Somewhere along the line, a good friend of mine, Simon T. Bailey, made the statement that “failure isn’t final” and I’m convinced he had me in mind when he said it. I’m actually kind of obsessed with failure. Why? Because it’s a subject I’ve had plenty of experience with during my 20+ years as an entrepreneur and it can crush the heartiest of souls. I wish I knew when I started how integral to the process failure truly is. In fact, if you’re not failing fairly regularly, you’re definitely not hitting the outer limits of your potential, guaranteed.
Suffering from the “I’m the only one” tape that played over and over in my head, it finally dawned on me that my greatest business leaps in learning happened after the most epic of failures. In fact, I really can’t recount any significant progress being made after a big success. Can you? Seriously?
But to bounce back, you’ve got to be proactive. Lessons won’t just magically impart themselves upon you until you decide to glean the nuggets and confidently move on. Following is my very tried and true five step process to short-cutting the failure process.
- Acknowledge the failure. It’s like ripping a band-aid off; you’ve just got to do it. No excuses, no baloney, just out with it: “When I was 22 years old, I was overconfident, thought I knew everything and nearly went bankrupt in the process.” There’s a reason why in AA the first step involves stating unequivocally: “I’m an alcoholic.” Until you surrender, you can’t get better. OK. Next.
- Face it head on. Brutal honesty is the key to a speedy process. If you’re still dancing around the idea that you even failed in the first place, how can you possibly move on? Fixing things takes focus, not splintered focus, laser beam focus. Just do it.
- Glean the message from the failure. In fact, put it in writing — the sting is easily forgotten after a couple of easy victories. Things register differently in our brains when we actually write things down. If you want the shortest distance between two points, Pick. Up. Your. Pen.
- Ask for help. People love to help. They really do, but there’s a trick: You’ve GOT TO ASK. I love the quote: “You can’t see the label from inside the jar.” It’s the same rationale of why it’s so obvious when your friend is dating a ding a ling and they can’t see it for themselves. The person on the outside has a great vantage point. Use it.
- Help someone else. Teaching what you know hardwires it into your brain a lot faster. Whether you call it “paying it forward”, goodwill or just old-fashioned spreading the love, there is plenty of research identifying the benefits of helping others. Plus, the bonus for you is that you’ll actually retain the information better. Love me a good double bang for the buck.
Right now, Marley Majcher, author, TV contributor and big boss at The Party Goddess! is probably knee-deep in glitter sipping martinis with Pierce Brosnan (literally)… But you can download a 5-step system for eliminating frustration and increasing cash so you won't have to hit the reset button in the first place by going to The Profit Goddess.