Dear M & A,

When it comes to life you’re going to have moments of success and moments of failure. The thing to remember is that you’re not alone. Everybody fails sometime.

It’s said that Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four. His teachers said he’d never amount to anything. He went on to become one of the greatest scientific minds of the 20th century.

Walt Disney was once fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination”. He went on to invent Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the multi-billion dollar Disney empire.

The Beatles were knocked back by Decca records who said they had no future in show business. They went on to become the biggest band the world had even seen.

When Steve Jobs was 30 he was kicked out of the company he started – Apple. He came back in 1996 and Apple went on to become richer than a bunch of countries.

The author J.K. Rowling was rejected by a dozen book publishers before she found someone who would publish “Harry Potter”. She inspired millions of kids and became richer than the Queen.

Even the greatest of success stories have failed at one point or another. What sets them apart is they refused to give up. They stubbornly believed in themselves when no one else did. This isn’t the same as arrogance, or cockiness; this is self-belief.

We’ve always tried to encourage you to believe in yourselves. A lack of self-belief was something that you occasionally suffered from when you were younger especially when there was a crowd of people. But you have to believe in yourselves. You have to. You need to show the world that you’re not afraid to have a go and make mistakes and have another go.

To be afraid of something not happening is such a bizarre thing to be afraid of.

There’s a million quotes and stories about failing; there are endless posters with pictures of whales on them. The funny thing is, despite the clichés, they’re true. If you’re too afraid to fail, you’ll never do anything different. Most of the great changes in the world happen because people have been brave enough to challenge the status quo. They decided that the way things were wasn’t the best way to do it. They put themselves out there despite everyone telling them they would fail. Many of them did fail, over and over again as they tried to bring their visions to life. But many of them ended up succeeding because they realised that failing meant they had found another way not to do something which meant they were one step closer to finding a way that worked.

You don’t need to become famous to believe in yourself. You saw me fail time and time again. I’ve failed at work, at home, at being a dad, but I’ve never given up believing in myself. You can’t afford to give up on yourself because sometimes you’re the only one who will believe in you. Sometimes you’ll have others who believe in you. Hopefully, you’ll get to the stage where everyone believes in you.

Some of the best quotes on failing have come from the sporting arena. One of the simplest to understand is this one: “You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take”. It basically says that if you’re too afraid to have a go, not only can you never succeed but not having a go is a form of failure anyway.

The fear of failure is such a weird thing. To be afraid of something not happening is such a bizarre thing to be afraid of.

Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to have a go. Don’t be afraid to have another go and another and another.

All my love,



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