SuccessQuest Podcast

Failure: Overcome, Surpass, & Learn from it
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Failure: Overcome, Surpass, & Learn from it

Show Notes

Jacob and Kalob discuss how to respond to failure. Failure is part of life. Everyone will experience failure. What matters is how we respond to these failures. Will we quit, or will we learn from them?

Follow Up


Famous Failures

How to respond to failure

  1. Admit failure
  2. Understand Why
  3. Make the necessary changes
  4. Repeat

Additional Resources

Interested in learning more about failure and success? Here are some more resources to check out:

Jacob Links:

Kalob Links:

SuccessQuest Links:

Full Transcript

(This transcript was created using software. Please be advised that it won't be 100% accurate, and it may contain formatting issues.)

Kalob Valle  0:10  
Hey there and welcome back to the SQHQ with another episode of success quest. I'm Kalob.

Jacob Harmon  0:16  
And I'm Jacob Harmon.

Kalob Valle  0:17  
And today we're going to continue our journey discussing the success and all it encompasses, as usual. On the first week, we're just want to have some follow ups. I'm talking about because everyone, I hope listen to the last podcast we had about Jacob's, apartment flooding, which must have been crazy. I think we all need some closure to that story. Jacob, can you fill us in a little bit more? What happened?

Jacob Harmon  0:42  
Yeah, so like I said, last week, that day was crazy. Basically, we tore out our entire floor and brought it down to cement because it is a basement apartment so it's all just cement. And then we dried it out. We put up like four or five fans just to dry all that yucky horribly smelling sewage water out of our apartment. The next day, it was mostly dry, but it still kind of smelled. And I had to go back to work, right? I was like, Well, yesterday was emergency today. It's not really an emergency. It still is in a horrible condition. But I need to go back to work. So I went to work. And my amazing parents went and got some new flooring, and they marked it all up with with Pine Sol and made it smell better. And then they started putting in a new flooring. And two days later, we had a brand new floor and our apartment, we still had to kind of organize our stuff re rearrange things. One of the things that that was really annoying was it was all dusty. And so all of our dishes, we opened up our cupboards, and all of our dishes had like a layer of dust on them now. So those two already and stuff. But at the end of the day, it's a happy ending. We have a beautiful brand new floor in our apartment. I was joking with him. I said, hey, that's one way to get a nice new floor. I'm almost thankful because that other floor with it needed replacing anyways. So at the end of the day, we're happy. We're back in our apartment. I'll post some pictures with the show notes of this episode to show you what it looks like now. But all in all, we're doing fine. We're doing fine. How was your anniversary? Man?

Kalob Valle  2:32  
It was good. So honestly, I this is going to be bad. But I kind of had it slipped my mind for a little bit that our anniversary was coming up. And okay, the reason that happened was not because I don't forget about our anniversaries. But it's because we're kind of planning on celebrating it at a different dates just because of where it lands and all the different. I mean, we have a vacation coming up and we were like, you know what, it'd be fun to drop off our son while we're on this vacation for a couple of days. And we can spend an anniversary like getaway together and go somewhere a little further away. So we're going to Arizona to visit family and we said it's going to be in like Phoenix area. And we were like, you know, okay, let's drop off our son and leave him with the grandparents because they love them. Love them more than us by that by that at this point. And we'll just go to Flagstaff or something and get a hotel and we'll just chill, you know, so that's the plan. So I kind of had it slipped my mind when the actual day came along. I was like, Oh no, I'm because it was funny to my wife the day before anniversary. She was like, um, so I mean, what should we do tomorrow? And I was like, who tomorrow? She's like, you haven't forgotten what tomorrow is? Right? And I was like, Oh, yeah, sorry, anniversary. Of course. I didn't forget. We kept it simple. We didn't exchange any gifts or anything. But I mean, we had a nice dinner. And I cooked I cook at home so I am a fantastic cook made some cool like spaghetti noodles stuff from um, the spaghetti noodle squash, whatever. I guess the squash? You can? Yeah. Yeah, so I made something cool from there. And we just kind of relaxed that day, which was nice. I mean, most of our days are pretty busy trying to do a whole lot of other stuff. But it was good overall, it was really, it was good that day, and we're excited for the vacation that's coming up

Jacob Harmon  4:23  
Glad to hear it,

Kalob Valle  4:24  
that's gonna be the best part.

Jacob Harmon  4:25  
Now that I know you're a good cook, I'm gonna have to make you cook something.

