Part II of seeing failure as a fresh start – as long as you don’t give up! by Brian Hazelgren
Re-Blog from January 2017
Can you think of any failures in business that may be undermining your current success? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I want you to focus on what is ahead, and learn from what is behind you. What things can you think of that you are presently working on? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What things will you be working on over the next week? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What will you be improving on over the next 30 days? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The next three months? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The next six months? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The next 12 months? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
We are going to revisit each of these items you have listed and see how well you are staying on task. I will be following up with you to make sure that you are meeting your goals: Specific…Realistic…Aggressive…Consistent.
As we do this together, what you may have failed at in the past will not even be an option in the future. Together we will continue to refine and adjust your plan and keep you moving forward. So “lessons learned” takes on a whole new meaning! You will learn from your mistakes, and well as others, and steer clear of them for future success.
TREAT FAILURES AS FRIENDS, NOT ENEMIES
Elbert Hubbard said, “Constant effort and frequent mistakes are the stepping-stones of genius.” Failures can be great learning experiences. As a leader, I believe I’ve had more failures than most people. But I’ve also had many successes. Why? Because, to me, “trying” is more important than “not failing.” And when I do make mistakes, I use them as learning experiences, asking, “What did I do wrong, and how can I do it better next time?”
Don’t try to hide your mistakes. Admit them, and then learn and grow from them. Since you will have failures, why not treat them as the friends they can be?
HAVE SUCCESSFUL FAILURES, NOT FAILED SUCCESSES
With each setback, Lincoln continued to persevere and learn from his mistakes. Rather than being a failure at success, he experienced successful failures. The experiences didn’t stop him; they taught him. Four failed attempts made his more resolute to succeed. How many times will you make mistakes along your journey as an entrepreneur? I don’t have a definite number to offer you, but what I can assure you is that you should plan on making mistakes, and even failing. Successful failures can be excellent teachers and provide you with sound advice on how not to do it the next time around.
SEE FAILURES AS FRESH OPPORTUNITIES, NOT FINAL DEFEATS
When shipwrecked on Malta, the Apostle Paul ministered to the people. When arrested, he saw it as a chance to preach the Gospel. As he said, “My dear friends, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the good news” (Phil. 1:12, CEV).
When our attitudes are right, failure actually helps and improves us. It gives us a chance to see where we fall short, to change, and to learn more about ourselves and how we can grow to our maximum potential.
“Failing to try” is the greatest failure anyone can experience. If we don’t make the attempt, we cannot succeed. A very good example of this can be seen in the life of the baseball great, Ty Cobb. In 1915, he set what was then the all-time record for stolen bases in a season with 96 steals. Seven years later, Max Carey set the second-best record with 51 stolen bases. Amazingly, Carey failed only 2 times in 53 attempts. Cobb failed 38 times in his 134 attempts. I suspect that if Carey had tried more times, he would have had more failures, but he may have been the one to set the record that would be unbeaten today!
As leaders, as entrepreneurs, we must be less like Carey and more like Cobb. We must make the attempt and become the best we can at whatever God is calling us to do. We will only do that if we put failure in the proper perspective. So, let’s start establishing some goals and objectives, and move into the next discussion.
Stay strong, stay positive.