Expect failure, it’s gonna happen, now see it for what it really is
Saying that you should expect ‘failure’ isn’t the most positive outlook, I know. 😉
And it doesn’t sit too well when talking about your ‘Vision’ for your business.
BUT!… GUESS WHAT?!?
It’s a fact of life that there are times (many of them) that you are going to fail.
Hell, I’ve failed a ton of times and will fail a ton more.
“Then what’s the point.”
The point is when you succeed.
Which is what the Vision is all about ;)… and why you hold onto it.
To explain this a bit more clearly, let’s use a scenario.
It is 1852, and you are a prospector that has just landed in Australia to look for gold.
In your head, yeah, you have a vision of eventually striking it big.
But, at the same time, you expect failure.
The first time you dip your pan into the creek to search for gold, you are already expecting yourself not to succeed.
You completely expect that it will take you many times before you do succeed.
(Ed: Although in the back of your mind a small part really really wants this to happen on the next ‘dip’ ;))
Due to this expectation, when the inevitable happens and you don’t find gold, you’re just going to go to yourself, “Oh well, I expected that”, and you continue on.
Which generally beats throwing away your pan in disgust and quitting entirely.
Ok, how about a question, “Do you play the lottery”?
Based on statistics from 2007, 74 percent of people play both occasionally and weekly.
That number is huge!
But 74 percent of us keep playing (and don’t quit) because we expected the failure.
The titanic would not have sunk if it expected failure!
You’ll note I said it would not have sunk, not that there would have been enough lifeboats for everyone.
I say this because if the captain expected such an event to occur, then his staff would have been drilled and they would have been doggedly diligent in keeping an eye out for icebergs.
They would have spotted the iceberg and avoided it.
Do you see where this is heading?
Expect failure in business.
It’s going to happen in one-way shape or form.
By expecting it, you’ll be totally cool and more prepared when it happens.
So much so that you can keep on heading towards your long-term vision with only a small speed bump in the road slowing your progress momentarily.
Not only that, but the next time there is an obstacle in your path, you’re going to recognize it sooner and avoid it with no loss of speed at all.
(Ed: And that’s one reason why business is better than the lottery, your mistakes are valuable, you learn from them and are much more likely to hit the ‘big one’ next time.)
It’s either that, or the opposite (quitting altogether). Which is unfortunately very common :(.
But just start by being prepared, and expecting that the obstacles will occur and instead of being ‘big problems’; treat them as ‘valuable gifts’.
Which brings us to a new analogy that a friend pointed out to me a little while back.
And that is to build canoes, not battleships.
Think about it.
Canoes are cheap and easy to build; you can try all kinds of canoes to see which ones stay afloat.
The ones that float, you just build upon gradually until they turn into a battleship themselves.
If you’d spent all those years building a battleship before launching, and then only to see it sink – ouch :(.
Start small (investment wise) in business first – test the waters.
If they are the right temperature then head out further and further.
You can try that multiple times in short order and only be slightly scalded when the water is too hot.
Beats doing a long running cannonball off the edge of the peer, shouting at the top of your lungs and landing in boiling hot water – yeouch.
And I’m all out of metaphors ;).
Now go kick butt.