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Guest Post: The Opposite Of Success Isn’t Failure

By Cristina Garza

My friend Barrett over at The Green Abacus is an amazing CPA and business owner. He has worked with some amazing tech startup companies, has coached clients through crowdfunded campaigns, and prides himself in being a superhero for his clients, just like us! The purpose of his firm is pretty awesome:

We're the geeky CPA firm that purposefully has a lot of personality. We believe that companies that grow cultures will be stronger and better prepared for success than companies that treat culture as an afterthought. As your financial advisors, we want you to be profitable and to create a culture that reflects your values, because we believe that each builds off the other.

I feel like anytime I meet someone so dedicated to their clients and practice, it is my duty to share them with anyone who will listen. This guy is someone to watch and get aligned with! To top it off, Barret has graciously allowed us to repost this blog, which first appeared on his website


The opposite of success isn’t failure.

It’s tempting, when your why is “enabling the success of others”, to try to find ways to reduce failure.


Failure is painful. Failure is a punch in the face. And frustrating. And requires patient reassessment. Failure can lead to no cash, which could mean (if we let you fail) that you can’t afford our help any more and you leave us. So most companies will promise success in the form of an absence of failure.

But that’s bad for you. Because the opposite of success isn’t failure.

Failure is a great teacher. Failure is blunt feedback. Failure tells you that the crowd doesn’t want what you’re selling (or that you’re not reaching the right crowd). Failure is a stepping stone to success, and if that success isn’t refined by failures, it’s not going to look that great.

It’s hard to think of a single product that nailed it so well in v.1.0 that they never ever had to make improvements and a new release. So why would we want to mask your failure – “save you” from that – and pretend everything is beautiful already? You don’t want that.

The opposite of success isn’t failure. It’s hopelessness.

Hopelessness is when you can no longer get up from failure. Hopelessness is when you stop learning from failure. Hopelessness is when you move from “I’ve failed” to “I’m a failure”. Hopelessness is when failure stops refining your product, and you give up on making altogether.

At The Green Abacus, we want to enable your success. But we won’t fight against failure on your behalf. We will fight with you – for you – against hopelessness.


If you are interested in learning more about The Green Abacus and hearing what Barrett is up to, you should join his mailing this here: http://www.thegreenabacus.com//