There are things in your life that you didn’t want but may be exactly what you need.
My mission for this podcast is to reveal the true nature of success— that failure is a necessary step on the path to success for you. We don’t seek it out. We don’t want it. But it is part of success.
And that’s life! We don’t always get what we ask for but often it’s what we actually need.
It’s not exactly an easy idea to reconcile to, I know, BUT once you learn how to shift your mindset, the adversities, challenges, and setbacks that you’ll face in life will turn into one opportunity after another!
Join me in this episode as I translate a viral poem into a usable and functional action item that will crystalize the power of failure to open new opportunities for growth and success despite— and sometimes even because of— failure. Tune in now!
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
Download the Action Plan from This Episode Here
[00:00] I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and bra to work. I had to work and work my ass off. I had to work through all of this mess to get to the other side. And now I'm more qualified because I've done all this work with my brains and my brawn. Welcome to another episode of Success Through Failure.
[00:25] This is your host, Jim Harshaw, Jr. and today I'm bringing you a solo episode. My mission for this podcast is always to reveal the true nature of success for you. That is that failure is a necessary step on the path to success. We don't seek it out. We don't want it. But it is part of success in this episode will hit the nail squarely on the head.
[00:49] So stay tuned before we get into that, no matter what device you're listening to this on, take a screenshot, take a picture, post it on social media. Use the hashtag #STFpod. You can tag me on Twitter, @jimharshaw or Instagram, @jimharshawjr. LinkedIn, you can just find me there on LinkedIn. Search my name on LinkedIn and same thing on Facebook.
[01:08] But tag me, or share this with a friend episode 371. If you love the success through failure podcast, help this thing grow by sharing it with a friend. You are the engine that makes this show work. So thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing and just had another client tell me this morning. He's like, Hey Jim, I love listening to your solo episodes.
[01:30] How do I get all of your solo episodes? You can go straight to Jim harsher jr.com/solo. If you like these episodes more than the interview episodes, if you like, 'em both, you get a mix. Cause I alternate 'em pretty much every week. All right. So let's get into the content for. We're gonna go through line by line a meme, or it's not so much a meme, but a poem that you've seen posted on social media, it kind of feels like a meme when you see it, it gets shared around and people like it and share it and retweet it and post it.
[01:58] And it's cute and it's all great and everything and people like it. And it makes them feel wise when they share it. But nobody actually ever internalize. Very rarely do I ever see somebody who actually internalizes this and lives it out. And I'm gonna read this to you. You may be familiar with it. If not, it's gonna be really interesting to hear me read this, but we're gonna break this down line by line and how it applies to your life.
[02:19] Cuz that's what I always try to do. I always try to take these concepts like the larger concept of success through failure and figuring out like. That sounds nice. It sounds nice for a podcast name. It sounds nice posted on a graphic that I can retweet on social media, but how do I actually utilize that and live that out in my life?
[02:36] Because success through failure is nice for the next person, but Hey, I just want success through success. But I break this down and make it usable and functional for you. So here is the poem and the author is an Indian professor, poet and philosopher who lived in the late 18 hundreds in early 19 hundreds.
[02:55] He passed away in 1927 in India, and his name is Hara in a yacht. Con, and here is the poem. He said this, I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong. I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to learn to solve. I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and bra to work. I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
[03:24] I asked for love and God gave me people to. I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities. I received nothing. I wanted, I received everything I needed. Again, that's from Hara in a yacht con and you hear that and you go, wow, that sounds great. I would definitely retweet that. I would definitely post that on my Instagram, cuz that's such a cool thing to post, but like wait a.
[03:51] Do you actually live this out? That's the hard part for me and for you and for everybody else. Right? So we're gonna break this down line by line so that we can learn from it and actually apply it to our lives. Okay. So the first line is this. I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
[04:08] Like, are you willing to believe that your difficulties, like the difficulties in your life right now are making you strong, not weaker. They're not setting you back. They're actually making you stronger, preparing you for the next step in your life, preparing you to be even better at whatever it is that you're gonna be in the next phase of your life.
[04:27] The next step in your career, the next step in your personal life like that terrible boss, or the fact that your company is understaffed right now, due to the labor shortage or the struggles that you're having in your relationship, or the fact that you set a goal to run a 10 K and, uh, you never got there.
[04:47] Like, how is this an opportunity for you? Yeah, but Jim, you don't understand my difficulties. My situation's different. Yes. I know it's different. Yours is unique. Just like everybody else's , you know, we all have our own stories. Think about there's a African American girl born in 1954 in Mississippi to unwed parents and her parents split up and one lived in one state and one lived in another and the little girl went to live with her grandmother.
[05:13] Then she lived with her mother for a while, and then she with her father and then back with her grandmother. And then by age 10, she was being raped repeatedly by her 19 year old cousin, by age 14, she was pregnant from her uncle. She gave birth to the baby and the baby died two weeks later. Like how about that for God, giving you difficulties to make you strong?
