Failure is just a word

Failure is just a word. It’s how you recover from it that makes the difference.


After a having a less than expected positive experience at a recent art show, I must admit to being down, and somewhat depressed. I questioned my artistic ability. I had hoped for, and expected to be successful at that show. Maybe something that could springboard my career to a higher level. It didn’t happen. Sound familiar? It happens to all of us from time to time. So, how do we overcome these experiences and learn from them? I’m sure each of us have heard at least one of these adages: “Success may be just around the corner” or “It’s always darkest just before the dawn.”

Some very successful business moguls have failed from time to time. An example of this was Walt Disney. He was turned-down over 400 times by lending institutions before he found one that was willing to lend him the funds necessary to build Disney Land. He said “In every step you call failure, there are also seeds of success.” Imagine if he’d given up after 400 failures. Failure only happens when we allow our minds to focus or dwell on those bad experiences.

There is a drive in most of us that keeps us going. So if you’ve got it inside of you to be an artist, don’t worry about a bad experience – KEEP AT it! Pick up your tools, and get back in the game. I think there is only 1 difference between those who “Make it” and those who don’t. Those who “make it” are the ones that didn’t give up. Someone once said that “Failure is merely success in motion – learn to accept it, and know it is leading to something better. In other words, SUCCESS COULD BE ON THE NEXT EXIT.  This certainly happened to me. Success was a choice I had to make on my own.

A few days after the disappointing show I’ve spoken about, I received a telephone call from an individual who had been at the previous show. He liked what I was doing, and wanted to explore how some of my work could work in a exclusive art auction he was co-chairing. We talked several times over the next few weeks, and it was finally decided that a piece I had previously completed would be suitable. However, he also liked one that had been sold, and asked if I would accept a commission for a similiar piece. I obviously accepted, but was concerned that he needed it in 6 weeks. (A project that would normally take at least 8-10 weeks.) I had to immediately put any previous experiences behind me; get back in the studio, and begin creating. I really worked hard at the new commissioned piece, and found that Success can definitely be on the next exit.

The Art Auction was this past Tuesday, for the benefit of the American Indian Services. We were guests of honor at a catered dinner, attended by over 600 invited guests. Among those in attendance were co-chairperson, Johnny Miller (Professional golfer); Shawn Bradley (Former NBA player-Dallas Mavericks); Chad Lewis (Former NFL player-Philadelphia Eagles) and Indian Princesses from different tribes. Oh, I almost forgot….Diamond Rio also entertained us for nearly 2 hours. My artwork was displayed in the most coveted place – at the entrance, where every invited guest checked in for their table assignments. It was then shown on the big screen as we dined. Finally the auctioneer began – $4,000; 8,000; 12,000; 15,000 and a final bid of $17,000.  The second piece also sold.

I received numerous positive comments and complements on my artwork, and the chairpeople indicated that they definitely wanted me back for their next event. I quickly learned to Shoot for the moon.” Even if I miss it, I’ll still be among the stars.” What if I’d given in to my earlier feelings of failure? Was I lucky? Maybe…..But always remember, LUCK IS PREPARATION MEETING OPPORTUNITY.

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