Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts


By Aubrey Mavhuli


Success is DIY: Education is not qualifications and degrees don’t guarantee success

I can safely say I was raised in a community that worships education. From a young age I was made to believe that education is the answer to poverty but, “boy o boy” it turned out not to be entirely true.

So from a young age looking at my background I took school like Dambudzo Marechera would say.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts, “ a duck takes to water”. I later on, far much later, learnt after I had started a few businesses that failed that education was not a certificate and the reverse was equally true. Because degrees and certificates are revered where I came from, I once thought certificates were a guarantee of success.

Education is not a certificate

If you graduate and stop learning through questioning, reading books, attending seminars or even asking others to mentor or coach you, you might not be as literate as you imagined. Successful people value knowledge more than certificates.

Certificates and degrees are good if you want to be employed somewhere. But whether you got a degree or not success is not found in a decorated paper. Success is not found in a graduation gown. I know of a few hopeless graduates.

Success comes through applied knowledge whether its campus education or life’s own lecture theatres.

My pastor is the one who used to say a doctor who knows the dangers of smoking but goes on to smoke day in and day out may not be educated after all.

This goes to truly show education is not just a piece of paper qualification.

Success is not a result of how intelligent you are.

It’s true that the universe is neutral and worships no intelligence. Success requires you to be curious of mind no doubt but be curious enough to learn and act.

Whether you are intelligent academically or not is never a determinant of your future. The only thing that matters is how much you apply yourself to your goals.

Success is not just resolutions its clear goals

Brian Tracy is the one who coined the phrase, Success is goals or else is commentary.” He was right. Set goals that are clear even as the new year begins. When you have set the goal ask what is required for you to do to bring it to pass.

Some goals will require time, and some will require money some both. Whatever the requirements of your goal ask what you will have to do daily to bring this goal to pass. Be committed the goal.

As the old year ends, I asked my family to write up their goals for 2020. One of my sons wrote as their goal: “to save money.”

I had to intervene because that is not specific enough and ask how much in dollars and cents he needed to save by the end of the year.

He had to interrogate how much he had to save by the end of the year, what it meant monthly and weekly and where the income to be saved was going to come from. If the goal has to be meaningful it has to be that serious.

Success doesn’t mean all was without glitches previously

Success is widely published and celebrated but what the public is often not told is the pains and disappointments plus failures that often precede success.

Success doesn’t mean you have never failed. Success simply means failure wasn’t revered but someone pushed on despite the facts on the ground. Winston Churchill summed success best, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Looking at some of the most well-known accomplished people of our generation in the business sector they are without certificates or decorated degrees and caps of knowledge to match but very successful businesses, nevertheless.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs here come to mind.

To be successful it requires you to learn. Learn continuously and implement the ideas you learn. Success requires success skills which are: the ability to learn, ability to focus till you achieve, ability to question all assumptions and implement what you know.

Vince Lombardi is the one who said, ”The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”



Written by Aubrey Mavhuli Author of Marketing Sense: An entrepreneur’s marketing guide that brings results and Chief Copywriter and Marketing Consultant at He is a serial entrepreneur who runs a Copywriting & Marketing Consultancy, Solar installations company, an Eco cash shop and a mixed farm in Gauteng. He is a motivational speaker and trainer on Marketing, copy writing, sales, leadership and success. Email :, Cell 0722711079


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