After several years in business and having my own fair share of business failures and success online, I’ve discovered a profound secret. It is this:
“Failure is your friend”
Have you ever worked incredibly hard towards something, perhaps it was a personal goal you wanted to achieve, a project or a something important to you. However, no matter how hard you tried, how much effort you put into it, the hours you invested into it, you “failed” to get the results you always wanted.
You’ve poured your heart and soul into this project and only to watch it crumble down like a deck of falling cards. You then go through incredible frustration and perhaps anger and start blaming everyone else.
“I can’t believe it, I’ve put all this energy into it and it didn’t work!”
“This stuff doesn’t work! What’s the point of doing this then?”
“I’ve had enough!”
“Why does this always happen to me?”
Does this sound familiar?
After several years of starting businesses, growing them, watching them fall apart and starting another one and moving on, I’ve come to realize that failure is your friend. No matter what you do, which journey you chose, you’ll ALWAYS come across failure. Everyone you know and know of has had their fair share of failure in their lives.
No one has ever dodged failure in their path.
Of course, how you deal with failure is a different story. You may cry over it, you may become incredibly frustrated with it and you may even go on a rampage! Dealing with failure and managing your emotions is the part we all dislike the most. It takes time to get used to it and become stronger.
However, one way in which we can manage our emotions whenever we go through some sort of failure is to change our perception of failure. There are 3 secrets of failure I’ve discovered that will help you change your perception of it.
The 3 Secrets Of Failure
Secret 1: Failure does not mean you’re a total failure in life
Unfortunately, our mainstream perception of failure is this:
“If you fail at something, that means that you’re a total failure!”
So is this true?
Let’s say that you’ve started a business in the past and it failed. Does this make you a failure? What about all of the things you’ve accomplished? If you can’t think of anything you’ve accomplished, how about the screen that you’re reading this on.
If you are reading the words on this article right now, then you are in a very fortunate position compared to thousands of other people who can’t read at all. There are many people on this planet who have no access to education, food or shelter.
They would have a much harder time achieving the success you want to achieve than your current position.
If you have a basic command of English or any language, you have within your power to read any books, any information that can turn your life around. If you’ve failed in business in the past, you can get books and read business books that shows you the steps on how to build a successful business.
Secret 2: Failure is only a result.
To be honest, these days whenever I would launch a marketing campaign that loses money or launch a project that failures, I still feel the emotion of frustration. I still feel like crap and some times, I even think of giving up.
It’s completely normal to have those feelings. However, after several years of doing this, I’ve gotten so used to it that now it’s getting more easier to manage my emotions. These days, I fail forward and go through the emotions until I achieve success.
Therefore, I’ve discovered another secret to failure, it’s this:
Failure is only a result.
Whenever you fail at something, it’s really a result of a certain action you took. In the past, if you tried to ride a bike but kept on falling off, it’s because you didn’t take the right actions that enabled you to balance on your bike properly.
You had to continually change your actions until you got the results you wanted and rode your bike comfortably.
Same goes with starting anything new or anything that is completely out of your comfort zone. Of course you’ll encounter failure when you start off, you’ve got no experience, no confidence and perhaps no skills to back you up in succeeding in your new venture.
The odds are stacked against you and you’ve got an extremely high chance of making mistakes.
I remember completely stepping out of my comfort zone and doing my first public speaking gig. I was so nervous, I’ve never spoken to more than 30 people before. I had no experience, I had no confidence and I had no skills in public speaking. I was destined to “fail” at my first attempt.
Did I fail? Of course I did. Did I make mistakes? Of course I did.
I remember standing there in front of 30 people, holding onto my notes, shaking, sweating and burning out. I wanted to completely stop my talk and fly back home to Australia. However for some strange reason, I hung onto that humiliating moment and somehow pushed through.
Fast forward 2 years later, I’ve successfully spoken to over 2,500 people and no longer have the feelings I once had when I first started. I no longer consider myself a failure in public speaking, I’m now see as always improving my public speaking skills and getting better every single day.
Which then finally leads to another secret.
Secret 3: Success is a numbers game.
On the other side of failure, there is success. From my experience, whenever I would try something new, a new project, a new marketing campaign or a new venture, if I were to continually try it, it would take me approximately between 4-8 tries to get it right and moving forward. It will take even more tries to turn it into a moderate success and even more attempts to make it a massive success.
I’ve found that if you want to accomplish something worthwhile, it will take you several attempts to get there.
The numbers of failures it will take for you to achieve something is dependent on how big the goal is.
Here are some examples of people who failed big but achieved bigger.
Thomas Edison, it took him over 1,000 attempts to invent the light bulb.
J K Rolling the author of the Harry Potter books took her over 1,200 rejections to get her book published.
Kernal Sanders took him 1,000 rejections to get his chicken recipe accepted and eventually created the KFC empire around the world.
The conclusion of failure
Failure will always be the teacher you’ll dislike. No matter what happens, failure is a part of life and will always be there to annoy you, frustrate you and make you throw a tantrum but do realize that failure will push you to the correct path towards success.
I would like to leave you with a quote by Bill Gates, one of the most successful people today.
Bill Gates once said “Success is a terrible teacher”
That being said, let’s all look at failure as our grateful teacher who’s always there to correct our mistakes and push us into the right direction.
Keep failing forward.