This is a series of blog posts. None of them are particularly earth shattering. However, if someone had sat me down a year ago and gone through them I’d be in a different place today. This third post is about how I tackle failure (or how to deal with the possibility of failure) and that its OK to change your mind/direction.
I started my own business in 2014 with some big ideas and big goals. 2015 helped me realise some of these but I mostly learned a huge amount about being a small business owner. I thought I’d share what I learned in 2015 to help anyone else who has just started out or is considering making the jump on their own. I hope it makes sense and helps a little.
Tackle failure with careful choices and it’s OK to change your mind
Failure is something I’ve always been very conscious of. I’ve never been the ‘failure is not an option’ type; mainly, because I have failed in a personal and professional capacity from time to time. I’ve always been aware that failure is a possible outcome. But I’ve always strived to avoid it.
The quote that’s closest to my view of failure is from a retired MMA fighter who was giving some young fighters advice on what to do when doubt creeps in.
“They’ll tell you ‘failure is not an option’. That is ridiculous, failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times; but it’s a choice. You can choose to fail or you can choose to succeed.” – Chael Sonnen.
Listen the full speech by Chael HERE.
I’ve never chosen failure. I’ve always made choices to ensure I don’t fail even if that’s ultimately giving up on something because it’s going to fail. Maybe that’s a soft fail. Winston Churchill believed ‘success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm’ and I’d tend to agree.
I’ve thought about going back to the comfort of corporate life but that tasted too much like failure. So, rather than get disillusioned I’ve tried to adapt and overcome when things don’t appear to be working out as planned.
There is a commercial reality to running your own business and there could be a point where you have to draw a line in the sand.
But as long as you feel you can compete and add value for clients you should keep swinging. I’ll be swinging for the fences in 2016.
TAKEAWAY – Rather than focus on avoiding failure put an accurate and realistic description on what success looks like. If it’s not working fix it. If you can’t fix it, change it. Don’t be afraid to seek council from someone who’s been down the road before you. There’s a great phrase in combat sports that says ‘you either win or you learn’. If you’re not winning make sure you are learning. Most of all, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and tackle failure.
If you’re a new business owner and want to discuss any of the above OR if you’re a company looking to find their way through digital… give me a shout. All my contact details are HERE.
Thanks for reading.