I think that believing you must know the outcome of any scenario or business project, and be completely assured that the outcome is positive before you will even take the first step, will only serve to ensure failure.
Because you will never begin anything, let alone complete it, if you are afraid that things might not go as planned. Instead, you’ll hide behind all the excuses of why you can’t or won’t do something. Or, you’ll abandon the project at the first sign of trouble.
Now this is different from understanding your calculated risks. You should absolutely do some due diligence before you start something. Running off half-cocked doesn’t get you too far either.
But knowing what the risks are, coming up with contingency plans if those risks ever arise, and preparing yourself mentally, physically, financially, or in whatever way necessary to go the distance will allow you to start and complete any endeavor that’s worth finishing.
Is this all just habit? Maybe. Does it involve will power? Maybe. Does it involve mental fortitude? Yes. Do you have to be crazy enough to believe that you can actually pull “it” off? Absolutely!
According to Angela Lee Duckworth in her TED talk – it takes GRIT.
I think that it’s maybe a mix of confidence without ego; standards of excellence without perfection; a willingness to do the work; having clear sight of your destination while being flexible enough to adjust the route as new opportunities and obstacles pop up; not being afraid to pull in help along the way in the form of mentors, freelancers, outsourcers, friends and coaches.
And…you have to be willing to fail.
Don’t worry – I’m not saying that failure should be your aim or your expectation. What I am saying is that you cannot be held back by the fear that what you’re attempting might not work exactly as planned. Hell, it might not work at all!
But the exciting thing is that once you make that decision to take the first step, and then continue each day step by step, you have the opportunity to develop successful habits and actually hone your problem-solving skills.
I remember when my kids were little. They were involved in some sports which is a great experience; however, I always questioned the PC notion that “everybody should win”. I sorta thought that was cruel because it was setting the kids up for failure.
If they know they are going to win up front then what’s their motivation to put in the work and dedication needed to build their skills? And even worse, the minute it gets hard, they can just sit on the sidelines because they know win or lose, they are going to get a trophy.
What lesson is learned?
What value is attached to an object when it’s received without effort?
What habits are built that they can take into the real world?
Positive lessons can be learned in any game, win or lose. And with every project or business you start, you will learn things when you are open to the possibility that there will be challenges. And I think what may be even more poignant is the reality that business leaders who embrace challenges and adjust as needed no matter what people say, and without the paralyzing effects of fear, are the ones that can lead their companies to success through any economic cycle, good or bad.
- Want a successful business? You’ve got to put in the work
- Want a successful marriage? You’ve got to put in the work
- Want a successful family? You’ve got to put in the work
- Want to be successful with your health and fitness? You’ve got to put in the work
- Want to BE successful? You’ve got to put in the work
The definition of success is different for everyone. And, I also think that the success or failure of any endeavor does not equal the success or failure of the individual.
Successful people can “fail” at many projects before they get the recipe just right. It’s just the process. Losing the game doesn’t make YOU a loser…it just means the other team was better prepared or better focused. You have the opportunity to incorporate better habits, skills, tools, or whatever to give yourself the edge next time.
Your turn! I’d love to hear what you think about the best way to be successful in your life and business. Leave a comment below or email me directly at: [email protected]
Member-only Content Marketing and Writing Tips Direct to your Inbox!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest marketing and writing tips from our us.