Failure is Not an Option

Today was a rough one for me, per usual I had some business ups and downs, things that are just part of life and I let it get to me. Occasionally I get very overwhelmed with my whole escape from the 9 to 5 and lose focus, I let fear creep up into my brain and it literally can paralyze my thoughts. That is until I grab myself by the shoulders and SCREAM “Failure is NOT an option!!”. This usually does the trick, this and Xanax for those anxiety attacks 🙂 But seriously, if you ever plan on leading an extraordinary life, escaping the 9 to 5 and determining your own destiny you are going to go through these phases of fear induced frenzy. What is important is you have to realize they are just that – fear induced – and let your more logical brain take back the reigns. Here are some tips to isolate worry, destroy it and live the phrase ‘Action cures fear’ – because it really, really does.

Mapping out your worst case scenario

This is something I learned from Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Work Week. In the book Ferriss dares you to envision your worst case scenario and then see why it isn’t that bad. Here is mine (note I’m moving into a Condo this month in a different city with more expenses):

Okay so I’m going to move to a different city closer to SF & Silicon Valley, there everything will go wrong. My business, built in Vegas, will crumble, I will lose each and every customer. I will have to fire my awesome employees and my savings will start to shrink by leaps and bounds. I will promptly FREAK OUT and have to come up with a whole new business model, preferably this time one that is not service based – while I figure out a new business I’ll get kicked out, have to sell my furniture and end up living in my sticker covered Cadillac with my cat Cooper Joe. I will have to *shudder* bartend or beg for money, or possibly one of my friends/family will help me out and then I’ll start from scratch with some new business ideas and one of them will finally catch on and then I’ll be back on top again.

Make a conscious spending plan

I friend of Ferriss’ Ramit Sethi (great minds think alike) also writes an amazing book titled I will Teach you to be Rich this book helps people of all income levels plan for the future, budget (in a good way) and save. What it taught me was that it is IMPERATIVE before I move to know exactly how much I will need each month to live on and how much I’ll need for my business. I drew out a ‘conscious spending plan’ and was floored by how much I really do live on each month… to sustain this isn’t too hard but it means I can’t let my business slip at all and have to continue to grow it so I can save a lot in the near future. So I encourage you to figure out where each penny is going and build your own plan, spend money on what you love but scrimp tons of what you don’t love. This is a way to defeat the evil B word and turn it into a lifestyle affirming plan.

Make sure failure isn’t an option

Failure really isn’t an option for me. I don’t know what I would do emotionally if I failed, though I’ve failed many times before – but by keeping up a you can’t fail perspective I find lots of ways to succeed in spite of the odds. Just think about how people always find a way to make an excuse or to get out of something, why can’t you be the person that always finds a way, a loophole to succeed? To do better than expected? To totally Crush It and have the bragging rights after wards?! You can make it so failure isn’t in your vocabulary… the best way is to create action plans, to create actionable items that you put on to do lists and to just you know, ACT vs. sitting there and doing nothing.

Action Item:

Write this down, on paper, or in the comments section:

  • What is your greatest fear?
  • What is the worst case scenario?
  • How can you overcome both?