Welcome to a new week and another opportunity for a new fresh start.
I’ve been thinking about failure a lot this week. So much so that I decided to share my thoughts with you.
Let me start by asking you . . Are you afraid to fail?
When I started down my entrepreneurial path in the early ’90s, my first two ventures failed spectacularly. It devastated me, and my confidence took a huge knock. I guess I could’ve given up then, but something inside me kept pushing me forward.
I was fortunate that I had a full-time job, and I didn’t have to rely on my ‘side-hustle’ for an income. Even so, my first son was on his way, and I wanted a better life for my family.
So, I tried a third time and, voila . . . lift-off.
Then, three years later, with my confidence renewed and my passion for entrepreneurship driving me, I started a fourth business.
It was in a different industry and catered for a very different target market. And guess what, it also failed. But not for the same reasons as the first two. Why?
I really needed to analyse what I was doing wrong here.
When I sat down and investigated my successful third effort, I began to realise how much I had learned from the first two failures and how I had learned to apply them. It was, after all, the same fundamental business idea that I had re-started three times before it got going. I had, as it turned out, invested in learning what NOT to do – Awesome.
Yet, when I analysed my failure in the fourth business, I realised how much I still had to learn. I had become overly confident and believed that I had developed a proven model. Not even close.
In reality, having evidence that something works today in one market is no indication of whether it’ll work tomorrow, in a different market.
The journey to success is riddled with uncertainty, and you’re never going to get every decision right the first time.
That’s when it sunk in – Success is a process, not an event. It’s a string of sequential, well-directed actions that lead to a positive result.
– Whenever you take action, you get a result.
– If that result is desirable and it takes you towards your destination, then that’s great.
– If the result is not what you want, then you’ve learned one way that doesn’t work.
– And then you try something else.
– No individual result is either a ‘success’ or a ‘failure’; it’s just a result.
– We learn through cause and effect.
– Take action -> observe result -> learn from result -> adjust action and try again.
In all honesty, you’ve only failed if you’ve stopped trying.
The trick to succeeding in your business and personal life is not to avoid failure. All that will do is lead to total stagnation.
You need to appreciate that failure is a fundamental and vital part of learning and succeeding, and welcome it.
Learn to embrace failure as part of your journey, and adopt the following strategy. . .
- Fail Fast – launch quickly and let the market highlight your shortcomings. Don’t try to strive for perfection before going to market. You do NOT know what the market wants and needs until you ask them.
- Fail Cheap – Don’t spend a lot of money on anything until you’ve had enough positive feedback from your audience that they want what you’re offering.
- Fail Forward – Learn quickly from market feedback and apply what you’ve learned in your next set of actions.
And when fear does strike, and you feel like the cost of failure will be too much, what then?Well, first make a list of the worst things that could happen if you fail – the absolute worst things. And then go back over that list a few hours later and review your fears.You will find that most, if not all those fears are irrational, and the worst-case scenario is either unlikely or not that bad.
Fear is a part of life, and you will never entirely avoid it.
Fear of failure, however, is irrational and is the one sure way of keeping you from achieving your dreams.
Don’t fear failure – embrace it and deal with it decisively.
There’s a section in the BYDB course that I’m busy finalising that will show you how to build the kind of vivid vision that will pull you through your fears, and towards your goals. Keep a lookout for it. The launch will be this month!
I hope you have a great week.
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