Laurie's Blogs.


Feb 2014

Learning by Failure

Aloha my friends!


Two different items have come to my attention of late, and both with the same topic - Failure.  Now the word failure tends to have negative connotations to it, but both of these sources of information took a different slant to that.


The first failure-related piece I want to discuss came in the form of an audio CD put out by Success Magazine.  It contained the stores of 3 people who have failed in some aspect of business.  Most importantly (and most relevant), within each story were the lessons learned from the event and how each person dealt with the failure.  Did they give up, pack it in, take a job as a Walmart greeter?  No!  They dealt with the failure.  They picked themselves up.  They became introspective and they learned from the failure.  The 'preamble' to the CD discussed trying to find people willing to talk about their failures.  Not surprisingly, several people declined the request to participate in the project.  They feared it would negatively impact their reputation.  That's a shame, because what the stories truly highlighted were the elements of learning, courage & overcoming.


They say that one of the things a person can do to help them become more successful (or shorten their learning journey) is to read the stories of others.  Emulate what successful people have done and learn from their failures or mistakes.


The second failure-related item I came across is the book by W. Brett Wilson entitled Redefining Success Still Making Mistakes.  Brett is / was a successful entrepreneur in Calgary's energy sector, co-founding a company the was able to provide start-up funding to smaller oil and gas companies.  However, Brett became better known as the 'generous dragon' on Canada's popular TV show Dragon's Den (akin to the US & UK's Shark Tank).  While Brett was very successful in his business life, he is very open about how his family life and health suffered due to lack of attention in those areas.  So in reading the book, not are you inspired by his business success, but you also learn from his failures and subsequent actions and advice to rectify those short-comings.


Subsequently, two things strike me as relevant to you:

1) Think about reading Successful Practitioners in Canine Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy, because the stories talk of both success and failure. (Book available at,, and

2) Who amongst you might be brave enough to tell me of your failures (business, personal, academic, whatever) that I might compile and share them for the benefit of FourLeg members?  Just drop me a short e-mail - letting me know that you'd be willing to share your story and I'll draft a questionnaire or list ofguidance points to help you convey your story.


Until next time… just keep on your learning journey!