“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan
Failure isn’t fun. But if you’re a human, you will fail.
There will probably be times you fail hard.
I mean, one of the most successful athletes of all time admits to failing over and over again.
But he, like every other successful person I’ve ever known, recognizes how those failures play a huge role in your success.
There’s a lesson every business owner can take away from this message:
Lean into failure. Not away from it.
And there are even ways to turn that advice from a nice-sounding platitude into something more tangible…
Embracing failure as a business owner
Embracing failure is a big part of business success.
If you’re scared to fail, you won’t take risks – you’ll keep playing small to avoid the pain and rejection that inevitably goes hand in hand with failure.
But being afraid to fail can cause the ultimate failure.
It can completely kill your business.
Because you have to fail eventually.
Failure is the only way to make better products and services.
For example, it’s failure that makes you realize, “This offer didn’t resonate with my clients.”
But it’s also through that failure that you can gather the real, honest feedback that will help you make changes so that it will resonate.
When we fail, we’re more likely to adapt and make changes that allow us to serve our clients and customers better.
Which in turn leads to more success for our business.
Is it really a failure, or is it a setup for future success?
The cool thing about failure is that you’re the only one who gets to define what it means to you.
(Sure, there are some things that anyone would probably define as “failure,” but even those failures can be turned around by your response to them.)
Depending on where you’re at in business, failure might be:
–Making fewer sales than you thought
–Missing the outcome of a goal you set
–Enrolling zero clients in your latest launch
–A less-than-kind review left on your latest podcast episode
–Dealing with a nightmare refund request on your product/offer
But let me stop you there.
What if, instead of defining each of those things as a failure, you described how they could push you to be more successful?
In other words, turn failures into future successes.
The failure of “making fewer sales than you thought” becomes a future success with the thought process:
→ I collected X number of “bounce surveys,” and now I can refine my offer and messaging.
And the failure of “dealing with a nightmare refund request” gets turned into a future success like this:
→ I’ll review and update the legal terms and conditions for refunds in client agreements so the process is more clear in the future.
Because only you get to define what failure means…
You also get to define what actions you can take to turn that failure into a future success.
Handling failure like a pro
I could list a bunch of ways to deal with failure that would include generalities based on “planning ahead” and “being prepared.”
You can – and should – have strategies in place for failure.
But remember that failure is temporary.
It’s what you do after that truly matters.
It’s those moments where you choose to embrace your failures and turn them into opportunities for future success that matter most.
And you can do that by listing action items the failure has inspired you to take.
Facing your fear of failure in this way can help you turn that fear into becoming:
At least, that’s what I’ve chosen to do.
So why not choose to do things differently and welcome failure as a tool for business growth and success?
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
– Henry Ford
Cheering you on!