Failure. It’s not something many people want to talk about in business. In fact, I’ve found it quite the opposite. Every day my Facebook and Instagram news feeds are filled with stories of people making in it big in business and making it big fast.
How often do you see ads popping up in your news feeds saying things like “how I made 6 figures in 6 months doing this one thing” or “How I made a million dollars in 4 hours a week”? Every. Single. Day.
I don’t know about you, but these stories are getting old for me. Instead of inspiring me like they used to I’m finding I come away with a sense of frustration. More than anything a feeling that I’m somehow failing or doing something wrong because I’m not like them. I am no overnight success. Making it in business has and continues to be a struggle for me and today I feel like it’s time to be real about this.
We all fail. I’ve failed many times. I’m failing right now. This is the reality of the entrepreneurial journey. But it isn’t all bad. Failing can be a good thing too, and I’ll tell you why.
Where is this coming from?
I’m sitting here writing this to you right now because today was a planning day for me. I sat down to reflect on the goals I set earlier in the year and to set new ones for what’s left of 2019. For me this year’s achievements to date were somewhat depressing, and I’ve been lying in bed for over an hour now going over them in my head. There are things I thought I’d achieve a long time ago, that still are a long way off. There are things I thought would be a raging success that flopped. And there are things that I had promised you I would have done by now and have not. This is what disappoints me the most.
I’ve been telling you for months that my course was just around the corner, and I honestly thought that it was. But every time I think I’m getting close I realise there is more work to do, or something comes up that takes my time away from The Freelance Mama, or I hit a struggle with tech that holds me back (don’t get me started on tech…it is not my forte).
Every time I don’t get there in time it feels like another failure and, well, I guess it is. But after some reflection today, I’ve realised that while I’ve failed over and over again in 2019, I’ve also learned a lot. And learning is not failing. Learning is winning!
Failure is progress
Successful businessman (and former CEO of IBM) Thomas J Watson is quoted as having said “if you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate”. Now I’m not a big fan of failure, and I don’t recommend it as a business technique, but what I take from this is that if you don’t try you won’t succeed. Or you could say, the more you try the more you will succeed.
The entire entrepreneurial journey is about trying new things. Some things work others do not. You can do things to sure up your bets like doing due diligence on your business idea, testing your market, surveying potential customers and keeping the day job until you’re confident you can bring in an income from your business, but you’re never going to get every decision right.
Sometimes you will make mistakes and you will fail. Sometimes things will take longer than you thought they would and ....
Are these words resonating with you? Keen on finding out the learning outcomes? How about reading the rest from where this blog post came from?
I'm inviting you to The Freelance Mama website because I'd like you to learn more about Kellie and the service she has created to support Mothers who are trying to find a more flexible career following their maternity leave.
Check out her site seriously. It has some great resources that could get you started as a freelancer.
A big thanks and warm welcome to Kellie for becoming our very first guest blogger!! Expect to learn more about her in the forthcoming weeks.