Recently, a girlfriend of mine sent me a text and asked if I had a moment to chat. This text immediately sparked my curiosity because this particular friend isn’t exactly keen on phone conversations, so I knew this had to be important. When I answered her incoming call, her voice was latent with excitement and joy, and I could hardly wait to hear what she had to say. Well, I quickly learned that my friend was invited to be the keynote speaker at two prestigious colleges on the East Coast of the United States. Speaking in front of large crowds, especially among elite academia, was a goal she had set for herself in 2017; however, her dream did not come to fruition until now, about two years later. We celebrated over the phone, squealing in delight over her great news. This was the moment she was waiting for, and it finally arrived.
For years, I have witnessed my friend put in countless hours toward her craft, and although her work certainly merited this honor much sooner, she did not stop grinding, and her relentless will to succeed and give her very best motivated me on my entrepreneurial journey, too. You see, successful entrepreneurs are successful for many reasons, one of which is because they refuse to view failure as a roadblock or endpoint. Failures become teachable moments, and for a faith-fueled entrepreneur, failure becomes a lesson and reminder from God to continue with His purpose for your life, regardless of accolades and recognition.
Everyone loves a fairy tale and a happy ending, especially in the business world, and in today’s well-connected, social-media-centered society, we tend to showcase our wins rather than divulge insight on our losses. Admittedly, I’m guilty of posting my highlight reel. Truth be told, celebrating feels far better than reflecting on failures and rejection.
However, my friend’s recent dream-come-true taught me a valuable lesson–When you trust in God, failure is not a hindrance. Instead, failure serves as a motivator and a lesson learned.
Every setback is actually part of His plan. We must remember that God is busy behind the scenes, making sure everything works together in our lives for good. What we may view as a letdown or failure, God may have positioned as a stepping stone towards something far better. Because He loves us, He teaches us in various ways, some of which are more difficult to swallow than others. Nevertheless, He allows failures and rejection to mold us and make us more like Jesus.
In 2017, when my friend’s goal to land a reputable, public speaking engagement did not come to life, she could have given up. In fact, she could have given up in 2018, too, because another year had passed and her dream had yet to unfold. Instead, she cooperated with His process. She asked God to give her the strength and resilience to work through these disappointments and difficulties. Yes, the rejection hurt. In fact, she told me she received 23 rejection letters before opening her first welcome email, but she trusted that God was working in her life to make something good come out of these failures. That’s not to say she knew her dream would unfold, but that means she used her failures and as teachable moments to mold her life to be more like Him.
Now that’s a success!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” —Hebrews 12:1-3