Time to Ditch the Fear of Failure

Time to ditch the fear of failure

Everyone views failures differently – what might be a triumph for one could be a major disappointment for another. You may have experienced this in school while your classmates shielded their results from one another, knowing that everyone’s standards are slightly different. Failure has a lot of negative connotations but perhaps surprisingly, it can be taken positively too.

There are many, many sufferers of atychiphobia – the fear of failure – but we can safely bet that, if you’ve embarked on your business journey, you are not one of these people. Those who are scared of failure often don’t even try at all, in case failure rears its head.

Realistically, failure is rife in the business world. Running from it may mean that you miss out on a lot of opportunities for your business to grow. It’s also not healthy to run head first into every opportunity recklessly, without considering the implications. As with everything, approaching failure is an art and requires a great deal of balance.

You will fail…..get used to it.

It’s undeniable! Growing a business comes with its own unique set of risks, meaning that failure is definitely on the cards.

In 1955, two men created a type of putty which was intended to be wallpaper cleaner. They seriously misjudged the demand and ended up with a product that seemed to be a huge failure. By chance and a few convenient connections, the product ended up on the table at a nursery school where it was an instant hit. The children loved it and found it a much better material to use when they were moulding their imaginations into something physical. The product became a huge success, so much so that there isn’t anyone alive who doesn’t know the name Play-Doh and associate the brand with happy memories.

Failure doesn’t always directly lead to a major success as it did in the case of Play-Doh and you can’t always physically use your failures. You can, however, always use the things you learn from your failure.

What doesn’t kill you……

We’re sure you’ve heard every failure cliché under the sun. We all know that failure is supposed to make those successes even sweeter. We know that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and we know that failure is just another word for experience. The most frustrating thing about these clichés? They’re all true, to some extent. So, how do we start taking them seriously?

The best thing you can do for your business is to take failure as it comes and not get knocked down and permanently defeated. There’s no need to glorify failure – we all know that failing is disappointing and demoralising – but there is a need to treat it like the lesson that it is. Dusting yourself off from failure means that you’re giving yourself another chance to get it right, maybe not next time, or the time after that but at some point down the track. It takes time to look at failure as a positive, but your business will thank you for it.

There is no denying that failure is scary, but using the failure to grow your business is a true art. If you’re ready to master the art, we would love to hear from you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229, or find out more about what we do here http://www.businessforlife.com.au/ProgramFindOutMore

Failure is just a Stepping Stone to Success

What do Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, JK Rowling, Henry Ford and Oprah Winfrey all have in common? Before achieving amazing levels of success in their respective fields, they all experienced varying levels of failure, including being fired, losing large amounts of money and dealing with countless rejections.

I get knocked down, and I get up again

So often in life, it’s not what happens to us that is important, but how we choose to react and respond. This lesson was reinforced for me in 2008 when I discovered that my business partner had fraudulently robbed the business of over $500K by taking money from the business, not paying taxes and so forth. He used the money to prop up his own failing businesses, and in the end went bankrupt anyway. I found myself with an enormous debt of nearly $750K by the time penalties and interest were applied and staring down two equally unappealing choices – declaring bankruptcy or trying to repay such a huge amount of money.

In the end, there really was no choice – my business, my problem, despite the circumstances of how we got there. So my wife and I sold our family home and did everything we could to pay down the debt. We struggled through the global financial crisis and devastating personal and family tragedies.

And then, after working and working, we made it through. At the beginning of 2015, I signed off on an amazing equity raise with one of our businesses. From a start-up IT business in 2006, it had grown to be the largest of its kind in Australia.

It’s not a failure if you learn from it

Nobody likes to fail, there’s no doubt that it’s an unpleasant life event. But the risk of failure should be acknowledged as an accepted part of taking a risk. An important part of moving beyond a failure – and hopefully using it as a stepping stone to a future success – is taking the time to analyse what went wrong and how you can learn from the experience.

It’s also really important to make sure your team know that the process of reviewing a failure isn’t about finding someone to blame. It’s about identifying the things that can be done differently in the future and using the experience to set plans and goals that will allow you to move forward.Matt Alderton, Bx, Business for Life, B-xponential

As Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” And that’s the most important element in turning a failure into a success – having the courage to move beyond the hit to your pride and to try something different. The only true failure comes when you give up trying.
Do you have a story to share about bouncing back from failure? Or are you struggling to dust yourself off and try again? We’d love to speak about how we could help your business to move beyond this blip into success. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.