I remember back in 2007 when I first realized that things were not going my way: my family’s business was on the rocks, the economy was collapsing, and jobs were scarce. The life that I had planned for myself was nowhere in sight. After a few years of ups and downs and lots of struggles, I finally realized that I needed to look at life differently. I needed to take responsibility for my success.
Sadly, merely realizing that I needed to change was not enough to cause any noticeable impact. I started my business, without really understanding the consequences. You see, I wanted the glory and potential riches of owning my own marketing and branding firm, but I had no clue that it would mean making hard sacrifices in order to make it succeed.
Like so many things in life, I think that we approach our jobs or our businesses with too much of an entitlement attitude. We think that we deserve the promotion, or that we deserve the growing business, but the truth is we only get out what we put in. If we are not willing to pay the price for success, then all we will be left with is failure.
As a small business consultant, I hear a lot of failing business owners complain about their failure, but when presented with solutions to fix the problems, there are always excuses. “I don’t want to spend any more money,” “I don’t have enough time,” “That’s just not my personality.” That last one was always my excuse. I never thought I was a salesperson until I realized that I had to sell in order to live.
The Key to Pulling Out of Failure.
The only way to pull yourself or your business out of failure and into success is through sacrifice. You have to sacrifice your money, you have to sacrifice your time, or you have to sacrifice your comfort zone; normally, you have to sacrifice all three. Failure is a consequence of not being willing to make the necessary sacrifices. Most people think that failure is caused by making the wrong decisions, or by bad luck, or by improper training, and though this is partially true, it does not tell the whole story. 9 times out of 10 you can trace the “wrong decision” back to a choice to cut costs by hiring the less experienced employee, or buying cheaper materials, or refusing help from an expert because it costs money, etc. Similarly, “bad luck” can be traced to not spending your time wisely, and “improper training” is a result of not challenging yourself enough to broaden your experience and grow your capabilities.
In many ways, failure itself is a sacrifice of success. Most people don’t get it right the first time around. You have to be willing to risk failure, accept failure, and learn from your failure before finding just the right combination to propel you forward. Without failure, there can be no success. So part of pulling yourself up is realizing that if you have failed or feel like you are failing – it is not the end of the world. It is simply one of the many sacrifices you have to be willing to make on the long road towards success.