Kalob Valle  4:29  
Every time. Someone they're like, Oh, you know, maybe one day one day, I'll be able to show off my skills. Maybe I'll do like a video of me cooking or something on Facebook, like I can make a big.

Jacob Harmon  4:45  
All right. Well, today we're going to be talking about the exact opposite of what we've talked about, up until this point on success quest. As you know, our topic is success. And we've talked a lot about success. We've broken it up into different pieces. We've kind of dissected it, and today we're going to talk about failure. But more importantly, how to respond to failure, and also how failure can actually be an essential part of success. A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post for those of you that don't know, we also have a blog. If you go to my success You can find it there. I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about failure, and how it can be an essential ingredient to success. And so we want to talk a little bit about that today. So to start off this discussion about failure, I'd like to just talk about an experience that I had about a year ago now when my daughter was learning how to walk and is Malika learning to walk. Yeah, Kalob, I think

Kalob Valle  5:48  
he is right. He is actually walking. Oh, yeah, what the heck,

Jacob Harmon  5:52  
okay, so so you'll totally understand what I'm saying here. But I remember watching my daughter taking steps. And she takes us and she fell down. She taken another step and she'd fall down. Then she take two steps, and she'd fall down. And over and over and over again, she would constantly be falling to the ground. Sometimes she'd smack her face right on the floor. But guess what, every single time she would get up, and she would try again. And it doesn't seem all that miraculous when we're looking at a little baby, right? Because that's what's expected. But for some reason, in our society, when we see adults falling face flat, we don't think of it the same way as like we do a baby. And I don't understand why we look at a baby, we say Oh, yeah, just get back up and try again. But then we look at someone who starts a business and fails. And we say Oh, yeah, he didn't know what he was doing. Yeah, he lost a lot of money there. Right. But why don't we have that same attitude of Oh, get back up? Try again. I don't know what what's what gets lost between the age of one and in 20? Like, what what's the difference? And why it Why did we lose that ability to say Oh, just get back up.

Kalob Valle  7:09  
that stigma exists? pretty widely. I mean, like, Okay, if I go into business, and I fail, how many people around me are telling me like, oh man should have gone to college, you know, or should have done this or should have done that should have gotten that safe degree, you should never try business again. And then like that fear kind of develops, you know, in yourself, and you lose that confidence. And you say, you know what, maybe I won't ever touch business again, or, and this is not just obviously it's a business, it could be anything, it could be this, it has such a huge spectrum, there's such a huge variety of things that this can apply to that process of failing is so crucial to becoming good at anything. And so I mean, we take the example of the baby, if the baby just had developed this fear. And if we all as soon as the baby fell, we were like, you will never walk, you know, if we all talk that baby, you'll never be able to talk. And even though the baby maybe doesn't understand it feels that tone, it feels that energy. How would that affect that child forever? Like it would it would have a huge effect, I'm sure. But man that that kind of stuff happens probably on a daily basis around the world. And I just can't help but think of how important it is that we do fail that we do fall that we stumble that we run into obstacles and trials. But why is that so necessary? in our lives? Why is that? It's it seems almost inevitable, right? It is inevitable for every living creature on earth today, that they will somehow face failure one way or another? What advice should we be giving those people who are facing failure right now? Should we be telling them to quit? Or should we be telling them to continue? How How do you take that? How do you change your perspective? In a way so you when you face failure head on that it becomes a positive experience, and you can have a positive result?

Jacob Harmon  9:11  
Now, that's a hard question. I don't think we should ever tell anyone to quit, even if the end result of what we're telling them is basically to pivot or go a different direction, or not continue the exact same thing they're doing. I don't think we should ever encourage anyone to quit, because that implies throwing everything away. In my at least it does. In my mind. I'm thinking okay, quitting is just saying, oh, that didn't work. Let's start fresh. But instead, what we should do is we should teach people to learn, and then make adjustments. And maybe sometimes that adjustment will be a big change. So for example, if someone's starting a business and they fail, maybe the right thing to do isn't to keep going at that business, because maybe it is a bad idea. Or maybe what they're doing is wrong. But we shouldn't tell him to quit. Instead, we should say, Okay, take a step back, learn from your mistakes, and then make changes. And sometimes that change could be a big drastic change, like, Okay, I'm not going to be doing this business anymore. Instead, I'm going to focus on this area. But I don't know, maybe, maybe it's just semantics. But in my mind, I don't necessarily like the idea of quitting.

