You might think failure doesn’t enter the vocabulary of successful people. But willingness to fail is a key criterion for success. Here’s an unavoidable truth about business – you’re going to fail in your business at some stage. You will probably do some really dumb things and at times you may feel like an idiot. You could make bad decisions, decisions that cost you money. You might make poor employment decisions or lousy client decisions. Failure is guaranteed. What’s important is having the ability to pick yourself up and say, ‘That was stupid, I feel like a fool, but what have I learned?’ Successful people learn from their mistakes and carry on.
I love the story about IBM from the 1960s. A manager made a decision that lost the company $10 million. He was summoned to the office of the CEO, Tom Watson. When asked why he’d been called there, the manager said, ‘So you can fire me.’ Watson replied, ‘Fire you? Of course I’m not going to fire you. I’ve just spent $10 million educating you!’
All business people fail at something at some stage. The smart ones learn and use the experience to their advantage next time.
So next time you think you won’t do something important in case you fail… remember Michael Jordan’s famous quote: “I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying”. And get out there… do it!
This was an excerpt from Liber8 Your Business – The revolutionary business planning technique that will set every small business owner free. Pre-order your copy here.