’t work. I figured that with it still being online, it would have still done well. Hmm, gives me a lot to think about … especially with a product I’m trying to launch before the year is done.

    You’ve been through alot, my friend, but that has only equipped you with the knowledge to set you on the path to success. Congrats on all the success you’ve achieved so far and will achieve in the future … those revenue numbers are amazing.

    Hope you have an awesome rest of the week.

    – Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Sounds like your rude awakening was your blessing in disguise!!! Admitting to a failure is painful and hard on the ego. Especially when you’re just starting out and you’re proud of what you’re building and trying to accomplish.

      No one wants the perception of failing. But the truth is they are failing at it as well. When we understand that we can come to grips with how hard we are being on ourselves and how challenging we are making it above and beyond what it has to be.

      The newspaper thing had a lot more to do with me failing than anything else. I really never wanted to do it and it’s been something I look back on that I’m grateful for now but wasn’t so much at the time, lol…

      Like I said, the ten year ride has been so worth it! Hard, YES! Worth it, YES!

      I would do it all over again.

      I hope you have an amazing week Andrew. Loved your article today on Kevin Duncan’s blog. Keep up the great work!

      ~ Don

  5. Hey Don,

    It’s always great to know about the journey of any successful person like you.

    Every person face ups and downs in the path of his/her journey to reach the goal.
    Most of people failed because they don’t have confidence in them.

    As you have mentioned about that people need to figure out about themselves. they should make it clear that what they want?

    Having a positive mindset bring many new ideas into our mind which may be proved as an extraordinary results.

    Great article.

    Hope you have a nice week.:)


    1. Hi Ravi,

      You bring two excellent points!!!!

      If you don’t know what you want it will be very, very hard, won’t it? I tell my clients that at some point they have to figure out what they want. All great business leaders have something they want out of life and they figure out how to use the business to help them accomplish their own individual purposes.

      Just as important is having a positive mindset, especially when the tough times come, and they will!

      That means we have to be very careful of the voices in our heads and of the stories we tell ourselves.

      Great point Ravi!

      I hope you have a great finish to your week and you’re looking forward to the holiday weekend.

      ~ Don

  6. Hi Don,

    Congrats on your success…that revenue number is AWESOME Don, and a testament to your 10 years of work, learning what works, what doesn’t, and of course doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t work.

    Clarity and focus. Perfect words for this inspiring post because I count both as chief factors in my release of Blogging from Paradise, the blog, and the eBook.

    Of course I had to let go 3400 posts from my old blog and 5 year’s worth of creation to start this new blog from the perfect space, just like you had to sell your prior business to make things really pop with your current business.

    Trust. Have faith. Read stories like Don’s, folks, to realize that letting go worn out businesses, or states of mind, precedes massive growth.

    When you let go, you’re lighter. When you feel light, you can see clearly. You can focus better. Less stress, then not much stress at all, and the worries largely disappear too, because a person with clarity sees what worried people can’t see.

    I started BFP with clarity in my intent – I want to take everybody with me, including folks who don’t want to island hop now, but are learning of their true power, and will want to come on board, one day – and with a resolve to do my best to make an impact wherever I show up.

    You’re doing the same my friend.

    Awesome post. Tweeting through Triberr.

    Thanks so much.


    1. Hi Ryan,

      You are the perfect, inspiring example of clarity and focus. Your execution is spot on and it’s so fun for me to watch what you’re doing and how you’re doing it; and especially the results you are getting!

      It’s so true that sometimes we have to walk away in order to rid ourselves of the chaos and anarchy that cloud our minds, emotions, and judgement.

      Letting go over twelve months ago now was the absolute best thing I ever did as we moved back from to Lancaster PA from Dallas TX. After 12 years in Dallas it was just time.

      Now, we have clarity and focus, we are around the right people in our lives, and we couldn’t be happier or more productive!!!!

      I so appreciate your kind words and love following your blog!!!!!!!

