The Road to Success is Paved with Failure
The road to success is paved with failure.
I am sure you have heard this phrase before. You know you’ve heard it, but can’t remember exactly where, right? Such a trivial phrase you may say.
Well my new friends, this is a natural reaction. We are alike in so many ways!
Nonetheless, as much as this phrase may seem like a cliché that grates upon us like fingernails running down a chalkboard, we should never forget its importance.
For truth is so often grounded in cliché.
There is simply no doubt that as entrepreneurs, the majority of us will fail tens (and in some cases 100’s) of times before we ever taste the fruits of success. Consider this a rite of passage.
And if we consider our failures a rite of passage, we must forever change our attitude about failure itself.
So let’s consider a novel concept.
Failure is beautiful.
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Why the Road to Success is Paved with Failure
Now do you think I mean this in the strictest literal sense? You may be asking yourself, “Has Kaju gone totally insane?” He claims, “The road to success is paved with failure”.
Why is heck is he talking about?
Why is failure beautiful?
For every entrepreneur who has ever succeeded, there has only been ONE formula for success.
To fail their way to success.
My Fellow Entrepreneurs, it’s time to get off this delusional gravy train. We need to get our collective brains “out of the clouds” and keep both of our feet planted firmly on the ground.
Simply stated, there are way too many “wantrepreneurs” embarking on this journey who honestly believe they can reap the rewards of running their own businesses without ever enduring days:
All of the above will certainly happen and then some.
But above and beyond all, we MUST understand this.
The truth of the matter is the majority of us WILL fail in ABUNDANCE before ever coming out on top. Before you achieve your greatest successes. This is inevitable.
The sooner we accept this, the easier it’s going to be to bounce back from our failures.
Now is the best time to intentionally embrace failure.
If you only remember one idea from this entire article, this is the one: ALL successful entrepreneurs actually fail their way to success.
What Are Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs?
What are the traits of successful entrepreneurs?
They acknowledge from the beginning there’s but one thing that is guaranteed: there is no such thing as a mistake-free, risk-free, pain-free business.
I can relate this to my own experience with my own former interior design and building company.
According to plan, we thought this would be a smooth sailing project. Serenity Spa was scheduled to open its doors for business in NYC on August 16. However by late July we ran into several unforeseen challenges.
My Case Why the Road to Success is Paved with Failure
I remember it as clear as day.
Things were not going well, we were now running far behind on the timeline.
Building material delays and work held up by outside sub-contractors which the client hired out of our control were further delaying the finishing of this project.
Also, an integral part of a credenza unit that was a focal point of the retail area arrived from Italy damaged.
The client was becoming very testy with me with each passing day. As the principle designer-entrepreneur of my own business I had to be creative and think fast.
First thing was to find an adequate local replacement for the damaged part of the credenza, which first required receiving the final building materials on delay.
The next challenge was to bring in my own specialty finishers to replace the outside contractors hired by the client who were dragging out the project (and to convince the client to replace them).
Toward the end of the project, we had to pull 3 consecutive all-nighters to finish the final design and build out of Serenity Spa in NYC to meet our deadline in mid-August.
Yes, by the skin of our teeth we made it happen and opened the spa for business by 8:00 am on August 16.
And although our eyes were severely blood-shot from lack of sleep, we were paid in full by a very happy client.
Once again, by failing our way to success.
Successful People Never Give Up
By mid-July, unforeseen circumstances were causing failures all around us. The house of cards was quickly falling down.
But did we give up? Not a chance.
We stayed calm and focused, and in the end met our deadline despite so many small failures.
The truth is no matter how carefully you map things out – and no matter how many contingencies you plan for - once you get your business off the ground, Murphy’s Law will prevail.
Whatever can go wrong WILL go wrong.
The reality is there will be high stress times caused by unexpected demanding situations that require immediate decision-making and action.
Smaller intermittent failures are imminent. It’s guaranteed. And while these intermittent failures will be highly stressful, it’s a 100% normal part of the process.
The real growth comes from how we react and what you do AFTER we fail.
Here Is a Thought Experiment
Remember. Intentionally. Embrace failure
Never give up at the first signs of trouble. Or even the 20th sign of trouble. You will surely experience many failures, situations will go awry beyond your control, and you will fall hard.
So here’s a thought experiment I would like you to try today.
Forget about trying to have the “perfect day” in your business. Think outside the box and try something out of the ordinary today.
Say to yourself, “What insane unanticipated event is going to happen to me today that’s going to transform my business for the better?”
Start embracing your failures today.
Fail fast and fail hard.
And then come up with a solution.
In other words, fail your way to success.
For failure is learning.
Failure is beautiful.
And the road to success is paved with failure.
Thank you for reading this post, please feel free to make any comments below.