I remember making a decision to leave my financially comfortable job to launch a home-based business so that I could be home with my boys. It was probably one of the craziest decisions I made as a single mom with two boys and no safety net whatsoever, but also one that I have never regretted.
When I made that decision back in 2010, I knew that I had no choice but to succeed. EVERYTHING was counting on it. I didn’t sit down to come with a strategy or plan what my steps would be. That would have been the smart thing to do. I just jumped in and knew that I had no choice but to do it because I needed to.
So what did I need to guarantee that it would be able to do it?
The first thing was my mindset!
Our mindset controls everything. It’s how we view the world and interpret what is happening to us. We need to have the mindset that we will do it! When I was in the beginning stages of that business launch, I’m sure others were scratching their heads wondering what in the world I was thinking. ( I would have probably been one of those people if we’re being honest) I was in the middle of it and had no options but to make it happen. I had two little boys counting on me!
During that time, getting my mindset right wasn’t something I sat down to think about, but I do now. As my business grew, my circle gradually became filled with other small business owners and startups. I noticed something about all of them that was hard to avoid.
Their attitude put them into one of two groups.
- The first group looked at things in a negative or fearful light. They were afraid of competition (or angry when a new competitor made an appearance), they had doubt in what they were doing and where they were going.
- The second group had a mindset that was positive. They reached out to new competitors to welcome them or collaborate with them. They may not have had all of the answers but they were confident they would find them.
I bet it’s no surprise which group is still in business? You know it, the second group! I realized that you can have the exact same situation. Let’s say… it’s a new client who wants to order one of your products/services. The first group looked at it in a disappointing manner because it was only one piece. The second group got excited because it was a new opportunity and they were grateful for that.
Get it! It’s all in how we view something. It’s how our mindset is keeping us in check….and it makes all the difference!
The second thing we need is failure! Yes, failure! I use to be afraid of this one. Failure was bad and the opposite of success. It meant you loss and were, well…pretty much the loser. It had a negative feeling and something I never wanted to be part of.
But, I was forced to swallow that pill. Two and a half years into my home based business, I hit an obstacle. I couldn’t keep up with production and was not quite ready to bring anyone on to help me out. I tried to figure it out on my own (that was another mistake for another time), but couldn’t.
The business ended.
I felt like a failure. I was embarrassed, scared, disappointed and depressed. I hated going out into public and having people ask “What happened? You were doing great!”. It’s true. I was, especially to the outside world. It was too long and difficult to explain what really happened, so I would just downplay it and try to change the conversation without being so obvious about wanting to talk about something else.
It took a while to work through that failure until one day when a woman called to “pick my brain” about her new startup. These meetings were pretty common and I would openly share what I knew, until they got to the end of my business, then the embarrassment would kick in.
This time the meeting was different.
I realized that in order to help someone else, I needed to be transparent about my failures as well as my successes. It was not easy to open up about it that first time, but it was also very freeing. It was at that point I realized that my failure was not really a failure. I had learned from it. (I had found the answer to my obstacle after the fact) and now I was using it to help someone else. That failure was actually a stepping stone towards what I was meant to do.
Failure is part of the process. When you step out and try something new, there is a good chance that you will fail, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop. When we learn to walk, we fall, but we keep getting up and try again. We don’t sit there and say, we tried and it’s over.
Some famous failures….
- Walt Disney was told he “lacked imagination and skill” and filed bankruptcy 4 times before succeeding
- Marilyn Monroe was fired by 20th Century Fox a year into her contract after her producer told her she was unattractive and couldn’t act
- Elvis Presley was told by the Grand Ole Opry manager “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
- Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a reporter after she was told she was “unfit for TV”.
- Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company he started
- Bill Gates was a Harvard drop out and co-owned a business, Traft-O-Data that tanked.
There are hundreds of examples out there about successful people who would not have been successful had they not failed first.
You see, everyone has greatness within them. It’s just being able to embrace failures and be in control of your mindset. The drive to make it happen!
This journey is an amazing, wonderful journey of highs and lows. It certainly is not for the faint at heart. So embrace the ride and be who you were meant to be.