      I would ask if you’re planning on a great holiday weekend, but I know you’re already in paradise!!! LOL…

      ~ Don

  7. Wow…you covered so many great points here that I could comment on. I’ll go with the one that resonated with me most–the importance of tending to your overall well-being. When we just get consumed with all the ‘stuff’ that needs to be done directly related to the business, we can neglect ourselves to the point where it can become a real problem. I am always an advocate of a more holistic approach to success that includes tending to ourselves as well as our business.
    Professional success will mean very little if we are harried, miserable messes and our health is in the toilet.

    1. Hi Kelli,

      I am so glad you picked up on that because it’s the one thing entrepreneurs and business owners tend neglect; ourselves.

      I LOVE this line: “Professional success will mean very little if we are harried, miserable messes and our health is in the toilet.”

      It cannot be said better than that Kelli!

      So many of us tend to neglect our health, physical fitness, emotional well being and our spiritual well being.

      Too many forget that you are the business and the business is you!!! You cannot separate one for the other no matter how much you try.

      If you health turns bad, its’ going to affect your business. If you’re mind is not sharp it’s going to affect your business. If you’re emotionally hurting it’s going to affect your business. We could go on and on, right?

      And, we have to remember that the reverse happens as well.

      Thank you for the reminder. I really needed that!

      I hope you have a fantastic holiday weekend!

      ~ Don

  8. Hey Don,

    I’m wondering if you’re content can get better than this!

    Gave me a lump in my throat LOL

    But feel you on this one! Struggle and learning from your failures are the foundations of progress. Without it, you stay stagnant!

    I just read this book called “The Talent Code”, which I recommend. It basically talks about even though some people have a naturally ability towards something, they still need to sharpen their skills to improve.

    there was one section within the book where they did a test on two sets of students. The goal was to see who will improve and progress, and who doesn’t. They were all given a couple of tests. The ones that did well had to struggle and fail in order to improve, as oppose to the other group. So they concluded that struggles = improvement and success.

    That’s exactly what you were saying here through your trials and tribulations! It also remind me of the saying “Anyone that tells you that they never failed at anything means that they never tried anything new”. How true is this!

    Thanks for sharing and you definitely have a good one!

    I found your blog post on kingged under the category Internet Marketing

    1. Hi Sherman,

      Sorry my friend, I didn’t mean to leave you a lump in your throat… 🙂

      Thank you for bringing the book to my awareness. I have to check it out. It’s so true that talent alone won’t take you places for very long.

      I think we practically see this easier in sports but it applies in life. Don’t hold it against me, but I’m a HUGE Tom Brady fan. I love his attitudes and choices of words.

      In an interview two years ago he talked about how he isn’t the best, he’s the hardest working. He’s a sixth round draft pic so his talent wasn’t obvious, right? But he works hard at being the smartest he can be, the most technical thrower, etc.

      He earned his place, he wasn’t given it because of his talent. His talent wouldn’t have taken him this far if he didn’t put in the work.

      Isn’t it true that when you do the work you have to mess it up to figure it out. You have to learn, study, and then apply what you’ve learned.

      Too many of us as business owners are playing the game but not preparing for it. I think that may be a blog article?

      Thanks for helping me see a different perspective Sherman. I appreciate your comment and hope you have a great holiday weekend!

      ~ Don

  9. Hi Don,

    This is a great video! 🙂

    You sound very confident and assertive in that video. It seems like you cover pretty much on this post. I heard one say, “Failure is not the opposite of Success. But rather it is part of the journey as you passed by to reach that Success ville.”

    Some people are even afraid to fail because they worry so much what other people will say about them. I’m sure Thomas Edison encountered countless failures when he was experimenting on “light”. Perhaps some people even doubt him. But he was “determine” to reach that Success. And now I’m thankful that he never gave up.

    “Those who wins never stop. And those who stop never wins!”

    Anyway, thank you for sharing this with us. Have a great week!


    1. Hi Angela,

      I guess I need to go back and watch my video again, lol….

      I really love your quotes!!!! Thomas Edison is said to have failed over 10,000 times while creating the light bulb. But he himself said that it only takes once to succeed. He faced a lot of ridicule and obstacles and without JP Morgan to financially back him it would have never happened.

