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You shouldn’t be afraid of failure

Nov 28, 2018

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Failure is a word that strikes fear into people.

We have been brought up thinking that “failure is not an option” (attributed to former NASA Flight Director Gene Krantz who successfully led the agency’s operation to save the crew of the ill-fated Apollo 13 space mission) and that failure is bad thing.

I disagree, and listening to a huge number of successful people, I’m not alone.

The quote that strikes a chord with me, is one from Michael Jordan:

“I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player to have ever played the game, and despite this, he often talks of how his failures made him stronger and helped him succeed.

Over the years I have talked to a lot of students who put off sitting their mock exams, or hold back on attempting that set of questions or a test – and the underlying reason is that they don’t want to fail.

I feel this is completely the wrong approach, and actually failure can be your best teacher. Henry Ford once said “the only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing” and I completely agree with him.

You need to attempt questions to learn what you know and what you don’t know, and then use this information to tailor your study.

I am sure you have heard me say that Practice makes Permanent, and that the more you do of something (with time to reflect and adjust) the more embedded it becomes in your memory – well you have to start somewhere, and that should be with questions.

You shouldn’t be afraid of failure, you should embrace it. Failure refocuses what you are doing ensures that your efforts are spent on activities that are going to help you succeed.

James @ HTFT


  • JK Rowling – Divorced, depressed, penniless, writing in coffee shops all while raising a child, Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before landing a deal that made “Harry Potter” the $15 Billion brand it is today.

  • Howard Schultz – 217 out of 242 investors turned down the idea of coffee shop franchise. But Schultz’s resilience eventually brought 25,085 Starbucks coffee shops into our lives.

  • Sir Richard Branson – Branson’s first business failure came in 1968 with his publication, “Student Magazine”. He once famously said he has failed more times than he succeeded in his career. His net worth? Over $5.1 Billion.

  • Harland Sanders – It is hard to believe that Col. Sander’s recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken was rejected by 1,009 restaurants. Today there are more than 20,000 KFC outlets worldwide.




HTFT Partnership is an award winning professional accountancy training provider offering high quality AAT, ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW courses that embrace technology and reflect how people learn.
Based in Birmingham, HTFT Partnership deliver courses internationally via highly interactive live online masterclass sessions that are recorded and made available to our students across all devices.
HTFT are accredited at the highest levels with all of the four main professional accountancy bodies and were awarded PQ Online College of the year 2017. The ‘HTFT way’ is centred on personal support for each individual and our primary goal is to help each one reach their full potential.