Kalob Valle  10:23  
Yes, I like that, too. Because the mentality of quitting can really hurt you mentally, I think, let's say you go down the business road, and you hit a rock, and it's just the worst, like you choose to do something that's very different possibly. Should you move on from that experience? Maybe like, you should look at that as a learning experience. Right? You shouldn't look at it and say, dang, I quit, you know, I can't make it in business. I failed. And that's it. No, no, because quitting is looking at it negatively. And learning nothing from women, that's what quitting really is. It's having taken the time to go through that experience and then thrown in the trash. That's not what you want to do at all, what you want to do, when you get into an experience like that, and you're in the heat of it, and you're facing failure, you should step back, look at that failure, analyze it, and learn from it, and then move on. And this is this is really hard for me to share. But I know, it's gonna be really hard to me. Sure. Um, I don't like to talk about a lot because I do see it as a failure. And I think it's important to admit that as it is a failure, but to learn from it as well. When I got home from my mission, I had no idea what I wanted to pursue. And I was kind of just open for anything, I kind of just decided that, in my mind, no matter what I did, I'd be good at it. But I, I found something that I love to do, which was help people I love to help people. And I love everything about the medical field. And my mom's a nurse and so I was like, You know what, maybe I should try going down that road of being a CNA, certified nursing assistant and then becoming a registered nurse, and then maybe a doctor someday, I think that'd be awesome. Plus, that's kind of like the most stereotypical successful financially financial road, right? I mean, becoming a doctor is kind of just what everyone kind of wants their kids to do when they grow up. You look at your kids, you're like, I hope you're the doctor, you know, like everyone kind of plays like that. But so I, I went down that road, I became a CNA and I went into nursing school. And I'm also not really gifted in this education system. The I'm not really good in school, per se, I didn't do great in high school. But anyway, so I went into the college, and I worked harder than I ever had before my life like that was hard for me, I had struggle just constantly, but I was doing fine. The nursing school I was in it was very strict. If you get anything less than a b minus, you failed the class. And if you fail three times, you get kicked out of the program. So I mean, I went there for a year and a half. And I mean, I had to get extended, I failed a couple of classes and failed, quote unquote, right? Anything less than b minus was a failure. But I hit that third fail. And I got kicked out of the program. That was the hardest thing for me. Because I sat there and I thought man, did I really just do all of that hard work, all the blood, sweat and tears that went into going to clinical for 12 hours, going to school and retaking tests and studying my butt off, just so I couldn't make it to the end. And when you get kicked out of the program, it's really hard to get back in because they want to have the best statistics for their school, right. And if I tried to get into any other nursing school, I would have to restart from zero in nursing school. And I know I'm talking a lot, but man, that was hard for me. But then I sit here and I think I'm facing something right here. If I step back out of the moment, for half a second, I look well, I failed. I failed. This. I didn't get through it. The first time I failed a lot of classes I have to retake, I have to hopefully get accepted back in. Do I quit pursuing becoming a nurse? That's That's a hard question. Do I quit? Or straight out? If I'm trying to get right back except to be accepted again? But do I just flat out quit? And I'm going to answer before you say anything, Jacob. I've really thought about this a lot, especially with my wife, we talked about this all the time. And I I can't, you know, like, look at all this hard work I've put into this. Now if the school doesn't accept me back. Now, that's what I have options still, you know, and that's when I should say, okay, we're looking at different paths. Now. For example, we just took up a program for medical coding. Whoa, like, Where did this come from out of the blue, this thing comes out of nowhere. And it's an opportunity and we I look at it and I say wow, I have anatomy and physiology. background, I know that stuff, I've taken these classes, this is actually a perfect lead into what this is. And it's just kind of amazing how, you know, you you, you look at you can step out, look at your options, kind of change your perspective and see failure as an opportunity for something new, kind of move into that direction. And maybe that's what you're supposed to do. And I mean, no one knows exactly what you're supposed to do. Like every step of the way, everything, everyone's kind of just making stuff up as they go in this life. But um, that I think you just have to be able to step out of the, whatever trial you're facing, and take a couple breathers and really think about your options, and try to look at it as positively as possible. What can you learn from this experience? What can you grab from this? How can you take advantage of that and move into, like you said earlier, pivot into maybe a different direction?