      In fact, JP Morgan faced a lot of criticism from his father for funding Edison and almost lost it all himself. Just an interesting tidbit of facts…

      Failure is a big part of success. Without it, would never really know the sweetness of our victories would we?

      Thanks again Angela. It’s always a treat when you come to my site. I really love the quotes!!!!

      ~ Don

  10. Hi Don,

    I too went down the path where I started a business that did not fare well. We (my husband and I) had a great product that filled a specific need. The problem was that we were challenged with having to educate our buyers. We did a great job at that but what was happening was when they were ready to buy, they were going with the cheapest solution. (If I only knew then, what I know now.)

    “Live and learn” they say. That we did and those experiences have helped me to apply my lessons learned to both my business but also to help others. That’s the key.

    One of the biggest challenges that a lot of small business owners (and solopreneurs) must overcome is the desire to do everything ourselves. This reluctance to outsource those things that are either outside of our skillset or simply not the best use of our time can be a real downfall.

    In his book “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It”, Michael Gerber says “every business owner needs to simultaneously be an entrepreneur and a manager as well as a technician”. That’s a lot of hats to wear. We need to constantly assess where we are, what’s working and what’s not working and not be afraid to ask for help.

    As always, thanks for another thought provoking post.


    1. Hi Sherryl,

      I love Gerber’s book! I use it in my business coaching program with web designers, social media, and graphic design clients.

      I love that he says the job of the entrepreneur is to “create.” Yet, the problem is that businesses owners are not trained to do so, we are taught to “do” and therefore end up giving ourselves jobs within our own companies.

      I don’t know about you, but I’m not game for that!!!! LOL…

      I think the only choices we truly have are to either learn the hard way or learn from others. It really is that simple.

      However, we are still going to find ways to fail. In the book “Nuts” a story about Southwest Airlines, there is situation where a gate attendant makes a $5 million dollar mistake (I don’t remember the real number but it was a lot). What they discovered through the error was a gaping hole in their systems. Because he goofed up, he ended up saving tens of millions of dollars for the company as was rewarded for his goof up. That’s AWESOME!!!!

      Like I said, we don’t learn through our successes, we only learn about ourselves, our companies and improve when we can face our failures and set out to correct the.

      Thanks for your amazing comment as always sherryl.

      I hope you have a great week!

      ~ Don

  11. Hey Don,

    Man oh man you’ve been through it all haven’t you. I sure appreciate you sharing your journey with us and I know that for me I’ve had to learn it all the hard way. I’m nowhere near where I want to be yet but I think I’ve had to fail myself forward before I’ll be able to reach my desired destination.

    I truly believe that unless you’re ready for this you’re not going to be open. By that I mean just like you were discussing the advice you’ve received about having to always learn and evolve. Just from my time here online what worked last year might not work today. That’s how fast things change so if you’re not open to that then you need to go and find a job working for someone else.

    I read a post that Mark wrote earlier today and as he was discussing that if you want this bad enough you’ll hang in there because like you, it took you ten years to get to this place. It might take us 10, 15 or 20 but it’s how bad we want this and what we’re willing to do to reach that.

    Thanks again Don for sharing this and do we ever finally make it? I think we can set our desired goals and reach those one at a time. That’s the fun part right because things are always changing. 😉


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      If you have to be ready for success… that’s the one lesson I learned many years ago and part of that is accepting and embracing your failures.

      Learning is critical to taking the next steps. If I read right on your blog you were once in corporate America. Well, there is a reason why they spend a lot of money on outside consultants. They are always probing, listening, evaluating and learning how to make their businesses better.

      One of the companies I love is Southwest Airlines. Few do it better than they do. They embrace failure and always seek to find ways to make their company better through it.

      Now, we are we as small businesses so afraid of it? Are we afraid of ruining our reputations or our pocketbooks being hurt? Yep, but if we accept it we might just learn it’s the best thing that could ever happen to us.

