A “Sticky” Story of Failure and Persistence


Have you ever heard of Spencer Silver? Me neither until recently, but you will recognize his most popular, used in most people’s daily life invention – the Post-it note.

Love them or hate them, they changed the way we organize and do business up to this day.

I still use them to make myself quick reminders, add tabs to refer to in my favorite books, and write down affirmations that I want to see often.

It’s an extra visual reminder for me.

I recently ran across Spencer’s story in a book I was reading and felt compelled to share it with you because, ultimately, it’s a story of failure and persistence. Here are the basics of his story:

In 1968, Spencer was a chemist at 3M, and part of his job was to invent a bigger, stronger tougher adhesive.

What they came up with instead was an adhesive that wasn’t strong (a fail), but had the ability to stay sticky.

For years, Spencer struggled with finding a use for his invention, but he persistently talked about his invention and stayed focused on it.

It wasn’t until 1974 (when new management came in) that he was approached by someone about his product. It was still several years later before they developed the sticky note concept and even longer (1978) before they had a successful product launch.

The moral of the story?

There are a few.

Lesson # one.

Although the invention was a failure of what they initially wanted to do, Spencer had the foresight to see that there was an opportunity with his invention.

He didn’t get stuck in what wasn’t working. He was able to have a vision of something greater.

Lesson # two.

He didn’t give up…for ten long years. I admire him for this. Persistence, and from what I read, he believed that something greater would come out of his invention.

Lesson # three.

It took ten long years. What would have happened if Spencer had sought out outside help, someone that could have helped him see what was getting in the way?

Is it possible that he would have had success faster?

Although this story ends in success, I would like to think that with the right mental mindset and energy shifts, Spencer may have developed this product much sooner.

Ten years is a long time to wait.

Maybe the naysayers got to him.

Maybe some doubt crept in.

Maybe he didn’t pursue it as passionately as he could have because he didn’t feel confident about his abilities.

Maybe he was saying yes to so many things that he got distracted.

Maybe he felt as “stuck” as his adhesive invention.

How long have you been waiting to reach your goals?


To your TOTAL Alignment,



When you are ready, here are a few more ways I can empower you to overcome your subconscious barriers:

     1. You can check out my podcast: Mind for Success. Mind for Success Podcast is for heart-centered entrepreneurs who are ready to overcome subconscious limitations and step into a new energy of an easier, more aligned, successful business. If this is you, join us as I interview business professionals, leaders, and entrepreneurs who share their stories of transforming into their authentic selves with you!

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     4. Schedule an Align Your Vision Clarity Session. In this session, we will:

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