[05:37] We would never fault that individual, that girl for never really creating success in her. But we know her is one of the most recognizable faces and successful people in the world. Oprah Winfrey. I interviewed Erik Weihenmayer on the podcast. Erik Weihenmayer's a Mountaineer. He summited Mount Everest and which is, you know, that's the culmination of any successful person's career, right?
[05:59] Any mountain climber's careers, summiting the tallest mountain on earth. And he decided he wanted more. And so he learned how to whitewater kayak and wanted to whitewater kayak, the grand canyon, massive, huge class five plus whitewater. And he did it by the way, Erik Weihenmayer's blind. He went blind at age 13.
[06:15] Talk about God gave me difficulties to make me strong. What about you again? I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong. These are real-world examples. What about your real-world example? The next line I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to learn to solve. You ever heard the story of the founders of the bourbon app?
[06:41] This was an app that was created by Kevin. I believe the last name is pronounced CSRO or CSRO. He created this app. It was a location-based iPhone app. It was based off of the app called four square. If you remember that it was like a location-based networking app. And so he named the bourbon app after the booze that he loved.
[07:01] And this was an app where you could check in at different places and talk about the bourbon that you were drinking and rated and take pictures and that sort of thing. And. Post what location you're in and you could earn points by hanging out with friends and all that good stuff. Well, the problem is it wasn't all that success.
[07:19] It was too complicated. There was too many features and it was hard to like engage on it. People just weren't really using it all that much. And so he brought on this other programmer and they were kind of looking at it and looking at what was working and what wasn't working. And they decided, they realized that there were just one part of the app that was actually working and people liked it.
[07:41] And it was the photo-sharing portion of it. So they totally revamped it, redesigned it and relaunched it. And they called. Instagram. I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to learn to solve what if, when they were dealing with the issues with this app and nobody was liking it and people weren't engaging and it was too complicated.
[08:02] What if they just scrapped it and said, ah, nevermind, just forget it. This isn't working. We're not very good at this. No. Like they had a problem that they learned to solve and they gained wisdom and a lot of money in the process I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to learn, to solve. Like, what problems are you having right now?
[08:19] How might those be your greatest opportunity? I mean, don't skip over that one. Don't do your version of shutting down the app and giving up and going. These guys didn't do that. And they created something really incredible. Otherwise, you know, if you skip over these problems that you're having these challenges that you.
[08:37] You might miss your greatest opportunity, quick interruption. If you like what you're hearing here, and you want to learn how you can implement this into your life. Just go to Jim harsher jr.com/apply to see how you can get a free one-on-one coaching session with me. That's Jim harsher Jr. Dot com slash apply.
[08:55] Now back to the show. All right, let's move to the next line is I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and bra to. You know, I spent personally years as a wrestling coach, not making much money. You don't make a whole lot of money as a wrestling coach. After that, I started my first business and that was successful and I sold it, but I didn't get rich that allowed me to start my next business.
[09:19] And I raised some venture capital and built a software, a technology company. And this one I knew at this one, this company was gonna be the one, the one that really sets my family up for success. I asked for prosper. And this was gonna be the one helped me and my family prosper. Well, guess what? Couple years into it.
[09:37] I failed. I had asked for prosperity, but I was broke. And I had to go to work. I mean, I worked hard on this thing as it was. And so I had to get a job and I got a job at sales for a while. And then I got another job at the University of Virginia as a fundraiser. And I did that for years. And, but on the side I worked even more.
[09:57] I started a side hustle than I worked early, early in the mornings. And I, I would record podcast episodes while I was driving. And now I've reached prosperity. I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and bra to work. I had to work and work my ass off. I had to work through all of this mess to get to the other side.
[10:21] And now I'm more qualified. Because I've done all this work with my brains and my bra. I've done all this work to get to a point where I'm even more qualified as a coach and as a speaker and as a podcast host, in fact, I can relate now to just about anyone because of the challenges in the work that I've done over the years.
[10:41] The work and the challenges have provided me with this background of all kinds of experiences that, that are an asset to me now, you know, I was a blue-collar kid and I went to a white-collar elite university at the University of Virginia. I was a non-scholarship athlete who eventually earned a scholarship.
[10:58] I was the fail of athlete who, you know, never achieved any of my goals in high school. My goal is to be a Pennsylvania state champion, never even got on the podium. So I was the failed athlete who became one of the best in the country. I was an NCAA division one, All-American and ranked top eight on the Olympic ladder.
[11:12] I've owned the local service-based business and a technology company, two totally different businesses. All that work is an asset for me. Now. It's knowledge, it's wisdom ex experience. I've had both a successful business and now multiple successful businesses and a failed business. One that was an absolute failure.