      It’s not what happens that is important, it’s how we react to it and move past it that is really important.That takes an open mind and a willing heart to push through the adversity.

      Yes, we will make it to the next level of adversity Adrienne. There are studies on the seasons of business that show hard times followed by prosperous times, followed by challenges and adversities again. But we really didn’t need the studies to tell us that did we? That’s the story of life.

      Thank you for such an awesome comment as always. I cherish it when I see you on my site!!!!!!!

      ~ Don

  12. Hi Don,
    Life is full of circles and seasons. It is when we realize these that we can actually make progress because we learn how to adjust and adapt to the SEASONS OF LIFE.

    Yes, we can learn more from failures than success because when we are HIT our feelings would seem to be turned for survival!

    Real success include resoluteness and resilience to keep going despite all odds!

    You have made very valid salient points that should remind us of the PRIZE TO PAY FOR SUCCESS!

    This post was found in kingged where it was shared and upvoted.

    1. Hi Sunday,

      So funny that on Adrienne’s post I just said the same thing before I saw your comment!

      The cycles of life are not just true in business, but in life; and your business is a part of your life as a business owner.

      There ups and there are downs. How we choose to go through it says more about how our companies will come out of it and head into a time of peace than any other determining factor.

      I hope you have a great week Sunday. Thanks for commenting!

      ~ Don

  13. hi Don
    i always tell the new guys trying out there, i tried three times and failed only trying to code a simple widget, but now i am a professional web designer with 4 figure income!
    thanks that was a great post

  14. Hi Don,

    Very well put across 🙂

    Success comes to you only when you are ready for it and each one of us I think has gone through our down times and turned out stronger – I know I have and the struggle is still on and as long as you are committed and determined, there is nothing that can stop you. I guess that’s why it is called living life, because it carries on and while doing so, it teaches us so much in return.

    Failures are a part of life and I always call them the stepping stones that eventually lead us to success, so one shouldn’t fear failure, instead, take lessons from them. The same is with criticism, which some people cannot take, but if one sees the positive side of it, it just makes you a better version of yourself.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      You make a great point! Sometimes the biggest challenges come from our critics that seek to damage or hurt us. How do we deal with that says a lot about how we overcome it.

      I really truly believe that success makes us better and positions us for what is to come. We have to dig hard, find ourselves, and push forward in spite of the challenges. When we break through how sweet it is!!!!

      It’s all about our mindset and frame of mind. If we are negative the adversity will bury us. But, if we find the truth in it, keep positive, and make the necessary changes we will get through the challenge.

      Thank you for your comment Harleena. It’s always a treat to see you on my site!!!

      ~ Don

  15. Don,

    I can definitely relate to this article. My husband and I both have a lot of, let’s call it “entrepreneurial energy”. So far, we’ve had a lot of failures but we’ve learned a ton! Sometimes I really think that’s what it takes. I also love the way you define success. It’s so true, it’s deeper than we often give it credit for.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. HI Brittany,

      Congratulations on staying with the journey and fighting through it! I am in your club and failure has been my friend.

      The lessons learned have taught me how to be successful and I just don’t think you can ever truly become successful with out it.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!!!! I hope to see you again soon…

      ~ Don

  16. Hello Don,

    It is good to see that you have defined Success so well. It is indeed a recipe of perseverance and endurance. However, the wise say that “Failure is the pillar of Success”. Even our mother nature had stood against the test of time during the initial years when the Earth was still in an inchoate state. Therefore how come we can even think that we will achieve success by foregoing nothing?

    When we started our blog, we had faced many problems. But at that time we didn’t give up and tried to learn from our mistake and look how far we have gone?

    So friends don’t loose hope if you don’t meet with success.

    Thank you Don for writing such an inspirational post. Waiting for more.

    All the best Don……


    1. Hi Sarmista,

      Thank you for the truly kind words and encouragement. Isn’t it good to face problems, challenges and adversity and prove to yourself that you can do it!!!!

      That you said not on my watch and overcame the obstacle that so many would buckle under!

      What a reward!

      I hope you have a great week!

