Two weeks ago I talked about this concept – how Ted Turner said when his Atlanta Braves weren’t winning he wasn’t losing – he was learning how to win. So many of you responded with your own stories of how you feel like you’re failing right now. Let’s take another look at what it means to “fail”.
And grab your notebook – I want to walk through the 5 essentials required to come back from failure.
Episode #906 June 30, 2023
Hi, this is Dan Miller – and yes you’re listening to the 48 Days Radio show – where each week we take 48 minutes to dive into real-life questions about finding your passion, deciding what kind of life you want to live – and then finding or creating work that allows you to show up every day, excited to be able to do something that is meaningful, fulfilling – and profitable. This is where normal, indecision and ambiguity come to die. Welcome to the 48 Days Radio Show.
Dan, I would like to hear more of your thoughts on failure. What does a successful failure look like? How much should we risk in pursuit of our dreams?There’s a movie that came out back in 2007, Lions for Lambs where a brilliant but an apathetic student asks his professor, played by Robert Redford, “Is there any difference in trying but failing and simply failing to try if you end up in the same place anyway? He was attempting to justify taking the safe route — never really taking a stand or trying anything big. Do you cringe at trying something because of the possibility of failure? What if you tried for a promotion but failed to get it? What if you applied for a new job and failed to get it? What if you started a business but then you lost your investment? What if you tried some direct marketing system, but now you don’t have anything but a garage full of vitamins or shampoo or essential oils? Are you better off or would your life have been better if you’d avoided the hassle and the disappointment? I’m hearing from people every day who tried and failed. One gentleman lost $11 million of his family’s money in the gas and oil business. Another guy inherited from his grandmother $3.2 million and quickly went through that in a failed retail clothing business. A really close friend of mine lost $24 million in a failed real estate development. Research shows that if you’re under 30 years old, there’s a 90% chance you’re going to be fired sometime in the next 20 years. Bernie Marcus was fired from a job as manager of the Handy Dan Improvement Center. He went on then to start Home Depot. I had a big failure in business. I had to borrow a car to start driving just to start generating income again. Should I have avoided the pain and the anguish by taking a safer route or was that experience the necessary catalyst for learning the principles that helped me with the success that I enjoy today? My theory is that you’ll be a brighter, better person for trying something big, even if you fail. I really do believe that there are successful failures in business. That’s not an oxymoron.
Napoleon Hill once said, “Failure seems to be nature’s plan for preparing us for great responsibilities.”Part of the issue is, do you want to do something great in any area? If you’re content with mediocrity in your life, then you’ll try to protect yourself from any failure. Just recognize the trade-off. But here’s an important distinction. It’s not just what you do in a job or your business that will identify you as a success or a failure. And on this I really want you to understand, is an important part of this whole concept. I hear from so many people who are failing in business. My question is, what’s the rest of your life look like?
- Not having date nights or saying I love you daily will put your marriage at risk of failure.
- Spending 80 hours a week at your job will put your emotional well-being at risk of failure.
- Eating Twinkies and Big Macs and not exercising will put your health at risk of failure.
- Spending less than an hour a day on spiritual and personal development is probably going to set you up for the risk of failure.
- Expecting a company to continue giving you a paycheck or give you a raise puts you at risk of failure.
- Take responsibility for where you are, whether that’s good or bad.
- Continue making deposits of success in the physical, spiritual, personal development relationship areas of your life.
- Pursue work that engages your passions as well as your abilities.
- Weigh the financial requirements very carefully.
- Recognize that temporary financial loss does not need to be the end of your business venture. It might just be a wake up call, helping you to readjust for bigger success in the future. Make that adjustment and know that you’re now closer. You know more you’ve learned moving toward your ultimate success.
- Recognize that many people risk failure in their marriages, their health, their homes, all desperately trying to hang on to that job or business.
- Make sure that you’re looking for success in multiple areas.
I’ve reached a point of giving up and it is painful but eventually you must accept that losers are a fact of life.
How can I stop wanting what I want?
