Okay, I know, I know, I know – I seem to be hell bent on the whole “failure” thing at the moment. Truth is, it is very important for me to make sure that we all (and that means me too) know that failure is not the end of the world but rather the beginning of a new chapter.
Here’s a whole new take on it. I was reading an article by Charlene Smith who says “It’s important to fail. But while you’re lying on the floor, what’s even more important is to be thinking ‘Okay, so how do I start again?’”
I really, really like the idea of lying on the floor (well you can’t get much lower or rock bottom than that can you) contemplating the world as it is right at that particular moment, thinking ‘How the hell did I get here” or blaming the government, the tax man, the competitors and the latest one that I heard the other day, the world cup (huh!) before you get to the real reason as to why you failed (oh come on, it’s got to dawn on you at some stage that you are responsible for your own failure)! I also think that it is important to allow yourself to ‘feel’ the pain, the sorrow and the angst for being that failure (well for a maximum of five minutes that is) – you need to remember what that feels like so that when you are tempted to repeat your mistakes, the memory will assist with not allowing you to. But then it is time to stop beating your breast or pulling your hair out or weeping and wailing and throwing your hands heavenward as you cry “why me”? Then it’s time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, square your shoulders and get on with it.
The ‘it’ that you need to get on with is firstly, a plan to be getting yourself out of the mess that you currently find yourself in and secondly, how to start again and do things differently.
You don’t really think that every single successful person on the planet became mega successful without failing at some point do you? Here’s a touch of reality – what makes you think that you are any different? What makes you think that you are better than the ‘greats’ of the world – we all know them, we all read about them – people like Henry Ford or Thomas Edison or to bring us closer to our own time frame, Bill Gates and Richard Branson. Failure, in Charlene Smith’s words is “unavoidable”! So – take that!
The reality of that means that “no truly successful person has avoided failure or sometimes dramatic setbacks” – again, why would you be any different?
The reality of the situation is that, in order for us to grow ourselves and our businesses we have to be ‘streetwise’. We have to know where the potholes and pitfalls are and for that we need experience. We have to know how to deal with people be they clients or suppliers or staff. The reality of the situation is that we, as humans are lazy – we always want to take the short cut or get others to do things that we are too lazy to do ourselves and therein lies some of our biggest errors. That said, the reality is also that we cannot do everything ourselves, so when we rely on others it should be others that have the experience that we ourselves lack. It should be others that we trust and respect and who have the same values and morals as ourselves.
So while you’re lying there on the floor feeling sorry for yourself and the situation that you find yourself in – think about this in-between the moment where you are weeping and wailing and blaming all and sundry and the moment that you pick yourself up – failing at something gives you the opportunity to do something again, but differently.