Saturday, 7 June 2014

You are already dead and buried if you fear failure

Amazingly too many people fail because they fear to fail.

Just think about it. How did You and every toddler of the human race learn how to walk? How do major discoveries and breakthroughs in research happen? It is all about trying and failing and trying again and basically failing your way to success.

I used to have this thriving business where I appointed a promising young employee to help me manage things. Everything was going well until we entered a tricky phase of fierce competition from copy cats who plagiarized our unique marketing approach. I had arrived at our unique and effective marketing system after many failed experiments. Now what we needed was urgent development of new ways to deal with the evolving situation and that meant going back to the drawing boards and failing our way back to success.

Immediately I noticed that the promising employee was so terrified of failure that he was looking for a drawing board solution guaranteed to work. That in itself is hardly feasible. How do you get anything to work without muddying yourself with the practical nuts and bolts of it?

I also discovered something else. In his stint as a promising manager he had all along been playing to the gallery. Decisions were made based on how impressive they would look to those who were watching.

Horrifyingly this is exactly the way many businesses in Kenya and elsewhere (that happened not to be very successful) are run. Instead of asking the question “how will we improve our profits?” it seemed that the key question was “how will we impress as much as possible?”

Safaricom for many years consistently the most profitable enterprise in East and Central Africa has tried and failed in many projects. Remember the Ujamaa phones? I was recently told that that the failed business cost the cell phone company a huge loss running into millions. Today Safaricom continue trying many things and they continue to thrive.

Google always has dozens of projects in development stage (at least 100) all going at the same time. In most cases none will be implemented and sometimes it takes several batches of 100 to find just one winner. Many would view this as a reckless waste of company resources. But you can bet that it isn't.

Always embrace failures as vital and inevitable stepping stones to success. Try and learn as much as you can from them and keep trying until you hit the jackpot. That is the way it is done. In fact it is the only way to true success.

Take seriously the words of Sergey Brin co-founder of one of the most successful business enterprises in the history of the human race. He said the only way to have success is to have many failures first. Meaning that if you are not ready to fail then you will never EVER achieve your true potential.

Incidentally is the fear of failure the reason why you have not yet tried this revolutionary affiliate program? Food for thought huh?