On the road to success, many things are variable and uncertain. Ideas change, markets shift, and passions burn out. These are just a few obstacles that loom in light of starting a new venture.
One thing is undeniable. No matter what, this “thing” will appear in your process. It doesn’t give a warning, doesn’t come with instructions, and doesn’t care what you’ve done so far.
Failure is coming. Accept it now.
My somewhat reputable ‘know-how’ is a by-product of my education and leisure interests. I’ve learned quite a bit as a double major in Accounting and Entrepreneurship; the stack of books beside my desk make a good claim as well.
My modest involvement in the start-up community allows me to spot a few pitfalls. I’ve heard a lot of stories. I’ve tried my own things. The common denominator? Failure. It’s inevitable. Ask anyone whose ever had a taste of success and they’ll tell you the same.
Failure is coming.
Roses Have Thorns
What are roses known for? Off top, words such as love, bliss, and beauty sprout to mind. However, in the real world, if you quickly snatch a rose for it’s goodness, you’ll learn even quicker that roses have thorns. And they hurt like hell.
Failures are the thorns of success. Although starting something new stimulates excitement and appeal, it’s not all beautiful. You need to be aware of those sharp, pointy things that may prevent you from clenching success.
Some people underestimate the difficulties of starting a new venture. They plan like crazy until they’re confident the plan is foolproof. While that’s a grand and cute way to look at it, it’s far too unrealistic. Failure will come. When people overlook failure, they go into shock when it smacks them in the face.
Don’t get caught sleepin’.
Conversely, some people overestimate failure. These guys say things like “that’s impossible” or “why try” and “I’m afraid to fail.” This undermines the potential for success from the beginning.
Both are faulty ways of looking at it.
Failure Is Great
Be aware of failure but don’t let it scare you! Try to look at it as an accelerator. Not a hindrance.
In fact, if you fail you’re actually doing a few things right. For one, you are trying. That’s half the battle for a lot of people. Two, you’re willing to put your work out there and open up the opportunity to fail.
When you fail, it’s the world saying “we hear you.” The world is also saying “you don’t know enough yet” or “we don’t like what you’re giving us.”
This is your opportunity to improve. Take the failure and turn it into a positive. It’s like a game of ‘hot and cold.’ Even when you’re cold, it still helps you find what you’re looking for. You know what not to do.
You must fail, learn, adjust, and reapply. Or, you can fail, flop and close up shop. Your pick.
A Sad Story
You wanna see failure in action? Here, play along:
Imagine working on a blog for 8 months straight. Everyday you’re pouring time into this thing. You’re reading books, creating content, drawing out designs, creating content, conceptualizing, organizing site layouts, and of course, creating more content.
Then, after weeks of meticulous edits and nonstop reviews, the entire thing is perfect. Every article, paragraph, and sentence — down to the last letter. The day comes and you’re ready to give it to the world. You open your laptop, pull up your blog, but instead of launching it, you delete the entire thing.
This is no fairy tale. It happened to me.
A quick explanation: When I tried to transfer my work locally on my PC to a live website, I somehow lost it. It vanished into the ether. All that work gone forever. Oops!
How did I feel? Oh my, I felt horrible. I never once said failure was easy. “That’s impossible,” I️ said. “No way it’s really gone. I can get it back!” But I couldn’t. It was a complete and utter failure. Some would even call it an epic fail.
I️ can’t argue.
The reason I am here now, still writing is because of my attitude toward failure. It’s all about mindset. It would have been so easy for me to give up and throw in the towel.
I could have played victim, blamed technology, and concluded it just wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t though. I didn’t let failure derail my pursuit.
I remember talking with my girlfriend after I lost my blog. I vented all my remorse and frustration as I explained all the wasted hours I put in to build it.
Her advice? Priceless.
Well hun, you’ll just have to start over. Maybe you’ll say it better the second time.
Reason number 10,147 why I love my girlfriend. She was right! I needed to stay optimistic and believe I could still accomplish what I wanted. I took that mentality going forward.
I went back to the drawing board, regrouped and began working again. This was a chance for me to improve. I told myself things like “I can build my blog back stronger” and “next time around, I’m knocking it out of the park.”
That mindset enabled me to persevere and ultimately reach my goal of launching a blog.
Failure presented itself. It always does. You need a sturdy mindset, a hearty attitude, and maybe even a little encouragement from the lady (or man) in your life to concur failure.
Not About What Happens…
To be above the rest and create something awesome for the world, it means you’re pursuing worth and value. People must look at your cause and say that can teach me, make my life easier, or make me feel good.
If something has worth, it’s worthwhile. If it’s worthwhile, then overcoming failure should be the only option.
The road to greatness is a long, bumpy ride with many tempting exits of relief and comfort. The only way to reach the promise land is to stay course and keep going.
I’ll leave you with a legendary quote from my high school football coach:
“In life, it’s not about what happens to you; it’s about how you respond.”
Thanks for reading!