      ~ Don

  17. Hi Don,

    This has got to be one of the best posts I’ve read here so far, and God knows they’re all good.

    Wow, you’re saying some deep and true stuff here. And as a coach I can only concur with what you’re saying.

    True success comes only when we are mentally ready for it, not just because we build a business. I’ve seen that many times around me and with my own self too.

    Life struggles can only make us stronger and richer. That quote form Walt Disney is so true. I’m going through my own hell for a few years now, but gosh do I know that based on that I’m going to be able to give the best public speeches ever. Some that are going to help lots of people. I will be able – because of it and probably only because of it – to help people by telling them, hey if I when through it you can do it too.

    So, I agree, our failures and even our pains can truly help us become truly successful.

    Fantastic post!

  18. A lot of people don’t realize that their business wont be the same after a year, 5 years 10 years or more. It’s because it has to change in order to keep up with the changing demands of the consumer.

    Years ago when I started off as a web designer and developer, the sites built were simple. These days, I’ve focused more on WordPress and CMS solutions because of the demand of the DIY business owner.

    I’ve also grown as a blogger. I recently wrote on LinkedIn Publisher about my reflection on 13 years as a blogger. It pretty much is a glimpse of what a business owner can expect because “change is inevitable.”

    1. Hi Nile,

      I learned from a wise person a few years ago who said to me; “Don, if you’re doing in six months what you’re doing right now you are on the path to going out of business.”

      Your point illustrates that principle very well.

      Thanks for commenting. I hope you have a great week!

      ~ Don

  19. Don,
    this is my first time coming to read your articles.. but I must say.. you sure have a way to share what is important in any entrepreneur life 🙂

    So much of what you shared, appeared along my pathway.. not once but many time.. and because I am still at it.. you guessed, I learn from the challenges as well and as you clearly expressed, without those challenges, how in the world would I be who I have become today??

    I am one who in some ways cannot learn as many people learn, meaning going through school .. and so, at every adversity, I find my way to learn something new.. and by the way… I have been like this all my life but become more evident (as you mentioned) when I finally was convinced that I do not know what I do not know haha 🙂

    Great article to come back too. many great points and suggestions and explanations that of certain will be useful along the pathway of success..

    Thanks so much for sharing.. look forward for more learning from you, as time go on..

    1. Hi Nick,

      I’m so glad you came by. I’m so encouraged by your comment because I think too many people don’t realize that there are just some things you cannot read in a book. In fact it’s most things.

      I love our quote; “…without those challenges, how in the world would I be who I have become today??”

      So right Nick, we can allow adversity to mold us in a positive way. Who says it has to be negative? Only the one making the choice, right?

      I look forward to seeing you more often.

      I hope you have a great week!

      ~ Don

  20. Hi Don,

    This has to be one of the greatest messages I’ve seen to people that want to succeed! I’ve been in my own business off line most of my life. Then ventured to the online world.

    Every time something didn’t work out, my thoughts went to a child learning how to walk. We all have to skin our knees to master it. I’ve done it, so I can repeat that process no matter what task I choose to take on.

    That’s what kept my sanity. That’s what gives me my drive to push on and learn from every mistake.

    When I coach people many have the same problem….”I I’m outta here” Gosh…I wouldn’t want to see that behavior for anyone! Of course, coaching them on and dealing with this particular topic is one of the things I do to move them along.

    I think it’s all about us. We need to constantly work on ourselves. Sometimes we need to build a hard shell, not letting “failure” hurt us but welcome it as a good life lesson.

    When I began internet marketing, I lost thousands of dollars. But did I really loose it? No. I learned that it was just not my own path. Am I sorry about it? Not at all.

    Yes, we can learn in so many ways, but the best way to learn is from our so called failures. It grabs us and teaches us to go a different direction, or tweak things a bit.

    Thanks for this post…It should be posted in every business and to all new people coming into the internet world.


    1. Hi Donna,

      Yep, we ought to all have some pretty skinned up knees from falling and getting back up. It’s a dangerous thing being a business owner but it’s also the most rewarding, fun and life changing thing we’ll ever do.

