Tie that knot
It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who said – “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on”. Failed Before…. Don’t worry. Keep going
So you’ve failed – learn from the mistakes
You’re still worth a lot and you are the same person now as before your business had to close up. Everyone has potential waiting to be released. Everyone fails. No one is successful at everything 100% of the time.
Tomorrow is another day and nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. There’s nothing wrong with failure. But there is something wrong if you fail again and again for the same reasons. Failure teaches us lessons.
If nothing else, failure teaches us what not to do again. A successful business owner is not someone who has never failed or never gone into bankruptcy. A successful business owner is someone who just won’t stay down – they get up and carry on. Eventually they win because they’ll make it if they don’t quit.
Don’t be afraid to get up again
You’ve failed many times, although you may not remember.
- You fell down the first time you tried to walk.
- You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim.
- Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat?
- Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot.
- R.H. Macy failed 7 times before his store in New York caught on. It’s now the largest in the world.
- English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books.
- Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.
Don’t worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try. Never be afraid to fail. Never be afraid to get up. Just do it good next time.
You are not the only one
You are not the only one with a business that has failed. Failure is common. Statistics say that over 70% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years. Over 50% fail within the first 3 years. You are in the majority not the minority. There are many out there just like you. The important thing is to learn from it all and move ahead from there. There are many reasons for business failure. It is more common with new business start-ups than for businesses that have been around for some time. The longer the business had been running the less the possibility of failure.
It happens to all types
Business failure happens to businesses of all sizes, although the smaller businesses are exposed to bigger threats because they don’t have the back up of extra capital or resources that some larger companies have access to. Smaller businesses also have more difficulty arranging funding assistance from banking and other financial institutions. Neither do they have a lot of support from any Small Business Agency or any other government body.
There used to be a “Small Business Development Corporation” to help small businesses but that disappeared for some reason. There are “Enterprise Centres” now around the country which can help with some areas but essentially if you are a small business you are basically on your own. If you are having serious business difficulties, recognise when your business has reached the point when it can no longer continue to trade and do something about it before it’s too late to rescue the situation.
How you handle it – is the important thing
Failure is universal. It is part of our experience as humans. How we handle failing is important because the only way we will achieve anything is to risk failure. You will never fail if you don’t try out for something or try to achieve something. Many people find it difficult to risk failing and this may be because of a lack of understanding of failure and refusing to see that failure can bring with it, its own upside.
Something Universities need to teach is that if a person is going into business – they may fail along the way. Failure may be in little things, as well as big things. The important thing is how that person is going to handle the event when it happens. Successful people never allow failure to stop them achieving success. Learn to accept failure and move on. Learn that failure is not the end of the world and that risking failure is not difficult if we learn how to deal with it.
They failed for a while but they wouldn’t quit
- Twenty-five hundred years ago, Confucius taught, “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” Persistence will put you in with some pretty good company.
- Before becoming president, American President Abe Lincoln failed at two businesses and lost six elections.
- Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Here is what Michael Jordan said, “When I got cut from the varsity team as a sophomore in high school, I learned something. I knew I never wanted to feel that bad again. I never wanted to have that taste in my mouth, that hole in my stomach. So I set a goal of becoming a starter on the varsity.”
- Bill McGowan fought the AT&T monopoly for ten years before making MCI successful.
- Nearly 1000 banks turned down Walt Disney when he was trying to finance Disneyland.
- Mary Kay Ash, a woman billionaire, sold less than $2.00 worth of cosmetics at her first beauty show.
- Before his first job in the band Menudo, Ricky Martin, the Latin superstar, was rejected several times as being too small and young looking.
- Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield were rejected 32 times before finding a publisher for “Chicken Soup for the Soul”.
- Sylvester Stallone, the American actor, was turned down time and time again when he was trying to produce his classic movie, Rocky.
- Louisa May Alcott, an American author who wrote Little Women, was told by an editor that she
had no talent or chance at a writing career.
Failure can teach you to not quit but do it better next time
Success is really the progressive achievement of business goals. It is this journey that makes or breaks us.
Here are some excellent reasons how failure can, in fact, help us be more efficient and profitable in our business venture. This may seem an odd claim to make, but in essence our business is dependent a lot on how we fail in certain areas. It is also dependent on how we succeed and most importantly how we react to failure or success.
- Failure encourages us to think laterally: We all make mistakes and it makes a lot of sense to learn from these mistakes. Failure encourages us to look for other ways to do things better and other ways that we will not repeat.
- Failure builds our character: Many of us feel like “throwing in the towel” when things don’t go right. There is a tendency for us to forget about the whole thing and go back to our steady and no-risk employment, with a firm. However, failure builds character because it enables us to gain confidence and if we can push through the failure it will make us the type of person we would like to be.
- Failure gives us experience: If we learn from our mistakes, we tend to react better in the business world because we become more experienced. If we succeed easily, without tasting the disappointment associated with failure, it is possible to move ahead without correcting any faults we may have, resulting in much more disastrous failures in the future.
- Failure makes us more honest: Being honest with ourselves and accepting that we have failed is a big step forward. Like the alcoholic who must first acknowledge he/she is an alcoholic. When this is done it is possible to make plans and move ahead. Being honest with yourself is an asset, resulting in success eventually.
- Failure allows us to be more “thick skinned” and worldly wise: If you melt under the pressure of failure you will probably never succeed. If you are determined to take it “on the chin” and use failure to build your confidence and utilise the natural power within you, you will not only become a better person for it, but you will become a better business owner.
