I’ve just been reading Seth Godin’s book All Marketer’s are Liars where the gist is that to convey your point you must tell a story, not just share facts. So in that vein, I’m going to start this post off with a story…
I got my start in the mint business at the tender age of 12. By mint business I mean I got together a group of kids from my neighborhood and created a ‘business’ of picking wild mint, tying ribbon we got from our homes around them and selling the bundles for a quarter each around the neighborhood. As you can imagine it was a flop. After raking in a whopping $1.75 for 3 weeks of work I shuttered the doors so to speak and let my entrepreneurial spirit lay dormant for several years.
At 18 I tried my hand at selling on eBay and within a few months was bringing in $5000 + a month selling trinkets with profit margins that were insane. Life was looking up, until at 20 because of my own negligence eBay ban me and once again I had failed epically.
Now let me bring you up to the present day, I just turned 25 and I have under my belt about 15 failed businesses from birth till now. These businesses range from kiddie enterprises like the mint thing, to a website I put 3 months of work and about $6000 dollars into that sold a whopping $150 over it’s lifetime in product.
It’s very easy to see that I have FAILED far more often than I have succeeded but since I have always failed forward it’s not really failure at all. Instead I like to say that I’ve had about 15 big learning experiences under my belt, learning experiences that have nearly broken me – but I survived and most importantly I kept on fighting. Do you have that spirit? Do you possess that hardiness that can carry you through a boat load of perceived ‘failures’… if so, read on…
Yesterday I realized that I was going to make an epic change to my life by cutting out ONE small feeling: the fear of failure. Yesterday I woke up and as I often do lay in bed thinking about all the balls I have in the air, thinking about how I would reach my goals and inevitably thinking ‘what if I don’t’…. then I jumped up and shouted
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION
I meant it and in the 30+ hours that have passed I’ve felt like a new person.
Why Failure isn’t an option for me anymore…
The best things in life defy logic, just look at successful relationships between complete opposites, paupers becoming princes and women that were told they’d never have children giving birth. Saying that failure is no longer an option in your life defies logic – because life is FULL of failure, but it is also the best thing you can possibly do for yourself.
First you must redefine your idea of failure. To me failure is getting licked by something, completely and utterly licked. When something doesn’t turn out the way you like (i.e. a girl not accepting your invitation for a date or your new business failing) that isn’t a failure – that is a learning experience. And when a the girl across the bar doesn’t take you up on a date that doesn’t banish you to the land of the lonely hearts – it is just a temporary set back in your search for a mate.
When your business crashes and burns that doesn’t mean that your over arching goals of living in Aruba making $50,000 a month is over… it just means you have to find another means to get there – maybe even a better means.
Secondly you must NEVER, EVER concede to defeat. When the website I put $6000 into only made $150 I was pretty darn low. Granted it was my first attempt at internet business and granted in retrospect it was a huge learning experience, but in the moment I felt like a total failure. But my first goal had been to make $10,000 a month every month and I refused to give up on it, so instead I decided to shift gears and go in a completely different direction. That direction has finally paid off and is now my main business.
Between my first site and today I’ve probably created 6 other sites or ideas for online businesses that have tanked, each time I’ve been bummed but have forced myself to carry on. This determination alone is what has led to me actually being able to make a living as an entrepreneur, it’s the same thing as playing baseball… the more you go up to bat the better chances there are of you hitting a home run.
So in reality Failure for me isn’t an option, just the simple task of telling myself this has done wonders.
Imagine not being able to fail…
How would your world be different if you couldn’t fail? I mean literally whatever you put your mind to you would succeed at no matter what. This would change even the laziest person’s life exponentially. Imagine if you said “I’m going to become President” and it was actually an impossibility of you to fail. Then you would start going about the tasks it takes to become President (campaigning, getting backers, raising money) with ease – knowing that it was predestined for you to win.
Imagine if you knew you couldn’t fail in relationships or business? You’d walk up to your dream girl/guy/android and confidently ask them out knowing that you couldn’t fail in a relationship – ever. You would set ridiculously high goals for yourself like:
- Screw $150,000 a year in gross we’re going to bring in $15,000,000
- Nevermind being in the top 500 in our industry we’re going to be #1
- Shipping out 100 products per week? That’s for suckers let’s ship out 100,000
You’d literally be unstoppable if you physically couldn’t fail.
Drum roll please….
YOU CAN’T!! If you keep going no matter what, you literally can’t fail. The momentum you build up will just grow stronger and stronger and no matter how many times you fall on your face you’ll be falling forward towards your goals and learning something vital every time.
Also here is the best part. You already know that the human mind is an amazing, miraculous thing. Through books like Think & Grow Rich and The New Psycho Cybernetics I’ve come to realize that the old standby “whatever you put your mind to you can accomplish” couldn’t be more right on. When you honestly believe you CANNOT fail and you WILL reach your goals no matter what you will. It’s the law of the Universe.
Take hypnosis, people can be told they are a board of wood and when their subconscious mind believes it the hypnotist stands on top of them to prove to the awe struck crowd that the person is now actually as hard as a piece of wood. There are cases of people all over the world who believe so strongly they can turn off and on their sensitivity to pain that they can go through major surgery with no anesthesia. Now imagine taking that power and convincing, nay telling your mind that come hell or high water you are reaching your goals and FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.
Picture credit: http://www.demotivation.com/