Failure-phobia is the primarily cause of failure in any life endeavor. It programs you for failure even before you get started. This shall not be your nemesis this year if you keep to this simple rules.
1) Prepare to Succeed
The first thing you need to do to prepare to succeed is to learn how to do it. You already know how to fail. But how do you succeed? By finding out exactly what you would need to be successful and ensuring that those needs are met.
For instance, suppose that I want to start a small business selling herbal soaps and bath products. For this business to be successful, I need to have essentially three things:
A) Enough people who want to buy the soaps and bath products I’m selling;
B) A product whose quality and price is competitive enough; and
C) A way to bring two of these (people and product) together.
So these are the basic needs. Now all I have to do is figure out how to meet these needs. The best way to do this is to work through a business plan (read about this in our last edition, which you can download from our website, www.smebusinessplatformng.com).
Working through a business plan will fill in the gaps in your knowledge and provide the details of how you’re going to do what needs to be done to start and run a particular small business successfully. Your business plan will be, in effect, your blueprint for success.
2) Change Your Attitude Towards Failure
Why are you afraid of failure?
Most people fear failure for one of these two reasons:
Failure makes you a bad person, a “loser” that others look down on.
You could lose all or most of your money and/or your possessions.
Both of these are misconceptions. Failure doesn’t change your genes or your personality. It affects some people’s actions negatively, but it’s not negative in itself. Will you be a “loser” if you fail? Only if you allow yourself to be. “It’s not being down; it’s staying down” that makes you a loser.
Will others look down on you? Some people might. You can’t control the thoughts or actions of other people – so why lose sleep over them?
Failure can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but is not life-threatening. And failure is always an opportunity of one kind or another – an opportunity to stretch beyond our usual boundaries, to learn something valuable, or to make previously undreamed-of connections. Remembering this positive face of failure and focusing on it will go a long way towards changing your attitude about it.
Starting and running your own small business could be one of the most enriching experiences of your life. Don’t let your fear of failure make you miss out.
You are not going to be able to outrun your fear. But eventually, once you build on enough successes, you will be able to tame it. Why not start now? You can only overcome your fear by facing it.
Two great principles that can help you:
1. Esther’s principle – If I die, I die principle (Esther 4:16): Great men are goal getters, they are ready to go extra mile and even lay down their lives for what they believed in. Men who made history are men who have passed through various challenges of life and they came out victorious. They have fears but they face it.
2. Four lepers principle (2 king 7;4): If we sit here we might die and if we move we might also die. Life is all about risk, if you resign your job it is a risk, if don’t resign it is also a risk because you will be asked to leave one day (probably when you are too old to be useful to them and yourself), if you refused to start a business it is a risk and if you start a business it is also a risk, the worse risk in life is never to take any risk at all.