Make the decision that you’re willing to lay every brick yourself to reach your goals. You know you can do it or you wouldn’t be trying. Don’t let waiting for help lull you into a stall. You heard my story on that.

The Fear of Failure is one of the most common restraints that holds people back from pursuing great ideas. Imagine if we could become totally free from the fear of failure. Imagine what we could then manifest and create. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who can share stories and insights from their experience about “Becoming Free From the Fear of Failure.” As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Chip Carter.

Chip Carter was a nationally known print journalist (when there was such a thing) with The Chicago Tribune and Washington Post writing about video games. A mid-life career change took him to The Huffington Post as a video producer. He used that experience to launch CBC3 Media in 2016 and is now the producer and host of a new television series “Where The Food Comes From” on The RFD-TV Network.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I grew up a preacher’s kid in farm country. I always knew I wanted to write or be in television or play music — writing seemed a more solid option, I figured I could always get a paycheck while I worked on the other pieces of me. I knew I had made the right choice when The Chicago Tribune signed me to write an internationally syndicated column at age 29. Shortly thereafter I realized newspapers were going away someday, and I started angling for my next career move. It was 15 years in coming. I decided to come back home, figuratively, and start covering food and farming. The transition was not simple. The sacrifices were great. The success of having a new national TV series is all the sweeter for it (plus people are actually listening to my music now and I’ve even gotten to use it in my own show!)

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

Only one? Seemingly impossible. Hanging out with Bruce Springsteen comes to mind. So does watching the sunrise with Dave Grohl one weird night in Atlanta. So does tagging along with Derek Jeter for three days. Flying a fighter jet. But my best story probably has to be having dinner with Stan Lee in an Ethiopian microbrewery in Haight-Ashbury when the first Marvel video game came out. He had not done an interview in years and only agreed to dinner to promote the game. But when I showed up with my 9-year-old Marvel fanatic son (I was a full-time single dad), all bets were off: We had an amazing night, then a week later Stan agreed to his first interview in years… with my son!

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Persistence. Tenacity. An unwillingness to quit. I realize those are all basically the same thing. But that’s really the only character trait responsible for me ever getting anything done. I’ll elaborate shortly…

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the concept of becoming free from failure. Let’s zoom in a bit. From your experience, why exactly are people so afraid of failure? Why is failure so frightening to us?

You can actually flip this and call it “fear of success”. We’re not really afraid of failure — we literally fail every day at something. Assuming our lives are okay at the moment, it’s intimidating to take chances that might screw things up, even if the payoff is a dream-come-true. Every creator or innovator is afraid of being judged: “I brought my dream to life — now everybody hates it so I’m a flop.” That’s scary! And maybe most significantly, dreamers love their dreams — as long as you don’t put that dream in play and see it fail, then you always have it to cling to. If you never do it, it could still come true; if you do and it flops, you don’t have the comfort of that particular dream any more.

What are the downsides of being afraid of failure? How can it limit people?

I can tell you how it limited me. I was quite comfortable being a star in other people’s universes for a long time. All of the fun, none of the responsibility. But when the newspaper world fell apart, I knew I had to do what I’d already been planning all along and shift gears. When I started CBC3 Media I just knew there would be a stream of apt and able candidates to come aboard and do some of the heavy lifting and make my dream real. Before long I had surrounded myself with sycophants who made a lot of noise, but accomplished nothing. I had managed to get myself on-air as a regular correspondent with The RFD-TV News team and was working towards a series — but I was taking my own sweet time, waiting on all these experts to do it for me. But they weren’t. No one was selling sponsorships. No one was bringing in revenue. Anything that got accomplished I did. But I still couldn’t see it. A friend and successful businessman invited me to lunch. He started with a simple question: “Are you afraid of success?” I told him I had always thought that was the stupidest question imaginable. He checked me up. He said he always had been afraid — and still was — and it had prevented him from taking other action before he finally broke through in his 50s. He challenged me to re-examine. I did, and over a period of weeks realized I absolutely was getting in my own way. My incompetent staff was not the problem — I was, because I was waiting for them to build the machine. Even though I had ample evidence they couldn’t do it! I made the decision that if I actually wanted this to happen, instead of remain a “nightlight dream” to fall asleep to, I had to be willing to lay every brick myself. I was, and always had been capable of doing that myself. Surrounding myself with incapable people was simply me stalling. My eyes opened, I started shedding deadweight, I took control of every project, including sales, and within a year had produced a pilot episode that got the greenlight for the Where The Food Comes From series. That took another two years to bring to air (thanks, covid) but we’re rolling now.

In contrast, can you help articulate a few ways how becoming free from the free of failure can help improve our lives?

You just learn to stay out of your own way. If you’re turning to others for help, make sure it’s competent help. Don’t delude yourself. You’ll learn to ask, is this something I really can’t do? Or something that’s keeping my bedtime dream safe from potential evaporation?

