Success is Nothing Without Failure


People fail.  Failure sucks.  I mean it really sucks, especially when you’re one of those striving to be the best.  What’s funny (in a non-amusing way) is we often seem to fail again, and again, and again. We spend a good chunk of our lives dreaming about what could be.  Where can we go?  Who can we be?  What can we accomplish?  It’s sad when circumstances come crashing down from above.  But what if that crash wasn’t really a negative?  What if we’re looking at it the wrong way and failure is needed for success?  That change of mind may actually help in our next venture.

Success is coveted by all of us so why do so few reach it?  Why don’t they go through the same crap we do?  News flash!  They do.  Most of your idols didn’t just make it there.  They overcame great failures on a myriad of occasions.  What separates them from the rest is their tenacity to keep pushing forward. They shun doubt and go for it again. Our greatest heroes are not typically born on top, they’ve hit bottom and still managed to find crawl, leap, press towards their hilltop.  While keeping that in mind, let’s glance at some of the best who found themselves in the same position we’re in today:

-Smithsonian Mag

-Smithsonian Mag

KFC’s Colonel Sanders:  Lesser known by his full name Harland David Sanders, the Colonel actually faced many setbacks.  He was fired from a dozen jobs.  He was once a lawyer who assaulted his own client in court (probably not the best way to earn repeat business). His first foray into restaurant ownership ended up failing and left the man broke.  It wasn’t until 65 years old, with hardly a cent to his name, where he found an investor and began KFC, becoming the legend he is today.  If not for the lessons of past failure he wouldn’t have had the handbook to success.

Lincoln01Abraham Lincoln: Mr. Lincoln is known as one of the greatest men this country has seen.  It’s easy to look at his list of accommodations and feel everything he touched was gold. What most don’t know is his long list of defeat. In 1832 his run for legislature took a beating and Abe lost his job.  The following year in 1833 his new business venture collapsed. In 1835 his lover died which led to a nervous breakdown. 1838 found him defeated as Speaker and 1843 he was rejected entry from Congress. The next 10 years brought another 5 lost nominations, including a Vice Presidential defeat in 1856 and US Senate misstep in 1858.  Heck, if this man didn’t keep pushing forward he wouldn’t have become the human we know and love.  Finally in1860, when he was finally elected President, an even more prestigious position than what he’d sought came to light and an avenue to shine came forth.

A celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of company founder Henry Ford will be held throughout 2013. Go to for an interactive timeline of Ford's life, tours, a calendar of 2013 events and information about efforts to preserve Henry Ford's heritage. (12/11/2012)

Henry Ford:  Ford Motor Company is one of the greatest American success stories.  The company didn’t take a dollar from the Federal Government during the Recession of 2008, a remarkable feat and show of stability.  The funny thing is Henry’s success came after a number of failed iterations. His first venture with the Quadricycle saw all of his investment dry up without producing a vehicle. Detroit Auto Company raised another round of investors and produced a car but went bankrupt after 2 years in 1901 with over $86,000 lost (that’s over $2.1 million in today’s money). It wasn’t until a 3rd round his vision started to grow and Henry’s dreams began to turn into reality.

-Smithsonian Mag

-Smithsonian Mag

Thomas Edison:  Simply, his teachers stated he was “Too stupid to learn anything.”  He fought against teachers and schools who didn’t want to accept him.  That seems like a stretch for the man who invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the electric light bulb.

The point here is many of the greatest, most successful individuals took a hard beating in life.  Many of them were criticized for what they loved and did best.  What separates them from the everyday-man is their tenacity to get up and get at it again.  Without that last push they would not have become the legends they are today.  Keep pushing, keep being beaten down, keep hearing “No,” because you never know if the next thing is your greatest thing.


House of Cards: Season 3 Now Online

HouseCards01If you haven’t been following the antics of Frank Underwood and his rise to power, you’ve been missing one of best dramatic thrillers of the last few years.  Frank, played by Kevin Spacey, is one of the most powerful and underhanded men in the US Congress.  His dream to be Vice President was ripped from underneath him in the final seconds.  But does this man get mad?  No.  He gets even.

House of Cards is a home-grown effort via Netflix.  The first two seasons have been a plethora of shock and excitement.  Some of the sexiest, classy ladies have been on board too.  Robin Wright (years after The Princess Bride) plays Claire Underwood, Frank’s wife.  She’s the wife every powerful man wants.  Kate Mara plays a naive reporter who finds close ties to those powerful – perhaps those too powerful for her own good.

housecards02Season 1 got us hooked.  Season 2 brought about such surprises most of us held our hands to our faces in shock.  What does season 3 bring to the table?  From the teaser Netflix put out last week there might be some trouble brewing in the Underwood household.  Goodbye friends because I’m about to binge watch the entire series.  Good luck to my social life.


