Risking Failure, Winning Big With Career Change

“Nobody succeeds in a big way, except by risking failure.”  William Feather

At a recent meeting of the National Speakers Association, I had the opportunity to meet Simon T. Bailey, a professional speaker and author whose topic is personal brilliance. Simon has been speaking for more than ten years and is extremely successful. Although his skill as a speaker is impressive, learning how he got started in the speaking business was more notable.

Simon was a high-level executive in several major corporations, including the Disney Institute. When he decided to pursue a speaking career, he left the Disney organization, cashed in his stock and began the journey. Now mind you, his wife was a stay-at-home mom with two young children and Simon had no Plan “B.” Failure was not an option.

Simon risked everything because of his faith in his abilities and his passion to do what he loves to do. As a result of his commitment, he has achieved extraordinary success. What about you?

Ask yourself the question, “If I had all the money and time in the world, what would I do?” If your answer to this question and your current life situation are on different planets, you may want to rethink what you’re doing now. We all have choices in life. Some people feel that even if they are absolutely miserable, they have to stay in their present job because of the security of a regular paycheck and health benefits. You may be saying, “You don’t understand. I have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay; I can’t just walk away from all that.”

Yes, you can. The reality is that it’s not that you CAN’T walk away; it’s that you WON’T walk away. You have a choice. In order to get more out of life, you may have to risk more.

It’s been said that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” When you take this to the next level you’ll find that, “If you want to have what others don’t, you have to do what others won’t.” (Note: I was going to write that you shouldn’t do anything CRAZY to put yourself at risk, but there is always someone that’s going to feel that whatever you’re doing is crazy, so go ahead and take your risks.) We need to have such passion for what we want that nothing can hold us back from going for it. The best idea is to follow your heart.

Learning how to follow your heart is best accomplished by taking time in quiet meditation and mindfulness to contemplate our highest and best life. How do you that? Start by sitting quietly and listening to your breath. When thoughts start to permeate your mind about the laundry list of things you need to do, simply release the thought and go back to your breathing.

What risks are you currently taking to move toward your dreams and goals? What additional risks should you take? The chances don’t have to be big and scary. Start with small gambles; experience the thrill of victory and then go for slightly larger stakes. Your success will be that much sweeter when you get over your fear and just do it. (Thanks, Nike!)

P.S. — Believe me, you’ll always be more disappointed with the things you DIDN’T do, than those things you did.


As Founder of Grategy, Lisa Ryan works with organizations to create stronger employee and customer engagement, retention and satisfaction. Her proven gratitude strategies (Grategies) lead to increased productivity, passion and profits. She is the author of seven books, and co-stars in two documentaries: the award-winning “The Keeper of the Keys,” and “The Gratitude Experiment.” To learn more, visit


photo credit: sabrina’s stash via photopin cc