Failed office worker

At age 21, I had worked as a civil servant since I was 19. It was my first proper job.  My position was as a Clerical Officer (CO), which was a position just one above the bottom of the ladder; Clerical Assistant (CA). I tried really hard as a CO to discharge my duties as best I could. Unfortunately, my boss Heather really didn’t like me and I could tell. She always made time and had conversations with the other newbie but we know when someone just doesn’t like us, don’t we? Heather began to make life difficult for me and eventually put me ‘on report’, which meant that all my work was monitored. This lead to more pressure on me and my quality dropped. Eventually she recommended that I was demoted. A CO being demoted to a CA was something that had never happened in the region, to anyone. Before long I was demoted to a Clerical Assistant. My role now consisted of gathering the daily post from the post room, linking it to a file and delivering it to the Clerical Officers. I initially felt humiliated.

All of the successful people you know have failed many times. Moreover, in my studies of the lives of successful people, entrepreneurs, millionaires and multi-millionaires, I learned that like me, they share their setbacks with their children. They do this because they know it is the learning lessons from failing which will give their children true strength, true depth. They prepare their children for it so that they are not surprised, but instead can embrace and utilise failure. It is vital to any child, whether they are pre-teen or in their early 20’s to understand, as soon as possible that they will fail again and again and again in different parts of their life and business.

However, I was not meant for failure (or success) in that place. The great thing about this demotion was that it stimulated me to ask “Do I really want to do this all of my life? Am I happy? Was I happy even as a CO?” I made a decision to take control of my life, to never have a boss again and seek self-employment as a commission-only life insurance and pension sales agent. Whilst I had so many difficulties in this role over many years, I overcame them and eventually found my path, my way and my happiness.

Key to this learning is that when failure occurs, your child does not see them self as a failure. Instead to recognise this falling-down point; going backwards point; loss; disappointment or humiliation, as one of the greatest opportunities they could have to move forward in their personal development.

It is vital to share our apparent failures because in our failures are the very seeds of our success. As with us, so with our children.

Share with your children

The 6-Pack benefits of ‘failure’

When we share these experiences with our children, it allows them to:

  1. Expect their failures as part of their success path
  2. Reframe every ‘failure’ (in advance) as an opportunity or path way to their greatness
  3. See you as human
  4. Appreciate that our failures are the things that make us
  5. Know that it is ok to ‘fail’
  6. Appreciate that from our failures, come our greatest learnings

Know that every failure has within it the seed of an equivalent or greater success – Napoleon Hill

The path to success

Tell your children of your good and bad experiences. Tell them about your failures as well as your successes. It’s great for your child to know mum and dad are not perfect. Mum and dad got to where they are because of their failures, and so will they.


Founder of and Author of ‘The 10-Second Philosophy® – Click here to buy your copy now!