- Failure means that you will not have false confidence too early: It is very easy if everything is going well to feel confident. This confidence can be false if there are no hurdles to jump along the way. Failure teaches you to be confident, yet careful with future decisions. In the long run, being careful may save you from a huge failure in your business later on, which could wipe you out. It is far better to fail when your business is small, rather than when your business is large, because of the losses you could have.
- Failure encourages you to improve your processes and planning: Failure tells you that some of your procedures don’t work. This is not a bad thing because it compels you to make changes so that they do work. You will take more time in your planning and you will monitor the situation before you move in any direction.
- Failure reveals your weaknesses: It is good to know early what you cannot do, so you can get the right advice or educate yourself in the areas where you can easily fail.
- Failure makes you strong: If you have the determination and the will to succeed, then failure will only serve to put more muscle into you, business-wise. If you are not prepared to let anything stop you and you are not prepared to give up, then failure will only strengthen you, rather than weaken you.
Deal with your failure and persevere
In the real world, businesses do fail despite all the best efforts. Try as you might you will sometimes your business at the brink of closure.
Here are some tips to help if you feel that your business is starting to flounder or is in the early stages of failing.
- Carefully review every step you have made.
This means you should identify and work out what your mistakes have been. See if there are ways those mistakes can be improved on and avoided in the future. It’s not really the time to attribute blame to anyone, including yourself, but it is the time to try again and make sure you learn from those mistakes – hopefully the second time round the venture will be successful.
- Do research.
It’s important to do research when you are planning a business venture. The more information you have to work with, the better your chance of avoiding making decisions that will cost the business money and contribute to its failure. Do your homework. Research, read and ask questions, because all these things will help your chances of success.
Persistence is definitely the key. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence and determination. Talent will not – nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not – unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not – the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination, these alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve most of the problems of the human race.
- Believe in yourself.
You must believe in your ability to achieve the goals you are trying to accomplish. Be proud of yourself and what you have done in the past. If you have made mistakes, be proud of the fact that you are going to overcome those mistakes in the future. It’s good to learn along the way.
Nothing will happen until you are focused on your business goals and your vision. Don’t look backwards. Always look forward. Concentrate and commit to the task you have set yourself. Always look up. Don’t look down.
- Look up
Take to heart the following lesson: “Two men looked out of prison bars, one saw mud, the other saw stars.” What does this mean? It means that whatever situation you find yourself in you have a choice. You can give up, feel sorry for yourself and achieve nothing – in which case you are looking at the mud, or you can pull yourself together, refocus and recharge your batteries with the desire to achieve and go forward – you’re looking up – at the stars.
Never quitting always births success
Many people who achieve fortune are not born rich. But every type of person on earth can become successful. There are saints and scoundrels; philanthropists and thieves; poets and politicians; young and old. There are no limitations or physical boundaries for success. Success comes to those who think about success and strive for it. Although many rich financiers at the turn of the century had no formal education, they overcame, and went on to great fame.
Some people strive towards a single goal early in life, and often attain that goal while still young. Others are willing to risk new adventures later on and still attain success. “It’s never too late to learn,” wrote Malcolm Forbes, the money magnate. “I learned to ride a motorcycle at 50 and fly balloons at 52.” Whatever your task, whatever your obstacles, you can be as successful as anyone else. Study the people who accomplished recognition in the areas of your pursuit. How did they achieve their goals?
And don’t be afraid you don’t have what it takes. As Daniel Webster wrote, “There is always room at the top.”
“The harder I worked…”
The story goes that while starting the Amway business, Richard De Vos and Jay Van Andle, now some of America’s richest men, recruited over 500 people. Everyone dropped out except for 5 and those 5 built Amway to the $7 billion plus business that it is today.
Your success is directly related to the degree to which you are willing to follow your vision, commit yourself and work hard. A very successful businessman was once told by an admirer that he was a very lucky man. The businessman turned and quietly remarked “You’re right, I am lucky. But I have found that the harder I worked the luckier I got.”
“It depends which end we use most”
Business Success! – A fundamental ingredient for success involves “keeping positive! Positive thinking and a positive attitude to challenges will always win out in the long run. Here’s a quote worth think about……. “When God created us he gave us two ends, one to sit on and one to think with. Success depends upon which end we use most”. – Anonymous
Each one of us has the ability to produce incredible dreams and extraordinary results simply by utilising the power given to us to think positively and maintain a positive mental attitude.”
“ No one ever died of hard work”
How many of us remember those frustrating words from our dads as we were growing up – “No one ever died of hard work”. Bill Brit was one of the most successful distributors in the Amway multi-level marketing organisation. One top rating TV station did a feature story on Amway and during the interview they asked Mr Brit what the secret for his success was.
- He replied “It’s no secret. I simply showed the sales plan to 1,200 people.
- Around 900 said no.
- Only 300 signed up.
- Out of the 300 only 85 did anything at all, the rest fell by the wayside.
- Out of the 85 only 35 were serious and out of those 35, 11 made me a millionaire”.
- Bill Brit learned what it was to work hard and to never give up.
Everyone has a dream
The thing is, everyone has a dream. We all have dreams even if we don’t recognize them as anything spectacular. We may dream of being a ballerina or being in high finance or of being an All Black or teaching children or climbing Mt Everest.
Dreams do not have to be spectacular to be of value. Dreams provide inspiration. Dreams leave people with something to long for.
Without dreams life is without hope. Without hope life is hopeless. Follow your dream.
Don’t give up. Never surrender. Ever.