In 2016 I worked for lessons, not revenue. That is how I am going to explain the huge dip in income. Working for lessons will make you a more successful business owner in the long run, but it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you just entering the darkness. Running a business can be very hard, your failures can cripple you. I want you to think of failure differently. Here is my take on failing.
Why You Need to Embrace Failure
I know that we are all out here hustling and learning as everything that we possibly can. I know that you are working your butt off 6-7 days a week to make your dream come true.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Okay, I think this has been beaten to death. Learn from your mistakes is a pretty common theme out there. It is true, if you do not learn from your mistakes then they are just a failure.
All mistakes are lessons that help shape our future. They help us become the person that we want to be. Help us grow the business that we always wanted. Mistakes are the valuable lessons that we never learned in school.
For me, my mistake was trusting a business partner to pull their weight. I was sold on a fancy office and a client list that to this day, I am not sure really ever existed. I would bust my butt trying to keep and maintain clients, the owner “networked” to develop business. The problem was that 90% of all revenue was going to pay him, overhead, and expenses. Leaving very little for the actual work to be done.
There were two lessons that I took away from these mistakes.
- Work your butt off. Never expect that next deal to land or think your client owes you something. Always, put the work into your business. If you are not working on your business, things will dry up and then your business will be in trouble.
- Never partner with anyone that is not willing to do the work. I am okay with a partner that is not bringing in sales or revenue if they are willing to work and fulfill the needs of the business.
Leads to a New Path
Okay, we have herd that we need to learn from our mistakes. We need to embrace the mistakes and never do that (mistake) again. I think this sounds like a broken record. I mean every “guru” is telling you the same thing.
Here is a valuable lesson that I learned last year. You never know where your path is going to lead. Your path is not defined by your mistakes or failures. In fact, these mistakes and failures can be the makings of something bigger, something better.
During down times you have to get creative. You have to find new ways of doing things and find new ways to generate money. This creativity can lead to a new path, a path that takes you in a whole new direction. In my case, it has taken the form of a brand-new business that has been very fruitful.
Figure Out What You Want
The failures of 2017 help me realize two things. I did not like working for 1-2 large clients and my heart was in helping others. 2017 was a year for hunting for the white whale and this was not why I started a business in the first place. The failures help you realize what you are truly trying to do in business.
Volatility in Larger Numbers
First, the volatility in having the white whale was more stress than I was willing to take. So, after we landed the white whale and lost the white whale within 10 months because of budget cuts, it helped me realize that I did not want to work with the fortune 500 anymore. The volatility of large contracts was not my thing.
Help More People Business Owners
When I was forced out of corporate America I set out to do one thing, help as many small business owners as possible. Going through 2017 working with fortune 500 companies and the failure to launch program helped me realize what I set out to do. Last year helped me get back to my root and so far, I am much happier working with people like myself.
Failure Is an Option
I want you to think of failure differently. Yes, you need to learn from your mistakes. Mistakes make you better. Yes, all that jazz. I want you to look at failure differently. I want you to look at failure in a way that pushes you to the path of where you should be, call it your destiny.
When you fail at something, it is because maybe you need to take that pivot and do something slightly different or maybe it is something completely different. The point is that you need to think of failure differently. Until you fail enough you are not going to get where you a meant to be.