The Successful Failure

Many times in our lives we will fail.  We will fail others we love.  We will fail on our jobs.  We even fail within ourselves.  No matter how you look at it, you and I will fail at something during our lives.  Some people will fail constantly, while others seem to fail occasionally.  The question is not how many times we fail.  The real question is how many successes come out of our failures?

One of the most craziest times in my life, was when I failed miserably.  I was jumping from job to job.  I didn’t stay anywhere for more than 3 years.  “Sowing my oats” was the only goal I had.  Even though I was married and had one child, all I wanted was to learn as much about business in order to one day open up my own company.  Dreams and goals consumed my every day.  No thoughts of others.  No thoughts of success for the company.  No thoughts of God.  Only thoughts of my own success.  However, time was not going to be good to me.

Years prior, I had been working as a fax technician for a well known company.  It was a good job, but the work quota was mentally killing me.  I had to do five to six calls per day and make sure that 92% or more calls were fixed the first time.  Parts costs had to stay as low as possible and if any of those areas were not where they were supposed to be, my boss would remind me of what I needed to do.  After 3 1/2 years, I felt it was time to move on.

I had taken a job with a competitor as a technician, who was also going to train other technicians.  Dreams of grandeur flooded my mind.  I dreamed of working my way up the corporate ladder and becoming a manager.  Nothing was going to stop me.  That was until reality set in.

My supervisor had explained that I was not only going to fix fax machines but I was going to train his technicians on the equipment.  It wasn’t easy.  Almost all the technicians refused to listen to me.  I was young and energetic.  They were just trying to get by.  No matter how hard I tried, no one wanted to listen.  No one wanted to learn.  So I decided to let my supervisor know.  He assured me that I was doing a good job.  We decided to stop training and allow me to fix machines.  During that time, I had expressed interest in working in Manhattan.  Why?  More money.  I had been told that if you work in Manhattan, you will make more money.  I asked my supervisor and denied me that opportunity.  The beginning of a tail spin.

I had mumbled several negative ideas surrounding him and my future.  We argued and I showed off my talent.  I fixed things he couldn’t fix.  I did things he never did.  People above and below him started to notice.  It was then I got the news.  I was asked to work in Manhattan.  Awesome.  I was going to make more money, or so I thought.  Just after arriving in the Manhattan office, I was told that my salary was staying right where it was because I lacked certain certifications.  I realized that the game I was playing was different than theirs.  No matter how hard I tried or how long I worked, my best was never enough.  So I decided that sales was where I was going to make the big bucks.

I inquired from upper management about entering sales.  They gave me a exam and told me to hang in there.  I continued to work as a technician for a few more weeks.  Then the news came down, “You can’t enter sales.  You aren’t focused enough.  You like to change things up.  I’m sorry but you won’t be a salesman in this company.”  Devastation filled my mind and heart.  Hatred grew.  Anger increased.  Determination to do what I wanted consumed me.  I was going to do better.  I was going to succeed.

A close friend of mine, who I had followed to this company, had taken a sales job with a small business.  They were looking for someone and had his boss contact me.  I went for the interview, where he promised me that I would make $100,000/year, if I worked hard.  I took the job with the understanding that he would train me.

I arrived at the office expecting to be trained.  I was eager to learn.  He said, “Go out and get 100 contacts.”  I thought it was odd, but I decided to try.  Without argument I went out and started to collect business cards.  When I showed him how many cards I received that day, he sounded disappointed because it was short of the requested 100.  This continued day after day.  I asked when I was going to be trained, yet he had no answer.  One day, he came to me and said, “Here are some videos.  Watch them.”  This is how someone trains?  It didn’t seem right.  Once again, I became angry and frustrated.  Conflict and arguments consumed my days.  So I did what I knew best.  I left the job.

For the next 2 years, I didn’t hold down a job for more than 8 months.  Conflict and strife were the forefront of my days.  If someone didn’t agree with me then they had to be wrong.  I had been back-stabbed, lied to and didn’t trust anyone.  Of course I was right…wasn’t I?

I had taken a new job that paid more than I could ever imagine.  I was once again told dreams of grandeur that I recognized as manure.  Due to my past experiences, I had told my fellow technicians that I was going to open my own business some day.  Millions of dollars were coming my way and I would remember them when it did.  I spoke boldly of my future.  I was determined to make a name for myself.  That was until my boss heard what I said.

After only 3 months, I was called into the office only to be told that I was being ‘let go’.  I pleaded with him but there was no response.  Now I had no job.  Unemployed with a family.  Married, one child and rent were my responsibility.  What was I going to do?  I had failed miserably.  Why was this happening to me?

During the next 8 months, it would be revealed to me that pride consumed my life.  Instead of thinking of God, I was only thinking of myself.  Selfishness came naturally but others oriented did not.  I asked God to teach me and allow me to get job.  The eight unemployed months were some of the greatest times, I experienced.

God taught me about tithing.  I obeyed and He provided.  Bills got paid off.  To this day I don’t understand it, I just know that it happened.  Joy filled my life.  Happiness was becoming more normal.  God also taught me to place Him first.  I was reading like never before.  Every day for an hour or two, I would spend time with God trying to understand my next steps.

After months of giving up everything to God, someone called me totally out of the blue and asked me to come and interview with them.  It was the parent company of the one I had first started out with.  I never sent them a resume.  I never contacted them directly.  So how did they know about me?  Of course, I recognized it was God working.

Today, I continue to work for that company and am able to provide a decent living for my family.  No more am I consumed with making millions.  However, I am consumed with making a difference for the Kingdom.  Even though I had many tragic failures, God turned them around and created one of the greatest successes in my life.

Don’t worry about your life.  Trust God and he can turn the tragedies into triumphs.  Only God can take our dirty rotten lives and make them into an orchestra of beautiful flowers.  If God can change my life, certainly He can change yours too.

God bless and encourage someone today.

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