Dan, this will be the last time I’ll ever ask you for funding help, this I promise. I promise.….but please… please helpI’ve been dumbfounded recently by running into a couple of longtime acquaintances who are down on their luck. I’ve mentioned one guy in particular. I know I’ve mentioned him over the years because actually it’s been ten years that this one gentleman has been down on his luck. And I knew him when he was extremely successful. He introduced me to some of the big names, the masters of achievement. It’s really caused me to do some research and digging to try to figure this out. My assumption has always been that if someone has never gotten off the ground, maybe they don’t know how, but once somebody’s up, they ought to be able to bounce back again quickly, even if there’s been a big real estate swing or a bad business investment. But why would a guy like that get trapped in a down position and seem to stay there? That has really sent me to research, ask, study, pray, seek, see if there’s any common factors. I pulled another old book off the shelf. It was John Maxwell’s book from back in 2007, Talent is Never Enough. John says a person’s talent allows them to stand out, but their wrong choices make them sit down. I was reminded how character, integrity, relationships, and responsibility are the pillars that allow talent to shine, and without those, the shining talent is very vulnerable. I’m reminded myself of the importance of not leaning too strongly on talent in my own life unless I’m making deposits of success in character, integrity, and relationships. I’ve come to the conclusion that to come back from failure, a person must have these five things.
- Loving Relationships
- Uncompromising Integrity
- Clear Purpose
- Vibrant Health
- Optimistic Faith
Making Mistakes and Becoming Smarter Is the Job of an Entrepreneur. Not Making Mistakes Is the Job of an EmployeeI’ve just re-read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad Poor Dad as we were studying together in the 48 Days Eagles Community. He talks in there about bad luck. He says making mistakes and becoming smarter is the job of an entrepreneur. Not making mistakes is the job of an employee. So if you want to avoid making mistakes, one of the ways to do that is to make sure you’ve got a job, a traditional job. If you want to join the ranks of entrepreneurs who are doing other things, it’s going to open you up more to making mistakes. It’s going to open you up more to the possibility of failure.
Thomas Watson, founder and former CEO of IBM, said, “Would you like me to give you a formula for succss? It’s really quite simple. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success, but it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it. Go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can, because remember, that’s where you will find success.”The secret of making mistakes isn’t to avoid ever making one again. It’s to recognize that making a mistake is not fatal. They can be your stepping stones on your path to success. So go ahead and fail again. If you decide you’re going to run three marathons this year and you fail by only running two, you’ve still accomplished more than 99% of the people in the world. What if you had a goal of writing two books this year, but you only complete one. Have you failed? You’ve failed again above most of the population’s success. What if you want to reduce your cholesterol by 50 points, but you only cut it down by 40? What if you wanted to compose a song a month, but you finished the year with only ten great songs? What if you set as a goal to increase your income from that $104,000 that makes you low income to 150K, but you end up only hitting 135K? We wouldn’t call that failure at all. Do you have a goal that’s so ridiculously high that even if you only hit 50% of it, you’ll still bypass everyone else? That’s the model that I use. I try to set goals where I’ve got about a 50/50 chance of hitting them. That way, if I do hit it, it’s a real big success, and if I don’t, I may still increase by 40% what I was doing.
Failure comes not in setting a goal and not hitting it. It is in not setting a goal at all and being stuck in sameness.George Bernard Shaw said, “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.” I want you to build your life around things that can’t be taken from you. If your whole life and meaning comes from the work, the business, the career, the house, the cars, the boats that you have. If that’s your identity, you’re really vulnerable. But if you have losing relationships, uncompromising integrity, clear purpose, vibrant health, and optimistic faith, you have an insurance policy that money won’t buy. You’ve got a foundation whereI think you can come back from even what looks like a major disaster financially.
Quotation:“Set your goals ridiculously high and you will fail above everyone else’s success.” – James CameronClick To Tweet
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What are the 5 essentials required to come back from failure?
I’ve come to the conclusion that to come back from failure, a person must have:
- Loving Relationships
- Uncompromising Integrity
- Clear Purpose
- Vibrant Health
- Optimistic Faith
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