I was sitting at lunch today with a friend of mine discussing what it means to fail. We both agree that any failure is an opportunity to learn and grow and often times some of the experiences we go through in our lives (particularly the rough ones) turn out to be blessings in disguise and equip us with the necessary tools for the next time we come across those challenges.
What actually quantifies failure? I’m sure for each person the point at which a project is a failure is different and subjective to their experiences and individual expectations. It’s amazing how your perspective and expectations really plays a huge role in your perceived success or failure.
A quick Google search will bring up a never ending list of successful entrepreneurs who failed before they succeeded. Talk to any successful person you know and it’s almost guaranteed that they too failed before they succeeded. To be considered successful, you don’t have to get it right the first time or all the time. In fact, there is only a very minute chance that you will actually get it right on your first try. But, each of these successful business people did get it right one time and so can you!
So why are we so afraid of failure? Why do we hold back on our dreams or ideas and continue to muddle in mediocrity? I’m no psychologist, but I imagine the fear of failure is pretty short sighted. I don’t think we fear failing to do something well after years of practice, hard work, and repetition. What we really fear is failing to do something right the first time. Fear of Failure is actually keeping us from attempting to accomplish anything at all.
I’ve heard many successful people described as getting lucky or becoming an overnight success. However, if you dig a little deeper into their paths, you will find that this luck that someone talks about is actually countless hours of practice and training, or unnoticed years studying and reading, or numerous failed attempts at other businesses, etc. I heard Joe Pags, successful radio host, describe his “overnight success” story as 25 years in the making. It’s funny how no one tends to see the work and years of blood, sweat, and tears poured into a success story.
I don’t want my kids growing up thinking they are entitled to success. I don’t want my kids growing up afraid to try something because they are afraid of failing. I mentioned when I started this blog that one of my purposes was to put thoughts down in writing so that my kids would be able to read it one day and hopefully heed my advice.
The point of all of this is that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one will know or care about your failures and neither should you. If you fail, get up, dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and keep pushing forward. Don’t be afraid of the possible failures in life. Keep learning and putting in the hard work because…
THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IN BUSINESS IS THAT YOU GET IT RIGHT ONE TIME. (Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are!)
P.S. One last thought… It’s ok to DREAM BIG! It typically takes just as much effort to succeed in something small as it does to shoot for the sky and succeed at something BIG so why not GO BIG!?!?!
About the Author: David Carpenter
I am an experienced Commercial Real Estate Advisor with a mission to create wealth for investors through Commercial Real Estate. However, I am also a family man! With 3 kids at home, I spend most of my spare time with my wife and kids supporting them in the things that they love. I like to mix in a little fishing, gardening, refinishing furniture, reading, and watching the Spurs whenever I get a chance.