What if all our perceived failures are just stepping stones on our path toward success? It isn’t such a difficult premise to believe. The lessons learned, the experience gained, the battle scars earned, they serve to prepare us for our next challenge.

Writer and speaker Paul Angone is certainly living proof that failing to success is a plausible career path. “Going through the ringer helped me become a better writer,” Angone admitted when we spoke recently. “Because things didn’t work out how I wanted them to, it made me hone in on what I do well as a writer and helped me build a skill set.” It was a series of what he considers failures that truly prepared him to write the right book.

That right book is All Groan Up. Recently released by Zondervan, it reads part memoir, part self-help book, part how-to guide, and part comedic travel log. Angone chronicles his journey through his twenties as if he’s speaking to a trusted friend. He never shies away from sharing the less-than-glamorous aspects of his life. “Success,” he writes, “looks so sexy, until you’re slushing through the muck and mundane to make it happen.”

Traveling an Unexpected Path to Success

Paul AngoneAngone moved to California after leaving what he considered a comfortable and dangerous job to pursue something more. He had a plan and was disillusioned when life didn’t unfold according to it. He writes in his book, “But maybe our twenties are not about things going as we planned, but about how we adapt, change and grow when they don’t.” For 10 years as he wrote, edited, re-wrote and re-edited All Groan Up, he managed to develop skills as a blogger, marketer, speaker, editor of videos and print materials, photographer and graphic designer. During that confusing time, each perceived failure forced him to try something new.

3 Quotes from Paul Angone
to Give You Momentum

  1. If a job is not allowing you possibilities for growth – it’s a dangerous proposition.
  2. Sometimes the best plans are the ones that don’t go according to our plan whatsoever.
  3. Maybe not making it is a gift. If you’ve arrived, why bother still exploring?

One of those new things was blogging. “Blogging is something I did not want to do whatsoever,” Angone confessed. “But I’m so thankful I did. It made me a better writer. It helped me to learn how to succinctly get an idea across.” It also landed him his first book deal.


An Eight-Year Overnight Success

After eight years of pursuing a publishing deal, Angone and his wife we’re prepared to cry, “uncle.” On the brink of cashing in his dream for a steady, comfortable job, Paul wrote a blog post entitled “21 Secrets for your 20s”. To his surprise and delight, the post took off. “That post became the momentum to finally get the book deal I’d been trying to get for so long,” he explained. “I pitched it to a publisher and they gave me a month to turn 1000 word blog article into a full book.”

Success doesn’t happen in a night; it happens in the thousand nights that no one will ever write a song about.

After trying so hard for so many years, suddenly he was faced with the deadline of his life. His first book, 101 Secrets for Your 20s is the extended remix of that original “21 Secrets…” blog post. “It was a really intense season,” he recalls. “But I was like, ‘bring it on.’”

In the midst of promoting his second book, now he’s living his dream and trying to enjoy the view. He admits, “I have to be conscious and intentional to enjoy the season.” Working as a writer and speaker, he inspires people with hope and hilarity. Paul Angone’s story serves as a reminder that the lessons learned from the failures in our life can be fertilizer for our growth and success.