The Secret to Success Might Just Lie in Failure

Buying a business opportunity, distributorship or small franchise and going into business for yourself is a risky endeavor.  If you’re an entrepreneur at heart, then you’re certainly no stranger to the concept of risk, that’s for sure.  But inherent in anything risky is the possibility, in fact the likelihood, of failure.  And while that’s a very scary realization, it can also be a liberating one ― for if failure teaches us nothing else other than how to keep going when the going gets tough, then it’s a very powerful and worthwhile part of life, let alone the journey to becoming successful.

William Strong once said, “The only time you don’t fail is the last time you try anything―and it works.”  So if you know that owning your own business is what you want to do ― you’re gut tells you that it’s what you need to do to be happy and successful in life ― then don’t give up until you find the exact opportunity that’s right for you.  Successful entrepreneurs will tell you that more of them than not started at least one other business along the way to finding the one that worked out.

While it’s true that no one ever sets out to fail at anything, many would argue it’s a moot point because there really is no such thing as failure anyway.  Why?  It’s because when we “fail” at anything, all we’re really experiencing is the gift of a number of critical life lessons, some of which are as follows:

  • Resilience ― Edison, Einstein, Churchill… the list of successful people who can point to very profound and repeat failures on their way to their ultimate destiny is practically endless and in fact most impressive.  The one trait they all have in common?  Resilience!  They learned early on and from their lowest moments how to bounce back, pick themselves up and try again until they got it right.
  • Redirection ― Life has a way of placing you where and when you need to be that’s absolutely uncanny.  Of course, it’s oftentimes 20-20 hindsight that provides us with the full rear-view-mirror perspective on why things needed to happen the way they did.  If success eludes you at first, try looking at failure as an opportunity to redirect your energies differently, whether it’s toward owning your own business or elsewhere.
  • Perspective ― There’s nothing like having something you thought was the most important thing in the world fall apart at the seams.  And there’s nothing like the perspective it can give you as to what’s really important.  After all, if you pour your heart and soul into a business ― let’s say neglecting your personal life and everyone in it or leveraging yourself to the hilt ― only to have it fall apart, you’ll figure our real quickly what matters most.  Or if you get started young as a far-too-hardworking entrepreneur and things don’t work out, maybe you’ll realize that balancing your personal life with your professional one is a necessary goal when choosing your next move.  The point is that recovering from what you might deem to be a “failure” allows you to take your own inventory and weigh your priorities for the future in a way that nothing else can.
  • Analytical Thinking ― Analytical thinking is one of the most important skills that any person can have, especially an entrepreneur.  It helps us to organize our thoughts so that we ask relevant questions and make improvements in how we do things moving forward.  It allows us to define a problem or challenge, collect pertinent facts and then find a logical solution.  When we fail at something, we have an unique opportunity to develop and use our analytical thinking skills so that where we go and what we do next is grounded in smart and calculated decision-making, not by-the-seat-of-the-pants instinct ― although, to be fair, that approach does work well for some people.  The few lucky ones, that is.
  • Confidence ― It’s easy to have confidence when you win at everything.  It’s hard when you don’t.  Failure is a means for us to develop a sense of who we are and what we’re made of aside from what we do for a living, what talents we might be fortunate enough to possess or where we might happen to come from.  In addition, failure means we tried and that means no regrets.  What’s the old adage?  I can only regret something I DIDN’T do.  Trying your hand at something and then not succeeding gives you the confidence of knowing you’re living your life to the fullest and making an effort to achieve your greatest potential, and that’s a life well lived.  Who can ask for more than that?