“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas A. Edison
This well know quote is a great example of the truth that we must often fail a few times on our way to success. And I think most of us already know that instant success is nearly unheard of but why do we as business owners often find ourselves stuck in the same old rut afraid to branch out and take risk? As I have talked with different business owners I have seen three reason that people often chose to stay put rather than take risks.
I might not make an ambitious goal
often we see the ideas of success and failure as the mutually exclusive. If we fail than we obliviously can’t have been successful. If you currently sell 50 apples a day and you make it your goal to sell 100 apples a day and you only end up selling 80 have you failed? If you view the fact that you did not meet your goal as a failure then yes! But you did increase your sales by 30 apples and that is a success! As long as you are improving you are being successful and success is not a destination but rather a journey! Just make sure that you keep moving forward.
I might succeed and not handle it well
Sometimes we can be afraid to get a new account or take on a bigger client because we are afraid that we might get the new big deal and then fall flat on our face! This is especially common in small companies that want to grow but are having a tough time stepping out of their current comfort zone. The truth is, you will most likely struggle at first as you get these new opportunities but it just part of the process. Most of us all struggled the first time we rode a bike, learned to swim, or drove a manual transmission. But then we learned. You may wobble and you might fall over as you take off the training wheels of your comfortable business practice. Just get back up and you will fly past the others in no time!
I will look foolish to others if I fail
It can be tough to do something new or difficult in front of others. As adults especially we get very caught up in making sure that we appear successful. To fail in front of our peers would be the worst! I think the biggest problem is the idea that other people care that much about how we do. We think that every one is judging us as much as me judge ourselves. This is not true! And if others do judge you it is most likely because they are insecure with them selves and those people have no business impacting your ambitions. Think about it this way, Taylor Swift, (who makes millions off of singing) does not spend all day writing YouTube comments about people singing. It is the people who have never sold out a show, produced a record or had tens of millions of views that say those things about her. Losers judge successful people, not the other way around.
Notice in all of theses things that I never mentioned that you wont fail or gave tips to avoid failing. You should be failing in fact, I would make the argument that if you aren’t failing you aren’t trying hard enough. Get out there, grow, try, and stick your neck out !