Treat failure as a tool, not an outcome

Adams once attributed his success as a world famous cartoonist to his volume of failures. 

He said that the world is like a reverse casino. Because in a casino, if you gamble long enough, you’re certainly going to lose. But in the real world, where the only thing you’re gambling is your time and embarrassment, then the more stuff you do, the more you give success a chance to find you. But if you only do one thing and stop, you haven’t played long enough to win. 

Deniro famously said that the more they play, the more they lose, and in the end, the casino gets it all. But that was just a movie.

Our goal is to treat failure as a tool, not an outcome. To view it as resource that can be managed. 

When I first started wearing a nametag twenty four seven, it was humiliating. Strangers, friends and family members alike gave me weird looks, rolled their eyes, called me names, sent me hate mail, even got up in my face and ripped the nametag right off my shirt. 

And that was just the first week. 

Over the next few years, the majority of my interactions were peppered with some kind of failure, rejection, criticism and ridicule to my sticky idea. 

But although it hurt my feelings and made my doubt my own idea, it also formed a thick emotional callus. It strengthened my capacity for public embarrassment, reinforced my own ability to deal with setbacks and trained me that the beast I had always feared, failure, was not as terrifying as I thought it was. 

And that emboldened me to stay in the game long enough to win. 

That’s the value of having your ideas rejected. At the end of the trail might be embarrassment, but the journey teaches us things about ourselves and our ideas that we could not have learned any other way. 

Besides, what’s the worst thing that could happen? If we fail, the cynics who never tried get to laugh at us? 

It’s just a tool. It’s fuel. It’s proof that we’re alive and taking risks. 


Are your failures interesting enough that people will give you more chances? LET ME SUGGEST THIS… 

For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 

The Nametag Guy in action here!


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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