      My business is helping me pursue my personal dreams and goals I have for the rest of my life.

      So when I say I have failed, boy oh boy do I mean it. I’ve done a couple of doozies. But it’s okay. I’m grateful for it. It change the course of my life.

      What some choose to see as a curse is almost always a blessing. It’s all in how you choose to look at it. If you want to be negative and see the terrible that is exactly what you will find.

      I couldn’t agree with you more, we must not let failure hurt us. We need to embrace it.

      I tell people all the time to get to failure as fast as you can. Embrace it, learn from it, and allow it to make the positive impact in your life it was meant to have.

      Donna, I so appreciate your comment and perspective. We appear to think a lot a like.

      I hope you have a great week!!!

      ~ Don

  21. Hi Don,

    Wha!!! Yet another informative and uplifting post for the bloggers as well as others. Yes, failure is not the end of it, it will be a beginning and as your sub title says: “Good Things Come Out of Adversity” yes, that will be the stepping stone to success.

    Don thank you very much for this insightful post.

    Keep writing my dear friend

    With kind regards

    ~ Philip

    Hey Don I found this informative post at and I kingged (up-voted) it there and posted a comment too.
    Thanks again for sharing this

    1. Hi Philip,

      Adversity is the key to success, it unlocks the door to complacency and laziness and forces us to think about our lives, our dreams, our goals and what we really want of our lives and businesses.

      Thank you for the kind words and for your comment.

      ~ Don

  22. Hi Tom, What a lovely, inspirational read. I love the Disney quote and the most successful people I know have got in getting to where they are today. I just love this line, it says so much about those with the success mindset: The perseverance and endurance to continue on in the face of adversity.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      If you’re going to make it you will have challenges in business, just as in life. But many times it feels magnified due to the responsibilities that one has and the challenges that you face as a business owner.

      I agree with you, it’s a great quote. Comfort doesn’t stregthen or stretch us. But adveristy, that is a completely different story. Sometimes you feel like you can be taken to the edge and ripped apart.

      And yet, we’re still here. One day at a time you can develop the strategies, goals and objectives that take you from where you are to where you want to be.

      Thank you for commenting Sarah.

      I hope you have a great week!

      ~ Don

  23. As usual, another very rich and thought-provoing article, Don. Thanks for writing and sharing your experience with us at

    It’s easy for someone to look at you now and forget you also had your ups and downs before achieving success. That just seems to be the same with everyone who has succeeded. That’s why I like the powerful quote you added by Winston Churchill. It’s not the failures alone that matter, but going from one to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Hmmm, powerful, to say the least!

    Another thought I find interesting is when people fail because they made some mistakes in the past, they usually wish they could go back and correct those mistakes. Unfortunately no one can. If you go back you will only make same or even worse mistakes because you won’t be going back with the wisdom you have today, 🙂

    And what’s even more interesting is that the wisdom that you have today which has made you realize you were wrong yesterday in your actions/decisions were brought about because you failed! If you haven’t failed in the past, you won’t have the wisdom that will help you in future. That’s why you are very correct, Don, we should all embrace failures and use them as stepping stones to future successes!

    I also like that you mentioned the importance of having the right coach to guide one through moments of failures. Of course a coach can only guide someone who is ready to be guided, but it’s certainly better to have a coach than not to have one.

    Once again, very rich article, Don. Thanks for writing this and sharing on I have “kingged” it and hope others will too.

    1. Hi Kingsley

      WOW! Another spectacular comment!!!

      “It’s easy for someone to look at you now and forget you also had your ups and downs before achieving success.”

      Isn’t that the truth. Very few ever know the pains, hurts, trials, sufferings and sacrifices that someone goes through to achieve success. After all it’s not glamorous, sexy, or very inspiring to the general public who just doesn’t care.

      But, to those of us who are pursuing our dreams with vigor it’s a great reminder of how tenacity, perseverance and endurance are our friends through adversity.

      Thank you again for such an amazing comment. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

      ~ Don

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