Confessions of a Failed One (and How to Deal with Failure)

I have failed. Again. At the same thing.

I still have a long way to go until I reach Thomas Edison’s personal record of 10,000 times of not succeeding, though (that always encourages me).

First, you should know that by writing this post I don’t want to earn your compassion, ask for help and support or complain about my problems. I simply don’t want anyone else to feel like I did this day, and many other days as well.

I want you to understand failure, see its real purpose, learn from it and even benefit from it. Being prepared for the consequences will help you avoid disappointment and other unpleasant emotions that go with it.

I’m talking about my exam. It may sound like a shallow thing to some of you and not at all important, but keep in mind that no matter what it refers to, the feeling of being failed is the same.

Overwhelming, burning…

Here is a little overview of the situation:

I study Marketing. And before I have the chance to get familiar with Marketing Research, Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior and other interesting to me topics that are important to my subject and I will actually use in real life someday, I need to deal with other things like Statistics and Financial Accountancy.

They are general studies I need to know as Marketing is an economical subject.

The problem I had was with Financial Accountancy – a not so pleasant thing to learn. I realize that it is one of the most important economic activities, no enterprise would make any proper business without it and that nowadays economy would be unthinkable without it, but it all comes down to how interesting a subject is and whether you find any motivation to sit down and learn a whole textbook of theory and be able to solve all kinds of problems.

I did well on other exams – Micro- and Macroeconomics, Higher Mathematics and others – by putting up with an unpleasant subject, trying to get its essence, devoting many hours of studying, giving up my free time and other things I love. This is how I proceeded to prepare for the exam in Financial Accountancy as well.

I didn’t pass it.

Then for the second chance I had to do it (This is how our educational system works, but don’t take this as a reason to consider it weak. Quite the contrary, it is difficult.) I prepared even better. I devoted even more time and energy, stayed focused only on that, tried to find many sources of motivation to keep me going, took a few private lessons, prepared mentally (that was actually the hardest thing of all – I had to remind myself constantly that it’s all worth it, to try to think positively and delete the picture in my head of not passing the exam). I didn’t listen to all the negative people around me and did my best.

And yet, I failed.

The morning before the exam I was enthusiastic and looking forward to it as I felt confident in my knowledge and understanding of the subject. Throughout the exam I did well.

While I was waiting to hear the results, I was happy and awaiting the great relief I would feel after I hear my mark.

And yet, I failed.

Many factors may have led to that. But here I am – having disappointed my parents again by not passing the exam for a second time. It makes me feel bad. I feel like crying. But what I do?

By Jane Rahman @Flickr

A few ideas stepped into my mind right away – to give up on my education because it’s just not for me; to just go to my room, cry my eyes out, be alone and stay there for days; to act like a victim in front of my relatives and friends and blame the professor, university, educational system, etc.

Maybe some other time.

Here I am on the way back to my home town (I just traveled to the city I study in for the exam.), writing on the bus.

Writing about failure, confessing my feelings and wishing to help others not to feel like that, and to be prepared if they do.

People are actually staring at me now. They wonder what I’m doing, being so concentrated. It’s not a very comfortable place to write either ( as I’m using a pen and a sheet). But that doesn’t bother me. I need to do it now – while the feeling is fresh.

And, to be honest, I’m helping myself even more. It’s healing. It takes a heavy weight off my shoulders.

I just did a few very important things – accepted my failure, understood it, analyzed it, learnt from it, found its benefits – and I want you to be able to do them too.

They are a result of a lot of mental work, affirmations, a change of the perspective.

Here are a few key things to know (they may refer to everything and everyone):

  • This has happened for a reason – I need to draw a lesson from it.
  • Things don’t always go according to plan but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect them to turn out for the best next time you give it a try.
  • It makes you stronger, wiser, more experienced.
  • It means you have done something , you have tried. And it goes without saying that you did more that many others, who can’t find the power and motivation to take action.
  • You are a step closer to succeeding now.
  • This is a great chance to try to understand failure, accept it and move on.  This is a big challenge!
  • Be grateful – it may sound weird to some of you but appreciation plays a huge role even when it comes down to failure. The moment I failed, I took a deep breath and thanked for it (it’s hard to do it and resist the urge to start complaining, feeling bad about yourself, losing hope for future achievements, etc.). And only this little thing made me feel better.

I fail at other things too – getting up early, eating healthy, working out regularly, being kind to the people around me and not getting angry with them…

But I accept it. Let it go. And move on.

What things do you fail at? How do you feel after that?

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income