I find myself in conversation with tentative and fearful ‘would be’ entrepreneurs rather a lot at the moment. The main topic is how hard it is to grow a business these days, the risks are too plentiful and they spend all day thinking about it and poised for action but wavering over the first fence. Why is this?
The number one reason – FEAR OF FAILURE
Clearly it takes courage and gumption to step up and beyond the world of self employment, I know this only too well, but does the fear of failure loom so large we are paralysed with apathy and fear?
How can we expect our children to heed our advice and well chosen words of wisdom around stepping up and standing out, about honouring aspiration and living your best life when we don’t? Your teenager may not listen to what you say but you can bet they are watching what you do and learning the real lessons from your life choices. So how are you showing up for them?
Yes uncertainty is unnerving; yes standing on the precipice of an unknown journey is daunting but what is the alternative? I have failed spectacularly in business several times; in fact I have stood in the shadow of bankruptcy twice, but failure I can live with, mediocrity I cannot.
I cannot contemplate a life without risk, without questions and without the joy of possibility. Who wants to know all the answers before starting out on the journey? How utterly boring and pointless would that be?
Failure may be the worst thing that can happen but so what? Without failing how would we develop emotional resilience? How would we know what works? How would we know if what we are doing really is our passion without being tested? How would we learn the intricacies of the game? How would we know for sure what we are capable of? I cannot name a single, solitary, successful entrepreneur living or gone who has managed to avoid failure and who was not all the better and more driven as a result. When you stand tall, with absolute belief and tenacity the gifts are bountiful and keep on coming. Personally, I have learnt how to be an entrepreneur through failing and a lot more.
We are not on this planet to remain small and insignificant, we are here to shine and soar, we are here to live our best life and pass it on. So do the work on you, find your passion, and if this leads you to being your own boss do it with style, substance and sustainability and embrace the gifts of failure along the way.
Take the first step, push the boundaries of your comfort zone and live! This is not simply a mantra for entrepreneurs, it is mantra for life!
In the words of one of my top life gurus, Oprah ‘Where there is no struggle, there is no strength’