Failure isn’t all that bad is it?  In fact I think it’s quite a good thing.  

Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success

Unknown

 

Success consists of going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm

WInston Churchill

 

I will not say that I failed 1000 times, I will say that there are 1000 ways that cause failure

Thomas Edison

All are so true quotes.

I have 99 options, but failure aint one…

Unknown

This quote is a quote that used to be my motto.  Failure isn’t an option…but it’s actually quite silly.. see because it’s impossible not to fail at some point.  

If I were to  look back over the past 16 years in business, there would be several times in which it seemed as though I was failing.  

I used to take it really personal.  I used to let it get me down.  I would get really nervous, stressed out, bent out of shape, let it affect my personal life and personal relationships.  

I used to let failure define me.

Now, I didn’t fail a lot, but when I did it was bad for me.

I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self that it’s ok to fail.  As long as you learn your lessons, you can move forward stronger better faster.  

And as long as you don’t experience a catastrophic fail…but let’s not go there for this blog.

I would say that at any given point in a month in my business, that there are several things working really well, several things that need attention, and several things that aren’t working and need major adjustments.  

I celebrate my wins, spend attention for the items that need it, and for the things that aren’t working I look for ways to fix them, or drop them, or outsource them etc.

I ask myself if that issue that isn’t working is a pillar of my foundation as a business.  If I absolutely need that to work properly.  If it’s vital to the overall success of my organization.  If the answer is yes, then I focus on fixing that problem right away.  If the answer is no, then I can drop it, or choose to fix it now or at a later time.

See I don’t take it personal anymore.  I don’t get all that upset when something doesn’t work right.  I have learned that in business, things will never go exactly the way I want them to.  I actually expect things to not go to plan.  I don’t really have a plan B, because I don’t like planning for failure, however all I need to know is that I have to be able to adjust quickly.  

I don’t get stressed out anymore about failing, but that doesn’t mean I like to fail at something.  In fact I still don’t like failing at all.  

Sometimes I was so scared of failing that I worked way to hard on something to make it work, and if I had had more of a clear mind I would have seen that I should have let go and focused on a different path and I would have gotten to success earlier.  And that success would have been more profitable, more sustainable and more rewarding.  

At any given point as a small business owner, we have to be away of so many things at once.  Payroll, promotions, marketing, products, services, fulfillment, bookkeeping, staff morale, online/social media, what our customers/clients are saying, what the market is saying, what competitors are doing, and the list goes on and on.  And I don’t care who you are, no one or no organization will have all of these going at 100% all the time.  NO ONE.  At some point, everyone fails at something or some aspect of their business.

I have gotten to the point that I expect it.  I have gotten to the point that I don’t plan for it, but have learned what to watch out for an how to make quick adjustments.  I have gotten to the point that I have gotten quite good at making those adjustments.  I have gotten to the point that failure isn’t scary, or personal, or a reflection of me, rather a natural occurrence in the course of doing any business.  

Just to be clear, that doesn’t mean you can run your business loose.  It doesn’t mean you can just though a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks, and say well I failed here and here, but won’t here and there.  It doesn’t mean you should become complacent with losing or failing.

I plan for success.  And with the failures I have had, it just makes my planning for success better and more detailed, and more critical.  

I plan for success, using the lessons of what worked and didn’t work before.  

There are probably 3 to 4 really good ideas that I had over the past 6 months that I was super excited about.  After just 30 minutes of planning, brainstorming, and creating plans, I realized they weren’t all that sound.  And I could make them work, but it wouldn’t be worth the reward.  And there was a chance of them not working, and worse yet, they might work, but I wouldn’t be as effective or profitable as if I just stayed the course I was currently on.  

I plan for success.  If that plan doesn’t look like it will garnish the desired result?  I don’t even start.  That is because of the lessons I have learned from failures in the past.  

 

I think the biggest reasons why failure doesn’t bug me as much as it did in the past, is because:

1:  I celebrate my successes.  So even if something isn’t working, I still can feel successful.  Steak dinner for a big deal closed, day of fishing with friends, take my kiddos to the park on the weekend, picnic etc.  I make sure I celebrate my wins.

2:  Since I have a good sound business plan in place, and I don’t plan for failure, only make adjustments when needed, I don’t have catastrophic fails.  

3:  I have MSI and MSRI.  Multiple Streams of Income, and Multiple Streams of Residual Income.  Should one aspect of my business not be profitable, I have time to make adjustments because other aspects are performing.  

4:  I have learned to not take failing personally.  I still hate it, but I can look objectively at it and make good decisions instead of emotional knee jerk reactions that could spiral out of control.

5:  I instituted the POZ.  Positive Only Zone.  A positive choice is the only acceptable choice for all choices.  One of the hardest things for me is to NOT focus to hard on the items that are failing.  When I do focus on them, I have to stay in the POZ and make objecting observations, and good decisions about moving forward.  I have learned that if you focus on negative things all day, you will get negative feelings, negative decisions, negative actions etc.  

6:  Since I have failed many times before, I have learned that I don’t want to be there… I don’t like it, so I make sure my plan is as good as I can make it.  And I have learned how to quickly realize if something is out of place.  And I have learned how to put my big boy pants on, roll up the sleeves and get to steppin to fix things ASAP.

7:  I have learned to be slow to hire and quick to fire.  Getting the right team in place is the absolute key to my success.  The right person for the job is sooooo critical.  I can’t stress that enough.  I have learned that if you have to micro manage someone, then they are not the right person for the job.  

8:  I have learned to let go, and trust team members to do their thing.  

9:  I have learned to watch the market and make adjustments based on my interpretation on market conditions.

10:  I have learned my niche.  I have learned what I am good at, and what I’m not good at.  I only do the things I’m good at, and outsource the things I’m not good at.  

11:  I have found an industry that I am really passionate about.  I love what I do, and the enthusiasm shows in almost everything that I do.  

12:  I don’t plan for failure.  I plan for success.  I make adjustments as needed.  

13:  I have learned that almost all of my business skills have come as a result of failing.  I respect that process.  And I have learned from that process.  

The list goes on, and continually grows.  

So, failure isn’t all that bad is it?  In fact I think it’s quite a good thing.  See?

And now, my motto about failures in business is more like the 1st three quotes in this blog.

And a lot like these:

Failure is success in progress

Unknown

 

We learn from failure, not from success.  

Unknown

For now,

Nick Baur

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