We would love to hear your story about your experience dealing with failure. Would you be able to share a story about that with us?

Oh my God. How many? Failed publications, big magazines and papers who paid me thousands simply disappearing, knowing that a career where I had beaten rock star kind of odds to shoot to the top was simply disintegrating and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it? Long way to the top, short ride down, for sure. At the same time, a magazine I had started ran right into the teeth of the 2006–2008 recession and it all came down at once, the final hammer came in March 2009 when the Tribune dropped all its syndicated writers. Yes, I had planned my pivots. I had been preparing to leave the print world for a long, long time. And then so were about a million other suddenly unemployed journalists. I had an amazing resume and absolutely nowhere to go with it. It was real rockbottom stuff. The magazine crash had taken all my assets. I was in a deep, deep hole. And the world looked like a very dark place. After 20 years of being a star player nobody wanted me. And there was nowhere else for me to turn.

How did you rebound and recover after that? What did you learn from this whole episode? What advice would you give to others based on that story?

Remember that tenacity thing? This is probably a good place to note that on top of everything else I broke my neck in April 2008 and had a long (but fortunately very successful) recovery… at the same freaking time I was trying to rebuild my life! I did literally anything — I wrote quiz show questions, college entrance essays for rich kids, articles for a penny a word for content mills. Anything to stay afloat while I figured out what was next. I landed a spot as a part-time consultant for a marketing agency. One day the owner asked me if I could produce a TV commercial. Very significantly, he did not ask, have you produced a TV commercial. I knew I could, this was what had been baking in the back of my brain for a long time. I said yes, made the spot, and found myself back in the saddle. I used that clip to get more local work as a producer. Then I used that to land with Huffington Post making videos. But since about 2005, I knew from listening that the world was starting to pay more attention to what it was eating — and where that came from. And I started angling to get in the food space. I took a job as a print editor with a very low-rung ag industry publication. Within two years I had convinced them they needed video for their website and I became the producer. Eighteen months later I had built a rep in the industry, and with the support of the people I’d met launched CBC3 Media in late 2016. On Jan. 20, 2022, Where The Food Comes From premiered to a national audience. And has several thousand followers, which is a really nice bonus that I never expected!

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that everyone can take to become free from the fear of failure”? Please share a story or an example for each.

MY FIVE THINGS VIDEO LINK: (52) “Where The Food Comes From” Producer/Host Chip Carter: 5 Things To Cope With the Fear of Failure — YouTube

  1. Make the decision that you’re willing to lay every brick yourself to reach your goals. You know you can do it or you wouldn’t be trying. Don’t let waiting for help lull you into a stall. You heard my story on that.
  2. If you want to play in the major leagues, play every day in the minor leagues like you’re already there. Otherwise, it’s too easy to make excuses for yourself and to not hold yourself fully accountable because you can always say, “Well I’m just this, it’s not like I play for the New York Yankees.” I had to go back to the very bottom of the totem pole to relaunch and redirect my career. The publication was not good. The ownership did not care. It was an embarrassment, frankly. But I made the commitment to do the job the same way I did at the Tribune or the Post. I didn’t care who was looking or wasn’t. And in so doing, I built the framework for my company.
  3. Treat everyone the same with the same dignity and respect, from janitor to genius. In so doing you’ll feel positive feedback from all the people in your life, which helps deal with any kind of fear. Do not underestimate anyone. I was carrying a guitar into a hotel recently when a group of middle-aged vacationers stopped me in the parking lot to chat. I could have nodded and walked on, or ignored them — instead I met the mother of one of the lead designers for Gibson guitars, my preferred instrument. He now has my specs for a rebuild of one of my instruments, courtesy of the video his mom made me shoot in the parking lot on her phone.
  4. Don’t get in your own way. The definition of that is super personal. Part of your job is to find out what things you are doing that put obstacles in your own path. I know what mine are. I have discovered them one by one over many years because I search for them. Never assume you can’t learn more. When I was young, I sought out older people who were doing things I liked and talked them and listened to what they said. Now that the script is flipped, I seek out younger people who impress me and talk to them and — real important here — listen to what they say.
  5. Never forget: You knew this was a horse when you put the saddle on it. You asked for this. You wanted this. You dreamed of this. You’ve worked for this. Now mount up and ride.

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” Based on your experience, have you found this quote to be true? What do you think Aristotle really meant?

Far from me to dispute Aristotle. I mean, there are levels of success. Failure is just failure, even the righteous effort that flops is still failure. So I think maybe what that means is, success is whatever bar you set for it and are content with. Once you reach that point, you’re successful no matter what anyone else thinks.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 😊

Seriously so simple: Just be nice.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 😊

Bruce Springsteen. He was my first hero and greatest inspiration. I snuck backstage in Atlanta and met him on my 18th birthday. He was incredibly kind. I’d like to let him know I turned out alright!

How can our readers further follow your work online?,, Where The Food Comes From — (

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.