St. Aidan was the second missionary called up to evangelize the lands of Northumbria. The first wasn't martyred or imprisoned, his methods were not working. St. Aidan, though he was pious and austere personally, was pastorally inviting.
St. Aidan's efforts met with unqualified success. His mission took birth from the Isle of Iona in a community founded by one of our Window Saints, St. Columkille (Columba). In Northumbria, Aidan eventually founded a community at Lindisfarne.
There is usually more than one way to accomplish anything, St. Aidan is proof of that. Nor should we take someone else's failure as a prediction of our own efforts. Aidan kept the focus on his love for Jesus and the gospel. His love and compassion for those to whom he ministered flowed from that.