Rise Above Failure: Finding Success Through Tenacity and Determination 

Failure is something we all try to avoid. It’s often disappointing and soul-crushing, especially if you fail at something that you invested so much time and effort in. However, failures are a normal part of life, and more importantly, they don’t define you. What matters most is how you bounce back from your bad experiences.

Instead of dreading failure and thinking of it as something negative, see it as a pivotal learning experience. A crushing failure today can end up completely changing your life for the better.

In this episode, MAST’s CEO Phillip Cable joins us to talk about how facing failures shaped his mindset towards success. He shares his story from being a law student to entering the Navy and eventually finding business success. Talking about his experiences, Phillip emphasises the values of tenacity and determination. His relentless attitude of not giving up coupled with authenticity, humility and courage resulted in a successful career and inspiring life story.

If you want to know how you can rise above failure, this episode will offer valuable insights for you.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Find out how you can use a loss to move on with life.
  2. Discover why you should take calculated risks in business and life.
  3. Learn the importance of tenacity and not giving up in building your way through success.


Episode Highlights

[02:56] What Phillip Is Most Proud Of

  • It was a pivotal moment in Phillip’s life when he gave up his solicitor training to go to the Navy. 
  • Phillip says it was a risk, but it was the right one.
  • It was a short career, and it didn’t come naturally to him. However, he feels a certain pride in having served his country.

[05:18] Phillip’s Academic Background

  • Phillip didn’t follow the usual academic route. 
  • He left at 16, worked for a while, went back and got into the law degree route.
  • Phillip did his Master’s in Maritime Law.

[06:30] The Decision to Give Up

  • Phillip compares it to starting a business: sometimes, you have to seize the initiative and the moment.
  • While his father was supportive, there was pressure from his friends and people in the industry.
  • A close family friend of Phillip’s encouraged him to go for it. It made him realise that he can always come back for law later.
  • Instinctively, Phillip felt like giving up training to be a solicitor to go to the Navy was the right thing to do.

[08:23] Finding the Courage to Do Something New After a Huge Loss

  • The period where Phillip was transitioning from law to the Navy was challenging. He had to contend with the sudden death of his mother due to a brain haemorrhage.
  • The experience galvanised his view around the need to make the most out of his life.
  • Before joining the Navy, he applied for the TA Parachute Regiment but didn’t make the cut.
  • Even though he failed, it was cathartic to get out of his comfort zone and push his boundaries. It took his mind off the feelings of loss and grief.
  • You don’t get over a loss; you only get used to it and reflect on it more. Listen to the full episode to learn about Phillip’s musical background!

[12:54] The Second Thing Phillip Is Most Proud Of

  • Phillip is proud of himself for not letting failure stop him.
  • Phillip doesn’t consider himself good at many things, but he believes you can achieve a lot through sheer persistence.
  • He failed in some things, but he’s proud of himself for not giving up. Even if Phillip didn’t meet the standard, he still experienced it. 
  • Phillip didn’t let his failures deter him from picking himself up and moving on to something else.
  • Sometimes, you fail because you’re not quite good enough, not for other reasons. You’ve only got yourself to hold accountable.

[18:04] What Happens After Failure

  • Phillip decided to leave the Navy after failing the Mine Clearance Diving Officer’s course.
  • This was a tricky period in Phillip’s life because he had to re-establish himself.
  • He went from being in a position of authority to looking for a job.
  • But he was determined. Phillip did all sorts of odd jobs until he stumbled on some security work for Aegis. 
  • He learned a lot from the founders of the company. This experience made him feel like he can go into this business.  

[19:31] Starting a Business

  • Starting the business was a leap of faith; they didn’t earn anything for a while. 
  • He tried to view the risk by looking at the worst-case scenario; it should be a calculated risk.
  • You have to give up things when you go into business. 
  • Phillip observes that successful people in business do it because they love it.  
  • Tune in to the full podcast to know how Phillip met Philip Batty, his business partner and co-founder!

[23:01] The Growth of MAST

  • MAST had a period of exponential growth during the dot-com boom.
  • When things go wrong, you have to draw upon your skills and other people’s skills.
  • Their restructuring was a very interesting learning period because that’s when you understand how businesses work.
  • The third phase of MAST has been regrouping, properly diversifying and professionalising some aspects of what they’re doing.
  • They started with only maritime risk consulting and security. Now they’re launching a new website involving land and sea. MAST is on a trajectory of growth again.

[25:31] Seizing Opportunities

  • Listening to very successful people reminds you that you must work for the people around you, not the other way around. 
  • Culture in business is vital. It sets the tone and the scene.
  • While diversifying is crucial, it can distract you from the core and the actual value-creating elements of the business. It’s challenging to get it right.
  • Keeping up with globalisation is extraordinarily difficult for certain sectors.
  • One area they need to improve on in MAST is to be more forward-leaning.

[29:07] The Third Thing Phillip Is Most Proud Of

  • From a personal perspective, he’s quite proud of his family. 
  • Family is an integral part of who he is.
  • He has four sons and one stepdaughter.
  • His family is the anchor that gives him a purpose.
  • The advice he gives to his sons is to be determined and tenacious. 

[31:13] Phillip’s Secrets to Success

  • Philip believes that determination and tenacity are crucial traits for success.
  • He always goes back to the things that anchor him: his family and faith.
  • Sometimes, humility and showing weakness are signs of strength, but there should be a balance between these and your ego.
  • Learn to laugh at yourself and be authentic.
  • You determine your measure of success. It’s important to be happy with yourself.

5 Powerful Quotes from the Episode

[10:01] ‘I don’t think you’d get over it. So, I think you just get used to it, and you learn to use it and to sort of reflect on it more… I think you use loss to help you move on in life, actually.’

[13:06] ‘I do think it’s important not to fear failure and to be, you know, able to admit it. And I think that I’m quite proud of the fact that I really do not give up. And I don’t consider myself to be a high flyer, and I don’t consider myself to be that good at that many things. But I do think you can achieve a lot through just sheer persistence.’

[25:45] ‘As a business owner, entrepreneur, you must work for the people around you rather than the other way around.’

[34:15] ‘I think that sometimes humility and showing weakness can actually be quite strong things.’ 

[36:50] ‘Don’t be disheartened by you know, don’t state [to] yourself, “That’s everything”. Be happy. That’s right, be happy with yourself, in your own skin’.

About Phillip

Phillip Cable is the co-founder and CEO of Maritime Asset Security and Training (MAST), a leading security and risk management company. His role revolves around maximising shareholder value by getting all the right resources and capabilities in place. He’s also responsible for building and sustaining a winning business model and leading and managing the entire team. Phillip leads the company by maintaining key relationships with stakeholders.

Phillip rendered six years of service as a warfare officer in the Royal Navy. He also has a Law degree, a postgraduate diploma in legal practice (Solicitors Exams) and a Maritime Law Master’s degree.

If you wish to get in touch with Phillip, you may reach him through LinkedIn.

Enjoy this Podcast?

As you go through life, you’ll experience setbacks, rejections and failures. And that’s okay. What’s important is acknowledging what’s gone wrong, learning from it, getting back up and trying something new. Phillip’s inspirational story puts this lesson into focus. If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Mindset Mentor Meets…, then hit subscribe and share it with your friends!

Post a review and share it! If you enjoyed tuning into this podcast episode, then don’t hesitate to write a review. You can also share this with your family and friends so they can feel empowered to get back up!

Have any questions? You can contact me through LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. Thanks for listening! 

For more updates and episodes, visit my website. You can also tune in on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Podbean

To meeting inspiration,