How Epic Failure Brings GREAT Success in YOUR Life


The level of  respect, insight and joy that Mark and I bring to our chats whenever we connect prompted me to ask him to help co-create a series of inspirational Skype interviews.

In part, my motivation was to continue growing DanTrep advice, support and resources. To offer you more unique life perspectives on how profound gains and losses in life do happen.  And YES you will be stronger and wiser as a result. This is a story of How Epic Failure Gives GREAT Success in YOUR Life.

Most importantly I offer you encouragement to not give up and realize that while at times you will think you're the only one experiencing 'this' (whatever 'this' is), you are not all unique or alone in your struggles.

As you learn to connect the dots between these stories you will see that so many other kindred spirits around the globe experience some degree of 'the same' -- we are all connected and abundance still exists!

Me from Toronto, Canada and Mark from a stealth like mobile version of Walden, deep in the back woods of 'somewhere USA' -- together we have a message to share with you.

On some level he and I are kindred spirits with a profound ability to deal with the significant ups and downs of doing what matters to live and work on our own terms. HELPING YOU do what matters to live and work on YOUR own terms.
Tempted to have a pity party feeling like we've been taken advantage by our generosity yet humbly coming to realize that over the years we actually give and find advantage.  - Dan Trepanier

In other words, the decades have taught us to reframe and shift our naivety and optimism (hence all to often being taken advantage), to a healthier view that we willingly  'give advantage' - Dan Trepanier

As part of my content curation process I've recorded and had our conversations transcribed. Then took creative licence to adapt these transcription into easier blog reading.

Recordings, transcriptions, and media elements were then masterfully compiled by Arijit Nandi in Kolkata India. --- the guy with a forte in imagination that sets Final Cut Pro and post editing production uniquely apart in a crowded digital media sea! I love Arjit's zeal to notice simplicity as he takes the mountain of raw material I toss his way, and crafts an inspirational, easy to digest video for your enjoyment.

How Epic Failure Brings GREAT Success in YOUR Life

The level of respect, insight and joy that Mark and I bring to our chats whenever we connect prompted me to ask him to help co-create a series of inspirational Skype interviews. 

Is this how you feel when going through an epic failure: You ask the ouija board If there is a dead person in your home and the board keeps spelling your name? Oh yeah, we all dead when we fail. But no matter the loss, your life is not over. In fact, failure can give you life. They wake you up and inspire you to live the life that matters.

Never give up! And don’t give up on this podcast as my friend Mark and I will explain why you should keep on keeping on.

Dan Trepanier

Certified , Personal Wellness Trainer



This is a story of you and I originally collaborating, about fourteen years ago, on what we thought would be an incredibly exciting project. However,  by my definition, despite our best our efforts our projects and lives felt like an epic failure with valuable lessons learned.

Despite trying our best, I have a feeling that back then the universe said, "No, the timing isn't right for this stuff to be financially viable"   --- and so we lost it all and went broke!

It's interesting how over a decade later, we connect again but not with a sense of failure (from those days), but rather a sense that what has held true over these years.....

.. doing what matters to live and work on our own terms

The same kind of values today as back then --- the drive to live and work on our own terms, to do what matters, to keep putting passion into what we do -- Dan


I thought that period in our lives was really one of the ultimate lessons from the universe, and we both must have been ready: you with your Gay Evolution Project and my trying to help you with that as well as intertwining and leveraging off of what I was doing in Chicago with the Lakeshore Marathon Project. Both were epic tasks at the time and, as you said, epic failures....   (or were they??)

....they really weren't.

What really happened was that the forces that were opposing us caused me to take a timeout. I think we both reached a tipping point: emotionally, psychologically, financially and were forced by the universe to take a timeout and repurpose.


Yes, and from that timeout came significant learnings. For me, it was, and I'm sure for you too, learning to deal with loss. I'm not ashamed to say as a result of  our ventures I went bankrupt, had hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and had to repurpose and rebuild my life.

That is a profound sense of loss. "Boy, I'll tell you, I ain't making that mistake twice!"

I wanted to play big and I try big and I believed that the more epic the fail, the more, epic the gains down the road would be.


I thought we both may have been unprepared for the level of the game of which we engaged. Neither one of us anticipated that we were going to be hit by con men, who had tremendous credentials and backing.

I think we scared some institutional power bases because it is no coincidence that later I had other additional con men that were financially backed try to infiltrate my organization and ultimately bring me to my knees. It really says something.

We were on to something profound because we both attracted such institutional opposition to our ideas.


