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How to Build Success Out of Failure

Do you remember the very first time that you did some slow dancing or the very first time that you did some line dancing or the very first time that you did some sort of organized dancing? I want you think about that in relation to success and failure:

The very first time you had no experience – it didn’t matter whether you failed or succeeded. It didn’t make any difference at all. What mattered was once you quit the dance, or 3 minutes later, or seconds later, you were able to evaluate yourself.

You would say, “Why did I fall? Why was I on “two left feet?” What did I do wrong? Do I need a coach? Do I need to ask someone about the basic step? Do I need to watch a little bit? Do I need to try it again?” Let’s just say that you do line dancing for a night and you do 5 lines dances an hour for 5 hours, you’ve tried 25 line dances. Once again it’s just like hitting 40 golf balls, tomorrow you’re going to be sore but when you come back for another session of line dancing a week from now, you’re going to retain some information from last week. You won’t remember it all but you’ll retain some information. And it didn’t make any difference whether you fail or didn’t fail. It didn’t make any difference. Now one big difference between line dancing and say, golfing, is that with golfing, you take that big bucket of balls and maybe you can do it when no one watches you practice and mess up. With line dancing, some people may poke fun at you.

So let’s look at entrepreneur-ism, when you fail as an entrepreneur, sometimes people make fun of you. In fact, most people make fun of you. Some people may tell you that it’s not going to work, you’re not good enough for that. Some people may tell you that you don’t have the character that entrepreneurs have. Some people may say that you’ve never been able to finish anything so you’ll never finish anything as an entrepreneur. The thing is, that’s their problem, not yours.

You have to be able to say, “You know what, so what if I have not finished anything! So what if I’ve never finished a term paper! So what if I’ve never finished a test!” Who cares: it’s never too late to start and you can start finishing now. It doesn’t even matter what your best friend says, your worst friend says, or your voice in your head says. It doesn’t really matter what your family says about whether or not you can do it or not. Only you can make the decision to continue trying and continue doing.

Only you can make that decision. No one can make it for you because they can’t force you to do it if they decide it for you.

Check out this excellent video for some motivation 🙂

You have to make the decision, “Am I going to try whether I fail or not? I’ll give you 3 examples, the last example I gave you was the line dancing example, now, how about cooking? If you’ve never cooked before, you’ll never know how long it takes for the stove to burn the eggs or not. In fact when you buy a brand new stove and you used to be able to turn your burner on to # 4 and go take a shower and come back and the oil would be barely hot. You bought your new stove and you turn it to #4 and you walked away from your stove for 10 seconds and you came back and it’s bubbling. And if you would’ve taken that shower, you might have burned the house down. That’s experience, you’re learning to cook and you say, “Okay, if we bake these cookies for 18 minutes, they’re kind of doughy so you put them back in for 2 minutes, now they are burnt.” What do you do next time? You put them in for 19 minutes and see if that works. The same process, but you’ll never figure out how the stove works unless you experience it and you’ve got to be willing to fail. You’ve got to be willing to say, “Sometimes the cookies will not come out done… sometimes they will come out burnt…” But that’s the only way that you’re going to learn.

So hopefully I’ve kind of driven a nail in success and failure thing. You must get multiple multiple multiple experiences before you’re going to get good at something. You’ve got to get multiple experiences before you’re going to get good at something and you must be willing to allow yourself to fail. You must be willing to say, “If it doesn’t work, who cares.” Now you are saying, “Now what does this have to do with decision making and risk taking?” I’m going to get to that in just a moment, this is the groundwork, you’ll never be able to have the ability to take that risk and make the decisions if you’re not comfortable with the idea that you must get the experience whether you succeed or fail.

So now what do we do? We’ve gotten some experience so now let’s say in our business we’ve gotten some experience. We’ve done whatever we do in our business for 30 days, for 60 days, for 90 days. We’ve gotten some experience, now it’s time to evaluate. There has to be a process of asking, “Is this working?” Just like with the golf clubs, we’ve hit 1200 balls, am I getting any better? Let’s face it, maybe you’re that kind of a person that when you’ve hit 1200 golf balls, they are still only going 20 yards. You’ve got to step back and say, “Is this working…is my method working?” If not, you’ll say, “Well, what do I need to do?” Do you go to the store and buy an instruction manual? You could hire a coach, or you can say, “You know what, after 1200 balls I’ve decided I don’t like golf.

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