Embrace Failure

Nov 1, 2021 | Growth Tips, Leadership

Why embrace failure? Because it’s how the super successful got that way.

I spoke to my long-time trainer (when I lived in CT), and he told me how he got a new job right before Covid and when Covid hit he was let go. So, he jumped full-time into his dream of running his own business, and he is on track to make 150k this year.

Wow! Well done!

But success is not overnight; my friend had been working towards this for years.

Don’t be fooled by success.

Just like the band, Huey Lewis And The News, who seemed to have overnight success after the breakout hit in the movie Back To The Future. Except Huey Lewis had been working hard for 10 years, playing where he could, honing his talents. Just like all of us.

This summer I was speaking with a landscape business owner (whom I coach) who was beating himself up for the costly mistakes he made (a 100k+worth) in how he organized his install division.

My advice to him: This was the price of a cheap MBA, and if he embraced and really learned from his failure (instead of getting distracted or scared by it), it would propel his success. I told him about Thomas Watson…

Embrace failure. Learn from your mistakes. Share on X

If it’s good for IBM, it’s good for you.

Thomas Watson was the original GM and President of IBM. After the depression he desperately needed sales to keep his job.

Around that time a key sales executive came to him after blowing a $1MM order and offered his resignation. Watson responded, “Why would I accept this when I have just invested one million dollars in your education?”

Play the long game.

Recently I spoke to Greg Semmer founder of Semmer Landscape in Chicago. He has done an excellent job making moves and building his business.

My feedback after we discussed some frustrations: You could not have written a better story of your business-building success.

I told him to recognize the brilliance in his strategic moves and keep playing the long view.

Your Challenge—Let yourself and especially your people learn by making mistakes.

We all learn this way as entrepreneurs, we must afford our people to learn this same way as well.

Lean into your mistakes. Remove emotions and make jumps in your thinking.

Praise those who learn, don’t scold those who try.