The Lone Leader Weekly
23rd August 2023
Start Chasing Failure
It is the only space we learn from our actions.
#1. Your Value Doesn’t Decrease With Failure.
It increases your ability to sustain what is ahead.
#2. Business As Usual Leads To Failure.
But that is a failure you may not recover from.
#3. Failure Is Only Final If You Don’t Learn.
The lessons and the implementation of them are success.
For many Lone Leaders, ‘failure’ evokes visceral feelings of anxiety and trepidation. After all, you’ve poured your heart, soul, and capital into your venture. But what if this fear of failure is what’s holding you back? Instead of seeing failure as a deterrent, it’s high time you started chasing it.
The Misunderstood Virtue of Failure
Every industry is filled with tales of renowned entrepreneurs and industry moguls who faced immense failures before achieving success. Consider that Thomas Edison made a thousand unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb or that Colonel Sanders was rejected 1,009 times before someone embraced his chicken recipe.
What’s common among these tales? Every setback paved the way for innovation, resilience, and eventual success.
Failure, though stigmatized, can be the crucible in which remarkable business stories are forged. If you’re not failing now and then, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative or out of your comfort zone.
Why You Should Embrace Failure
- Discovery of New Opportunities: Often, failure indicates a gap, a blind spot, or an unforeseen challenge. These discoveries can lead to new products, services, or strategies that wouldn’t have been conceived otherwise.
- Resilience and Growth: Each failure helps thicken your skin and build resilience. It teaches the art of perseverance, and this, in turn, can become your most significant business asset.
- Learning and Evolution: Mistakes give firsthand lessons. A business that learns from its failures avoids repeating them and continually evolves.
Turning Failures into Milestones
Carol Dweck, the psychologist behind the concept of a ‘growth mindset,’ believes success isn’t about innate talent but an insatiable appetite for learning. It’s about understanding that skills can be developed and that failure is a natural part of this journey.
When you embed a growth mindset into your business ethos, every challenge becomes an opportunity, and every failure is a lesson. But how can small business owners cultivate this mindset and turn failures into stepping stones?
1. Reframe Your Narrative:
When faced with a setback, instead of labelling it as a ‘failure,’ view it as ‘feedback.’ It’s information about what doesn’t work, pushing you closer to discovering what will. Whenever something doesn’t go as planned, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” This question is pivotal in transforming the narrative from despair to empowerment.
2. Celebrate Small Wins and Pivot Points:
Instead of just focusing on end goals, celebrate the small victories. But equally important is to acknowledge pivot points – those moments where a failure forces a beneficial change in direction. By recognizing and celebrating these moments, you create a culture where taking calculated risks (and sometimes failing) is accepted and encouraged.
3. Foster a Culture of Curiosity:
Encourage your team to experiment, ask questions, and test new ideas. When encountering setbacks, instead of blame, they delve deep into the ‘why’ behind the failure. This approach fosters an environment where people are motivated by mastery and understanding, not just results.
Embracing the Path Less Traveled
While your competitors may choose to play it safe for fear of making mistakes, let your business be the one that isn’t afraid to take risks. Embrace challenges. Welcome the unknown. And when you do stumble, remember that each failure is a stepping stone leading you closer to your goal. As Robert F. Kennedy aptly said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
To wrap up, failure isn’t the opposite of success; it’s a crucial part of it. Start chasing failure, not because you wish for things to go wrong, but because you understand its transformative power. Implement a growth mindset, and you’ll discover that the path paved with setbacks and learnings is the one that leads to unparalleled success.
- Reframe your failures as feedback.
- Cherish and recognize both small victories and pivotal moments of change.
- Build and nurture a culture where curiosity and learning take centre stage.
It’s time to start chasing failure and let it lead you to your next breakthrough.
And if you need a little help, join the free Lone Leader App here.
Until next week, failure is the feedback from taking action.