Why Failure Helps You Savor the Sweetness of Success

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” ― Truman Capote

In Opportunity Knocking I write there are seven steps to achieving success. Since I’m a cook, this quote from Capote struck a chord with me. I view the opportunity pyramid as meal satisfying your goals and dreams. I want you to view the seven steps as your ingredients to your recipe of success. In fact, these “secret ingredients” to your recipe of success are things you already have in your personal pantry!!!


Just like making a red sauce, the ingredients you put in will be slightly different from mine or the next person but the end product will most likely resemble the same. The strategies I have laid out in the pyramid are all the same but the way you tweak them will set you apart from the next person.

When you set out to make a meal, you need to have your basic ingredients in order to make your recipe for success. To make your opportunity pyramid you need these vital ingredients: Honesty, Courage, Passion, Focus and Knowledge. Without these your recipe will be a flop.

Honesty: Why is honesty so important? Because you have to know what your good at in order to seize on an opportunity. You have to be realistic in the environment you are working in or want to work in.

Knowledge Do you have the expertise to dominate and set yourself apart from the competition? How can you rise above? You need to be able to assess the needs of the market place or business and see where you can set yourself apart. Leaders never stop learning. You learn from books, real life experience and your mistakes. Learning what you did wrong and how not to do it again is just as vital.

Courage- sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone in order to succeed. The three founders of BlogHer, Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone all left successful careers to create one of the most powerful social networking sites in the world. WHy did they leave their 9-5 jobs? It’s because they viewed them as a “job”. It wasn’t their passion. It didn’t give them the juice, rush, the zest for living as creating a community of women bloggers that would turn the way consumer product companies would approach consumers on its head. You need to believe in yourself and your abilities because you know what? There are a lot of naysayers out there and you need to believe in yourself. You have to be in your corner because in the end its your reflection you see in the mirror every day. Do not live your life out of fear of pleasing others. You must live your life for you. You can’t be afraid to fail. As Elisa Camahort Page told a woman thinking of leaving her job to start her own business, “A job will always be waiting for you”.

Passion: Passion is the zesty spice that kicks you into gear. It supports you when times are down. You need to wrap yourself in a blanket of passion. If you are not passionate about something it shows in your actions, your product. Passion is infectious. Passion people inspire others, they rally the group. Have you ever met a leader who was not passionate? I haven’t!!

Focus Keeping on task and constantly going back to your mission statement and carefully evaluating each and every opportunity to see if it makes sense is pivotal in reaching your apex of World Domination (success). If you do not keep focus, your plan of execution will be all off. You have to stay true to what you are trying to achieve. Now that’s not to say what you are doing will not evolve. All good businesses and leaders are nimble. You can’t be set in your ways because one day you’ll wake up and find your company or your skills are outdated.

Remember success is a byproduct of your achievements and mistakes you need to embrace both. Just like a little dash of salt and pepper, but ingredients are needed to compliment the dish.

Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book Opportunity Knocking Lessons from Business Leaders.


Author: loriannlarocco

I am the author of "Dynasties of the Sea: The Untold Stories of teh Postwar Shipping Pioneers", "Opportunity Knocking: Lessons from Business Leaders", "Thriving in the New Economy" and "Dynasties of the Sea: The Shipowners and Financiers Who Expanded the Era of Free Trade". I'm also the Senior Talent Producer at CNBC, and known as the producer with the trillion dollar Rolodex

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