Jacob Harmon  16:29  
That's hard. Like, those are life changing moments, because all of that time, all that energy, and all that money that you guys have put into something, right? And it's like, man, why we've been doing this, like, I've had those types of moments like, why? And honestly, there's there's so many opportunities to to pivot, and I love, I love how you mentioned that all the experience that you got in nursing school could actually help you on this other path of medical coding, because it's not wasted, right? Even if let's say hypothetically, you never get your teenager, you never finished nursing school, that doesn't mean that that was wasted time, right? You still learn something, you still spend time learning how to study how to go to school, I mean, there's skills and things that we get from life, and going back to the baby learning how to walk. The interesting thing about that, I think it's a perfect analogy, because literally the act of them failing is what eventually lets them succeed, literally, because they're building those muscles, right? They're building the coordination, a one year old, who's never taken a step before, can't walk period. They can't, until they fall in many times because they have to learn how to balance they have to learn the coordination, they have to learn how to pick up the foot that their legs need to get gain strength, and how do they gain that strength and coordination. by falling by trying and failing. And I think in life, we need to understand that principle more, we need to understand that in order to succeed, we need to work our muscles, we need to work on our coordination, we need to work on our balance. And guess what, while we're doing those things are going to fall a few times. But because of those failures, we'll be able to one day walk and then run and then jump, right. And so I think a failure, or at least I've started the thing of failure. I haven't always thought of it like this. And I'll be the first to admit, I'm still learning this when I have when I fail, it's still hard. I kind of soak for a day or two. It's not easy. But I'm starting to learn to understand that failure is not only simply a part of this world, but it's also an essential part of becoming successful. Oh yeah. And there are so many examples of it. I'll link to a video in the show notes. But there's this video that has 15 famous people and the different failures that they've gone through. And I'll just read a few of them here, Abraham Lincoln. I didn't know this before, but he failed in business three times. And he campaigned seven times and failed before he became the president united states. When you think of presidents of the United States, like Abraham Lincoln is the President of the United States. He's like, the one person that everyone thinks of as like the perfect president. And man, if you would have given up the first time he campaigned, or the first time you fail the business, he would have never made it. Let's see. Here's another one, Michael Jordan, did you know that he was cut from his high school basketball team. I didn't know that. But he was like, the best basketball player ever was covering his high school basketball team, my goodness. And then my personal favorite, and I won't read all these, this will be the last one. Steve Jobs. For those of you that don't know, I'm like, the stereotypical Apple fanboy. And so Steve Jobs is like my hero. He's just an amazing guy. But he was kicked out of his own company, he built Apple from the ground up. And then he was kicked out. It's a crazy story. And it's definitely worth looking into. But he left. And instead of getting down on himself and giving up, he went. And he did some amazing things outside of apple. He started companies like Pixar, that we still think of today, like is one of the best Animation Studios ever, Steve Jobs. I mean, he had his hands in that. And then he came back to Apple years later, and turned it into the company that is today. So I mean, Apple was about to fail, and he came back and fixed it. So just because you fail, it's not the end, it's if it can be a way of training your muscles and becoming stronger and learning so that we can succeed in the future.

Kalob Valle  21:08  
I love that. And you know, the other thing I was just thinking about in your analogy of the baby learning to walk, every single one of us are different, like we're not going to learn how to walk all at the same time. You know, it's not like, oh, a year and a half, you have to be knowing how to, like you have to know how to walk. Right? That's not how it works. I mean, if you were actually counting how many times a kid fell until they could walk perfectly without falling. I mean, what age is that? I mean, sometimes I fall like

Jacob Harmon  21:39  
My two year old is still falling all the time. She is so cool.

Kalob Valle  21:42  
Yeah. Like it's, I feel like sometimes people try to compare themselves thinking, Man, I failed. But look at my neighbor, Jimmy over there, and he's just doing so well, I bet you like it, he probably never falls, you know, he never fails at anything. And I think some times we were hard on ourselves, trying to compare ourselves to the success of somebody else. Whereas we should be happy for them. And continue to just be on our own path. Be in our own moment, you know, take our time to learn what we need to learn and then walk when we can walk and then run when we can run. I think those are all really important things to keep in mind. I love those examples. Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, and Michael Jordan, all incredibly successful. All started out very humble, very humble. So no matter what position you're in, or situation you think you are in, that is just maybe impossible in your mind to get out of it. There's a way man like, these guys became the greats from nothing, you know. So I mean, they're, you're never too old. You're never too whatever to become truly successful. I think a lot of success. from failure, being able to use utilize for failure to its fullest is an understanding how to respond to failure. In Jacobs blog, he kind of mentioned this a little bit about admitting that you failed. I feel like for some reason like this, the first this step to responding to failure, it's really difficult. Looking at something and being able to blatantly say that you know, you failed, that's hard. It's hard to admit that you failed at something. Why is that? Why is it so hard to say the thing like that, that got me good? Like, if I failed business? Why is this so hard to come home and talk to your parents and be like, wow, I failed guys, like, dang. Is it because there's that fear? Is that because of that stigma that we were talking about before that maybe people are going to start telling you to give it up? or What is that? I don't know.

