Do you just turn your back on failures, too ashamed to ever look at them again?

Do you suspect there’s something in that heap of unfulfilled promises and dreams?

Here’s a little-big secret: Failure’s got a gold side that you’re leaving on the table every time you just move on.  

“The hidden value of learning from failure rather than running away from it.”

Whether you’re a middle manager or a first-time leader, a business owner, a creative, or a parent struggling with why things don’t work out for you, Failure Leaves Clues will give you a fresh perspective. Change your business, projects, and relationships with this 90-day system.

Through storytelling, podcaster and former chief creative officer Brian Gahan dives into the failure side of goals, projects, and desires, and shares a mindset that will teach you how to work with failure and its clues. The technique is called 90-90-ONE. Its simplicity will have you asking yourself “Why didn’t I think of that?!”


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Table of Contents


I want to explain a very simple technique that could fundamentally change everything in your life. For starters, I’m going to keep it focused on the work environment because that’s where this technique was born, but later on we’ll explore other areas of life where the same technique can work for you personally—for your kids, your family, and your community. I've been extremely fortunate because . . .

Chapter 1. Goals and the Excuse Economy

Our focus on making goals over and over while placing little attention or value on the clues lying in the ashes of our previously failed goals is keeping us stuck in a loop. I call this the failure loop. Let me explain . . .

Chapter 2. Success? Mimic It!

Okay, you want success. You want that glorious feeling of achievement. You’re tired of being in the dark, bumping into failure, and aimlessly grasping for something that looks like and feels like success, but in the long run isn’t. Your goals aren’t working and time’s running out, so you think screw it. It’s time to mimic it! . . .

Chapter 3. A Bit About Me

So, you take my personality type that’s always asking “How can we improve this? Is there a better way?” and drop it into an environment of massive ego with its constant boasting and need to win at all cost, and what comes out the other end is a person — me — who has witnessed a ton of failure swept under the rug of mediocre to moderate success and been left with an insatiable fascination with why we choose to try and grow without ever looking at, or acknowledging, the downside of those efforts. . . .

Chapter 4. Looking into Failure

I intend to offer you a new perspective of this metaphysical thing called failure and the clues it leaves. A red pill so to speak. Giving you a technique and a way of working with failure that acknowledges, values, and embraces it. A flowing and working with as opposed to running away from. . . .

Chapter 5. 90-90-One — How It Works

The real power in this technique is the 90 percent. Why? Because we often look at problems around us as being for others to solve, fix or take initiative on and don’t see them as something we can be accountable for . . .

Chapter 6. Personality Types

If you are a leader, team lead, HR manager or run the company the most valuable thing you can do with your time is learn how your team members tick. And this is a hugely beneficial by-product of 90-90-ONE. With that in mind, meet the Pleaser, the Show-Off, the Complicator, the Avoider, the Simplifier, and the Personalizer. . . .

Chapter 7. Let’s Get Personal

Let me explain how you can use 90-90-ONE as your David against the hugely annoying Goliath — that never-ending, soul-destroying, character-assassinating, ever-so-humbling, mother of all goals — the New Year’s resolution. . . .

Chapter 8. Empowering Youth

Let me share with you a story that reflects the power of 90-90-ONE for kids but also a pattern that so many of us are buried behind, where we can’t see the proverbial tree for the forest fire, so to speak. . . .

Chapter 9. Community — That Committee Thing!

We had a consensus! It must therefore mean something, right? And yes, it does. But not what we might think. You see, every time you hear the word consensus, look around and try to figure out who just twisted themselves into “compliance,” all the while, most likely, harbouring a deep desire to un-consensus the whole damn thing. . . .

Chapter 10. Conclusion – Start with Simple

One final benefit I want to discuss is the benefit of releasing and clearing out issues and its life-changing effect on one’s wellbeing and state of mind. By issues I mean all those things that hang around and remind us that we can’t relax or enjoy life until we have dealt with that issue. . . .

About the Author

Brian Gahan’s career has taken him through a multitude of industries: restaurant, construction, head-hunting, real estate, digital & dot com, advertising, and podcasting. He has travelled to more than 30 counties, worked as a photographer in some, and constantly reinvented himself along the way. As a student of life and learning, he developed a fascination with the concept of failure and started to explore the chasm between learning from it and running from it, and why most businesses are stuck in the latter. And then he wrote a book about it.


“Saying someone is lost is as crazy as saying there is somewhere they are supposed to be.”

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Change your business, projects, and relationships with this 90-day system!

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