Success Can Not Be Rushed

Car02Timing is one of the biggest factors I’ve learned to let the universe control.  There are a lot of things that could, or would be beneficial ‘if only’…   Sometimes the world works at it’s own pace, and we learn, if sometimes slowly, to accept that fact for reasons unknown.

Success is similar.  Often times we wonder if, or when we’ll find it.  Perhaps it just needs it’s own time.  What if we struggle to appreciate and recognize the peaks and valleys?  What if our continued devotion help us inspire others to follow suit?

As with most things in life we will likely struggle to understand the moment.  Lacking perspective makes us miss accomplishments we provide each day.  Be slow and recognizer the moment.  I bet if viewed from outside eyes we’d all be more successful than we think.


Number One Fan

Gold Dust01““Dreaming” people say is a waste of time,
Apparently they will never come true.
I have proof dreams can be reality.
Because when in reality, my dream was finding you.
Wishing is said to be a lost hope,
Something hoped for but one never sees
I don’t understand how this can be told
When I wished a perfect girl suddenly you came to be.

Some people search their entire life,
Trying to catch a glimpse of an angel.
Its apparent they’ve never met you,
Someone intelligent, sweet and beautiful.

Desires are something everyone possesses,
They are things in life that completes us by far.
I have but only one true desire,
To tell you just how amazing and special you are.

We all have so many thoughts in our head,
Some of our thoughts will never part.
There is only one thing I can’t stop thinking about,
That’s of you, and your beautiful heart.

I hope you know how amazing you are,
And how special you make people feel.
You are truly one in a million,
Everything I’ve said about you is so real.

You don’t deserve anything less than the best,
So be all that you can.
I will always be there for you,
For you see, I am your number one fan.”

-Brandon Hall
*Brandon Hall is a guest writer from Portland, OR and we’d love to hear your take on his work.  Should we press for more of his work?  Like and Comment below.

Have Some Respect…

FuckIt01One of life’s biggest dilemmas seems to be repeating our mistakes.   We all have instances in our own lives and even friends who let it actually define them.  Who among us hasn’t been dumped/hurt by someone only to give them another chance and **shock!** got dumped/hurt again!?  What a pain!  What the hell!?  Actually, we should have expected it.  Why?

Learn some damn respect.  Not for others, for yourself.  A lack of it is why those mistakes keep coming back to bite us in the ass.  While most of us stroll through our days acting like self-respecting adults, the fact is we’re a bit insecure and caring about things we should let slide by the wayside.  We all battle against repeating mistakes because of the “complexity” that “no one would understand” when in reality the scenario is quite simple.

Think about this… You start a new job which promises to pay well every other week.  You work your butt off the first two weeks, hit goals and learn quickly.  After your first two weeks… no paycheck.  What the heck?  Your boss has a ton of excuses and promises to pay soon, maybe even give a bonus on your next check for the hassle.  Firstly, how many of us would bail right now??  Probably a few, specifically those who know their work is worth timely pay and realize they can be employed in a myriad of places.  You could say it’s those who place high value on their work.   But some of us… we’ll keep on for another two weeks and see what happens.  I mean, they said they’ll bonus us for the hassle.  Worth the wait, right!?

The next two weeks pass quickly.  We kick even more butt, breakeven more company goals.  5pm on Friday comes aaand… paytime!  Right?  Urgently scuttling to our boss’s office proves of little worth as he notifies us paychecks won’t be coming again because of blah blah blah. This is the moment most of us leave for good, regardless of the excuses.  You know your value and the fact it’s been degraded by this employer is nonsense!  Even when the boss comes back and offers even more money and a bigger bonus you tell him to go shove it up (somewhere) and walk away without regret.


Why?  Self respect.  We don’t allow such intolerable behavior in your work life so why then does it feel so hard to have the same respect when it comes to matters of the heart?  We’ll tell employers they’re assholes for expecting our continued effort without pay, yet we tell our lovers it’s ok to continually promise something that’s never delivered upon.  This just isn’t right.

