July 28

Failure – The Key Stepping Stone to Success


Part of the service we offer our clients is that of business fitness coach. When meeting with many companies, it’s often necessary to guide business owners back to the goals of their business, and away from the distractions that may undermine the success of their company. Over-planning for potential risks is one of these distractions.

My dad always used to tell me that failure was the stepping stone to success. The average entrepreneur fails 4-5 times before he is successful. What does all of this tell you as a business owner of principal? That experience is the path to success; we learn from our mistakes and hopefully make an active choice NOT to repeat them.

Too many companies are so stuck in the planning stages that they fail to spend time on building the business. They spend too much time in what I call “Analysis Paralysis”, trying to make sure that they plan for every possible outcome and scenario.

The successful businesses that we work with are not afraid to take chances and more importantly not afraid to fail. They spend time looking at the successful side of the outcome instead of the potential risk.

Analyzing and considering risk is good, don’t get me wrong. It’s a gut check that prevents us from making the big mistakes and when considering risk, one must look at the worst possible outcome to insure it doesn’t severely impact the day to day operations or direction of the business. However, the main focus of a company can’t be on the potentials risks that exist. The fear and caution associated with potential risk tends to be more of a hindrance than a help for a young company.

What I notice is when someone fails, they tend to lose the fear of failure. The net time around, they are willing to take more risks because they learned that failure makes you smarter. After all, just as we were told when we were younger, whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.

So don’t be afraid to take risks in your business, it’s necessary to succeed. What’s the worst that can happen? Failure isn’t a dirty word. It shows you have the character to take a risk and like gambling, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

It took me 4 times to get it right and I wouldn’t trade what I have learned along the way for anything. As long as you have your health and your family, then everything else is gravy anyway.

What do you think?


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