Why We Celebrate Our Failures?

Failures Take Us One Step Closer To Success

We live in a culture built on success, programmed to reach our targets and goals with specific timelines and strategies.  Failure on the other hand is not something we embrace but usually disregard, most often choosing to forget the experience.

When working with entrepreneurs and enterprise leaders, we embrace what didn’t work and choose to discuss the plan while making course corrections so that we may learn from our mistakes. Taking the time to review what didn’t work and why, leads to a great discussion on how to implement change as part of every learning experience.

There is no doubt, at times, things will NOT go according to plan.

Taking a critical review to discuss the things that did not yield the best results is a great way to brainstorm new ideas.

As an entrepreneur, I recall a time when one of our advertising campaigns did not produce the return on investment (ROI) that we had planned and many on our team considered it a failure.  Money and time lost with little or no results.  When we actually completed a critical review, we found that we had actually received a tremendous amount of exposure, launching a new revenue stream that was introduced to both clients and prospects that did eventually lead to increased sales.

We had to change our mindset.

As a coach, I now work with clients to develop a process that provides a framework for critical review, embracing failure.

If we take a look at the soft skills defined by emotional intelligence (EQ) one of the core factors that apply is Decision Making which includes the following sub skills:

Problem solving

Reality testing and

Impulse control

All of these skills are required when we begin to look at failure as an opportunity rather than a setback.

In fact, failure is a critical component when we consider the ultimate goal of success.  When we encounter a roadblock it creates a platform to brainstorm new ideas. When we involve team members and strategic partners in the discussion the outcome is usually better than the original plan.

Let’s take a look at each of the skills and how they contribute to the process and our ability to embrace failure.

Problem Solving

By definition this is a skill we use when we have to consider alternatives or find solutions to obstacles.  One of the characteristics or traits related to solving problems is flexibility. Solutions based thinking is a skill that usually involves connecting with members of our team or strategic partners for input on the “how” to best navigate a new plan. Creative problem solving sets a foundation for transforming a challenge or failure into an opportunity.

Reality Testing

Every plan must have realistic goals and objectives. Thinking “big” will create momentum but the execution of the plan must have various stages or steps to realize the goals.  We often use the SMART principle as a reality test. Is the plan Specific, Measurable, Attainable , Realistic and Timely? Applying this skill to a failure opens the door to creative solutions and keeps us grounded in the possibilities.

Impulse Control

By definition this skill would also include patience and confidence in the plan. There is a skill involved in knowing when to take action and when to stay the course.  When things don’t go according to plan give yourself permission to pause and reflect on the options before changing direction.

Just think of the long term benefits:

1) Increased employee/stakeholder engagement
2) Encouraging creative, innovative, outside the box thinking

3) Confidence in risk management

Giving ourselves permission to celebrate our failures encourages resilience  and confidence in our ability to plan for calculated risk.

When we reflect on the outcomes we usually find that we are in a better place than when we originally started.

As a team, we now celebrate our failures because they take us one step closer to success.

Trish Tonaj is a Master Coach Practitioner, and Certifed EQ Coach,

offering keynotes and workshops on how to amplify your business. Breaking barriers, start meaningful conversations and create a new definition for success… shareyourstories.online


Second Act Careers – What is Your Definition?

I met with a prospective client this week whose personal introduction included the term: “second act career.”

Interesting to note, if you google the phrase you will find a definition that suggests these initiatives start later in life, after retirement or changing occupations.

That is not how I would describe this individual who was in their 30’s with a successful career as a lawyer.  After practising family law they were looking for a new challenge.  A change in direction with a connection to the community, perhaps a whole new career.  They currently had a solid foundation but found themselves at a stage in life with an interest to explore new and innovative ways to use their skills and expertise.

Fantastic…creating a new definition that would build on current success.

We decided to create a list that would include all of the things they enjoyed about their current role and compare those skills to lifestyle expectations. It turns out that they truly enjoyed the sport and fitness industry, so, we began to look at opportunities that would establish a market niche and new direction.

Would you define this change as a second act career?

Personally, as they were continuing to offer services that included their core competencies I would describe this as a new opportunity.  If they had decided to become a personal trainer or perhaps open a gym you may then consider the traditional definition.


What about the issue of “later in life”?  One would assume the description to include someone of a certain age, perhaps in the category of 50+. Not so in this case, they were in the prime time of their career.

Change and transformation is not time sensitive but rather based on goals and lifestyle choices.

I do, however, know a number of individuals who have in fact started new careers or businesses after retirement.  They usually begin as a part-time commitment which at times grows into another full-time venture.

A common theme is a passion for the work!

I’m not sure when we self-identify with the term “second act career” that age is a determining factor.  I have met a number of people who are between the ages of 35 and 50 who have in fact started a new career, successfully changed direction and are now happier with their new career choice.

What I find inspiring is the courage it takes after your five to ten years onto a career path that we find the passion to pursue something completely different.

There are certain qualities that are inherent to the performance of these new and emerging leaders.  The skills are best described through emotional intelligence or EQ:

  • Optimism
  • Independence
  • Reality Testing

One may also argue the list should include social responsibility. These qualities contribute to our ability to pivot or change direction with confidence and build the resilience to fulfil both personal and professional goals.

Perhaps the real question is not how we define a second act career but what skills we need to successfully navigate change and transformation at any age?

I’ve made a note that you may also find noteworthy:
“Celebrate your passion, live with purpose and support your core values by navigating the business of your business.”  These fundaments will ultimately lead to our long term success.

How would you define a second act career?

Trish Tonaj is a Master Coach, Certifed Personal Trainer, Author, Mentor and Speaker. She is the founder and guest blog host for shareyourstories.online a portal in support of the entrepreneurial spirit and sharing great ideas.  Join us and share your story!  https://bit.ly/37N3XQw