Simply put, we need more respect and less doubt when it comes to our personal beings.  This directly impacts the type of relationship we’ll have.  It’s easy when you’re first person to not realize your value.  Actually, we tend to be our own worst critics.  I struggled with it for years.  It led to relationships that kept ending poorly, excuses as to why it wouldn’t happen again, and another chance to someone who didn’t deserve it.  And guess what?  It happened right over again!  It led to not putting myself out there when opportunities I deserved came by; Partly because I was wasting time with someone sub-standard and also that I didn’t think I was worth what I’d always dreamed of.  The repetitive nature almost destroyed my self worth and made me think I deserved the actions.  I don’t.  You don’t.

The answer is simple to know and yet difficult to act upon.  Start treating yourself like you’re worthwhile.  The only person in this world who will stick up for yourself is you.  It’s when you begin doubting that your world begins to crumble.  Just as you wouldn’t continue to work without pay, why continue that relationship that constantly under delivers?  Why continually believe things will change when history shows they repeat themselves?

Damn it, grow a pair.  Have respect for yourself.  Stop giving a fuck.  Take those things that have been stringing you along and get rid of them once and for all.  Move on and demand the next person treats you with every ounce of respect you’ve ever hoped for.  You’ll be amazed at the relief.


Aesop Rock @ The Hawthorne Theatre

Aesop1If you haven’t heard of Aesop Rock, you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade.  This guy is (and has been) the most lyrical hip-hop artist, well… ever.  Seriously!  Check out the handy chart below.  Anyhow, Aesop was originally introduced to me back in 2005 when he was what he still is today – A legend of the underground scene yet completely unknown to the majority of folk.  He’s huge, and the more you dig in the more you’ll find simply epic tracks of story and theory.  Admittedly, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea – probably why he’s somehow remained relatively unknown to the public.


Regardless, Aesop Rock performed at the Hawthorne Theatre this January and it was a sight to behold.  From the expected stoners to the unexpected theoretical teachers in the audience, a common bond for something out of the ordinary surrounded us all.  Some of the lyrics penetrated the soul:

Life’s not a bitch! Life is a beautiful woman
You only call her a bitch because she won’t let you get that pussy.
Maybe she didn’t feel y’all shared any similar interests
Or maybe you’re just an asshole who couldn’t sweet talk the princess.

If you’re into hip-hop you should at least give this white guy from New York a shot and see why he’s remained an established underground king for over 10 years running.  A few of his most popular tracks are (classicaly) “Daylight”, “Fast Cars“, or “Bent Life” and to get a kick of his newer stuff check out “None Shall Pass”, or “Zero Dark Thirty”.

Aesop Rock3


CuddleCon – Portland’s Cuddle Convention


Borrowed from

Recently I was made aware of a new convention coming to town.  Sounds cool, right?  ComicCon, Kumoricon, Orycon and a number of others have become major players and Portland is a great town for freaks and geeks, entirely willing to sport their secret loves, come out in groves to share it with the public.  It’s obvious, then, to hear how CuddleCon: The Cuddling Convention caught my attention.

Samantha Hess, a proclaimed cuddle professional hailing from SE Portland (because, where else?), has championed this event.  Professional cuddler, you ask?  While I feel I can cuddle like a pro, she has something I don’t.  Samantha has regular clientele who spend an hour with her, non-sexually, cuddling for $60 a pop.  This industry is actually something that’s been growing throughout the country and she is Portland’s first venture.  The “touch industry” has been spreading like wildfire under the idea that touch helps revive and soften the emotions and stress we all feel in our everyday lives.

Clients range from singles to those in long-term relationships.  Though thus far it’s been heavily weighted towards guys, even women get in on the benefits of human connection and getting a bit of human interaction where they otherwise can’t find it.  This then is the basis of CuddleCon.  With details easily found at, an IndieGoGo site (a leading crowdfunding site) where they are currently trying to raise funds for their event, they’re currently 7 days into their 20 day campaign and only $860 has been raised of their $33,000 goal.

Contributing helps fund a myriad of events including snuggle parties, massage classes, dance lessons and yoga instruction.  There are even smaller events such as piggyback riding and pillow fighting.  Their goal is more than 200 attendees in a safe, comfortable environment which they hope to improve year after year, eventually creating the largest convention of it’s kind.  The event lands on February 14th, Valentines Day, so I’ll be curious to see if the majority of attendees are singles or couples who tend to plan their own events that day.  Regardless, everyone is welcome and sure to find a unique experience they could fall in love with.

CuddleCon begins at Samantha’s shop, Cuddle Up To me, over at 1015 E Burnside St.  All events are within walking distance and you can potentially even get a piggyback ride to the festivities (hizzah!).  So if any of this interests you head on over to their site and contribute if you can, or at least show up to what might be your favorite Con of the year.