One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is the constant risk of failure. Your business starts and ends with you….which means when you fail, there is no one to blame but yourself. The surprising secret to success is: fail faster!
Unfortunately, for many entrepreneurs, this fear of failure incapacitates them making them shy away from new opportunities just in case they might fail.
As you might imagine, this isn’t exactly the recipe for success! In fact, I believe that failing FASTER is the secret to success. Think about it: You could either do everything in your power to avoid making mistakes, tip toe around, making sure everything you do is absolutely perfect, OR you could plug away, trying and failing, and learning from your mistakes.
I am certainly not the first one to believe that failing faster is the road to success. Following are some greats from history who can say it better than I ever could!
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Edison
Try to remind yourself that everyone – EVERYONE – fails on the road to success.
Think the ‘experts’ or ‘gurus’ in your niche never fail? Think again! A defining characteristic of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to fail well: to pick themselves up, learn from their mistake, dust themselves off and try to do better next time.
Next time you fail, try to engage in a little bit of encouraging self-talk. Instead of telling yourself, “I can’t believe I messed up again! I should just give up now!”, remind yourself, “Now I know one more thing that doesn’t work. I don’t ever have to do that again!”.
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
Every time you fail, you learn something new. You not only learn what NOT to do, but you can more intelligently speculate on what strategies are likely to work next time.
Take what you have learned to this point, and apply it to your next attempt for the best chance of success.
“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost
If I could give you the magic recipe for avoiding failure, I would do it. But the truth is, we are ALL going to fail sometimes, and it’s NOT FUN!
Knowing this truth, you are faced with a decision: stop trying (and avoid failure completely) or keep going with everything you have got. When you try something new, you very well could fail. But now you are freed up to try again, with one less possible mistake to make.
Push through, knowing you WILL fail. Don’t let that slow you down. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep trying, failing, and eventually….succeeding.
“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”- Thomas Edison
It sounds cliché, but I believe it’s 100% true. You have only truly failed once you have given up! This isn’t to say that there’s never a time to change direction or try a new strategy. However, if you are only giving up because of the fear of failure, you will never know just how close you were to success!
“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” – Dale Carnegie
I love the idea of failure being a stepping stone to success.
Using this analogy, failure is a necessary step on the path to success; not necessarily something to be avoided, but something that propels you forward on your journey to success.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Remind yourself that your failures are not the end…that it could be on your very next try that you finally succeed.
And when you do succeed? That’s not the end, either (unfortunately). There will be more struggles and yes, even failures, in your future. But if you keep your head down, keep trying and struggling through, and never give up, you will find that your next success may be closer than you think!
So now that you know what the surprising secret to success is – Fail faster, are you ready to start?
What’s your favorite quote about failure and never giving up? Share it in the comments below!