Yes, yes..... gosh, you're bang on Mark. I've struggled all my life with the consequences of challenging the status quo. Fast forward, for instance, to my last employer whereby after 19 years of outstanding service I was "packaged off" via a forcibly amicable 'showing of the door". I believe that termination was motivated,  in part,  because a few in position of authority saw me as to prolific a constructive irritant that posed a threat to other agendas.

To this day I consistently challenge the status quo and speak to power beyond the comfort level of some. When I take on a project my intent is to be a change agent and have profound impact on others -- and sometimes that means 'pushing buttons'.

The risk is that someone tries to "toss me under the bus" along the way.

I think there's a valuable lesson here for anybody that wants to be a culturally creative trailblazer. Some people are going to either copy, stop or steal or derail your idea. 


You scare the status quo. You scare man-made constructs. People's entire framework of their existence is built upon these man-made constructs, be them institutional politics, institutional religion, or institutional family, what they have been programmed to believe since they were little.

When folks come along, like you and I, and start questioning what they believe to be the basis of their life and the purpose of their life, it rattles cages. Both of us are fortunate. Gay men don't always realized how fortunate they are because we've been forced to question these constructs  - Mark

... because we're not being affirmed day by day like regular heterosexuals are in advertising, in public policy, in religion. I mean right now we start to see some societal changes, in the era we grew up in were forced to question everything that we were ever taught and everything that we were seeing around us. It's almost as if we found ourself in the first movie, "The Matrix," where all of a sudden Neo is told, when he's waiting to talk to the Oracle, by that little boy there is no spoon.


Right, right..... Once you get to that tipping-point in the movie, you can never go back to the way it was because you now have a new perception of reality which is very different from what a lot of other people are thinking.

It's as if you and I think were in a unique position but realize were not because we've just discovered there's a lot of other people who think and act the way we do. The aim here is to believe that we do what matters to live work on our terms based on a personal definition of success. ---- even if that definition goes against mainstream society.

I think a lot of people need help in the area of 'doing what uniquely matters because metaphorically speaking life is like the Matrix. You know something's going on, but you don't quite know what it is yet, and you want somebody to help you figure it out. -- Dan



Yes, you're absolutely right. I think you hit the nail on the head. We're not that unique. We have more in common with everyday man than this podcast and the purpose for the podcast may lead to believe. I think that's really the motivation why we're doing it because we really are no different. We've just had a collection of experiences that have helped us get us to this point. We can share our wisdom with others.



Tell me a little bit about where you're at with things Mark.  You're on this epic journey and living an unusual life.


Yes. I'm really now living what I would call a mobile version of Walden. I sold my home just before Thanksgiving of 2014, so I'm over a year and a half on the road and living a more minimalist lifestyle.

Getting to this point was rather interesting. We alluded to some of it before. Really circumstances of dealing with loss  got to the point where I was frustrated and I just took a step back for a timeout. I'm transitioning through from that timeout  because once upon a time I worked quite corporately and was involved with the everyday mortgage, car payment, corporate job that really are the not 9:00 to 5:00 but are the 24 hour days, 7 days a week, 365 days a year you live, work and breathe and play what you're trying to become professionally.

I would say I ventured into what I would call now "My Own Private Idaho" of just who is Mark? What do I want to do? What were the parts of life that motivated me and excited me the most early on?

I found that it was a connection to the natural world.

There's really two types of people in this world: those that empower themselves from universal energy in the natural world and those that empower themselves from stealing energy from other people. - Mark

In the corporate world, you tend to have, especially in urban areas, people who have learned the art of manipulation be it gentle or overt and creating imbalances of power so that they can exploit an other individual and steal vital energy from another individual.

Whereas there's an unlimited supply from the universe of universal energy when you understand that you're part of the living dynamic and collective consciousness of all that was and all that is and all that will ever be within the universe.

As I transitioned through and looked at that, then I add family issues, life issues. Dad made it to 90; passed away; laid him to rest in the National Cemetery. Mom mid-80s, now has dementia. Had to find a place for her.

As I'm talking to my little sister, it's like, "What are we going to get? Are we going to keep our wits and make it to 90 or further like dad, or are we going to lose our marbles like mom?" That was really part of my own personal "Shawshank Redemption."

What am I going to do? I can either get busy living, or I can get busy dying. - Mark

When you fall into those empty traps of just living a life you believe is expected of you, you're really just going through the motions.

I don't mean and I'm not advocating that everyone needs to purse extreme adventures. No, but try to do something new every day. Take a new walk. Walk a new route. Drive a new route. Pick up a new book. Meet a new individual. Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone a little bit.