[11:33] And I lost my money and my investor's money. I was a country, boy. I grew up in the country and I now live in a suburban development. Right. And I lived in the city before I worked at a small college and a big one. I've led adventure, camping tours, where I wore sandals and shorts every day and went on hikes and I've on the other end of it.
[11:52] I've worked as a major gift fundraiser, wearing a suit and tie to fancy functions. You know, all that work. Has created opportunity for me. I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and brawn to work. How are you working hard at things and things that are going to bring you value, bring you prosperity.
[12:11] It takes work. The next line is this. I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome. You remember the movie Schindler's list, Oscar Schindler. He didn't know that he was going to save over a thousand lives. He was a war profiteer, making millions of dollars, making tons of money by making munitions for the Nazi army.
[12:32] He was a member of the Nazi. But when he saw what was happening to the Jews, God gave him dangers to overcome. I don't know that he actually asked for courage, but he certainly didn't ask for dangers to overcome, but he faced them head-on, you know, spent years bribing, Nazi, SS officers, you know, he spent his entire fortune until he went, broke, saving the lives of Jewish people.
[12:56] Do you have dangers that you're facing right now? Like maybe not in the same way as Oscar Schindler, right. He could have been killed for this. But your own dangers, like things that you fear, those are the gift that will help you develop courage. Again, that line was, I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
[13:14] The next one is this I ask for love. And you wanna know what love feels like help somebody in need. I've never loved homeless people more than when I was with my sons. And we fed the homeless over the holidays a couple years ago. Like. What people do you have in your life right now? Who need your help? I ask for love and God gave me people to help.
[13:38] There are people in your life right now who need your help. There are people in your community. I talked earlier a few months ago in an episode. Number 361 about the mission trip that I went on this summer with my boys and I I've done this with my boys, cuz they happen to be the older two of my four children.
[13:54] But my girls are gonna do it too. Don't tell 'em they're not listening. They don't know yet, but they're gonna do this too. But man, the love that you have when you're helping people, when you find people to help, that's what love feels like. Again, the line was, I asked for love and God gave me people to help.
[14:08] The next line I asked for favors and God gave me opportunity. Here's the favor I asked for. I wanted to quit my job a few years ago in 2019 and grow my business and provide a stable income and flexibility in my time. But then the pandemic hit just six months after I quit. Right. I left my safe, stable, secure six figure job.
[14:30] And the favor I was asking was I just wanna build a stable business. For my family, I had built it on the side. Now I was quitting. I was going all in and guess what happens? A freaking pandemic hits week. One of the pandemic, all of my public speaking opportunities gone. And several coaching clients were about to come on board were like, ah, I might lose my job in the next week, Jim, so much uncertainty.
[14:54] I got a hold off. I got really anxious. I was like, not eating well, not sleeping well. And I said, wait a second, Jim, like, what if God gave you the greatest opportunity here? What if this were an opportunity? I flipped the whole problem on its head. Everybody's experiencing fear and uncertainty. I said, I'm feeling it too.
[15:13] How could I flip this over for myself? How could I flip this problem on its head and see this as an opportunity? And I searched for it and guess what I found? I realized, yeah, this is actually an opportunity because now everybody's working from home. Everybody's having virtual staff meetings. And I reached out to a bunch of my contacts at different organizations and companies and said, Hey, if you want me to come in, I can pop into your virtual staff meeting and give a 15 to 20-minute pep talk.
[15:34] And I did. Dozens and dozens of those. I got in front of so many people, some of you who are listening right now found me through those talks that I gave those virtual talks. And that's why you're here listening right now. And I was able to grow my audience and reach out and touch more people and help more people and love more people you have to search for the opportunity within the obstacle.
[15:56] Again, that last line is I asked for favors and God gave me opportu. This whole poem is success through failure. Again, the lines are I ask for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong. I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to learn to solve. I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and bra to work.
[16:16] I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome. I asked for love and God gave me people to help. I received nothing. I wanted, I received everything I needed. This is success through failure. What do you have in your life that you didn't want that you didn't ask for? But it may be exactly what you need.
[16:40] Do some journaling on that. If you're by yourself right now, you can speak out loud. But answer that question. That's a productive pause. If you answer that question, you're gonna bring yourself clarity of action and peace of mind. Good luck.
[16:56] Thanks for listening. If you want to apply these principles into your life, let's talk. You can see the limited spaces that are open on my [email protected] slash apply where you can sign up for a free one-time coaching call directly with me. And don't forget to grab your action plan. Just go to Jim harsher jr.com/action.
[17:15] And lastly iTunes tends to suggest podcasts with more ratings and reviews more. You would totally make my day. If you give me a rating and review those go a long way in helping me grow the podcast audience, just open up your podcast app. If you have an iPhone, do a search for success through failure, select it, and then scroll the whole way to the bottom where you can leave the podcast, a rating and a review.
[17:41] Now I hope this isn't just another podcast episode for you. I hope you take action on what you learned here today. Good luck and thanks for listening.
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