Jacob Harmon  23:49  
I think we attach it to ourselves, ooh, instead of understanding that we made a mistake, we think we are in mistake, right? And, and this goes back on a little bit to the whole emotional success thing too. But you need to understand that people make mistakes, including ourselves, right? We're all going to make mistakes. But that doesn't make us a mistake. And just because something we did failed, doesn't mean we are a failure, if that makes sense. Um, I think all too often, we make it too personal. We beat ourselves up about it, instead of understanding, okay, I made a mistake. What can we learn from it? How can I move on from here, we need to detach ourselves from it. It's not personal. Everyone makes mistakes.

Kalob Valle  24:36  
I love that. Being able to detach yourself from the one failure and say, like, hey, one failure does not define me as a failed person. You know, it's because now I've failed, I can grow even further. Like if people thought like that, maybe we would see or feel a lot more success in our society. Very, very insightful, Jacob. And then next step that we have written here, pass once once you've admitted your failure. Now you have to kind of understand why you failed. Now you have to dive deeper into it. So you can't just say, Oh, I failed, and move on. Like, now you have to learn from it, you have to actually make use of your failure. I think, if you don't do that, you're doing yourself a disservice, you're missing out on the opportunity to continue your progression and your knowledge, your wisdom, your experience, take the time to understand why you failed. And I promise you the majority of the time, there's a reason. There's a reason you failed. Okay, actually, I'm going to take that back. Maybe there isn't always a reason, maybe there isn't a reason you didn't get the job. You know, I this is actually actually an interesting place to, to have a conversation. Because I feel like the majority of the time, there are reasons for why you fail. But yet, sometimes there aren't reasons. And you should just be able to look at that as a positive experience and move on anyways. For example, if you interview for a job, and you're totally qualified, and you don't get it, because there are lots of other people who are equally qualified, now they're looking at personality, or now they're looking at just you know, someone they fit in really well with, or they liked just a little bit more. Does that mean you failed? And is there something you can learn from that? Probably not, right? Like, you just got to sit there and like, okay, they just like Susan more, for some reason, you know, we were both equally qualified. And maybe you try to learn what you could have done better. But in the end, that there wasn't much you could do. So how deep Do you go into understanding the why of your failure?

Jacob Harmon  26:40  
That's another great question Kalob? And I mean, I don't have a perfect answer. But something that I would say is understanding the things you can affect, and the things you can't. Because there's things we have control over right? For example, if you're applying for a job, you have control over how will you prepare for the interview? You have control over your resume letter, you have control over in the actual interview? Did you dress well? Did you answer all the questions to the best of your ability? Those are the things you have control over? Then there's things you don't have control over which you've already mentioned, a lot of those did they like you? Did the personality just happened to to mesh with yours? On that day? Where was the person that was interviewing you just tired, because you're the last person they interviewed, like you have zero control over that. And so don't stress over it. Like, those aren't things that you can change. So I mean, in the end of the day, there's only certain things that you can control. So in the part of understanding why I guess our recommendation would be after a failure, take out a piece of paper, and write down the things you can control that may have contributed to that failure. And figure out how you can change those things make the necessary changes, to turn the that into success in the future. But only the things you can control.

Kalob Valle  28:04  
Man. It's so amazing. Now we're talking about failure, just how much failure I recognize in my own life. I don't know what it is. But I'm thinking back to all these moments where I've had experience with failure. And it really is amazing. And I'm sure for everyone that you listeners, you questor's out there listening to this podcast, we've all experienced failure at one point in our lives. And we all know that it's because of those low moments that we are who we are today, because of them, you know, we've had those experiences. Yet somewhere deep inside, we're all kind of grateful for those. Thank you so much for tuning into this podcast today. I think there's so much that we all can learn from each other on in the future in near future, we're actually going to be having a lot more interviews with some guests to our show. And we are so excited to have the mom and have you guys listen to them and the advice that they have to share and their experiences. It's just gonna be fantastic. Once again, we want to invite all of you guys to rate us on whichever podcast app you're listening to. And to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and or invite your friends. I mean, this is, this is awesome. What we're talking about here is pluggable to everybody. If you're listening to right now and you feel like you have something that could positively influence your community, give us a shout out, email us or find us on social media. Send us a message we would love to hear what you have to say and we would love to have you on the show. We're so excited to continue this journey with you guys. So thanks again for tuning in. And we hope you guys have a successful day.

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