Is Failure an Option or Rite of Passage?

Best selling author and entrepreneurial guru Seth Godin once said,

“If failure is not an option then neither is success.” 

This week has been one of great successes and some frustration along the way!  I always set the bar high and when I fall short I do experience some frustration.  The challenges I faced this week were not failures but set-backs.  Does this sound familiar?  Many of my clients experience similar situations but together we identify options to overcome the obstacles and breakthrough to new heights!

As a business owner and business coach with 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, I know I certainly don’t set out to fail.  This doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced some failures – as most successful business leaders will attest to.  Instead my focus is always set on success – for me and my clients.  By design, I have achieved more success than failure, even when I have made significant changes in my business.  The results I achieve reflect the effort and planning I put into my success.

Powered By YouI frequently tell potential clients “Failure is not an option”.  When I work with my clients we focus on what is working for them, what is not and the changes that are necessary to make the transition so they achieve the desired results.  In each situation we hit our fair share of challenges and it can cause trepidation, uncertainty or new setbacks.  I stick with them and in every case, together we break-through to achieve success.

Seth Godin’s also said,

“The goal has never been to always succeed; the goal is to be allowed to keep initiating.  

This is the secret that is often lost on many entrepreneurs or business leaders.  If you keep on doing what you are doing today, you will keep getting the same results… well, not necessarily.  Change happens all around you, and it doesn’t stop.  If your business is successful today, but the market changes, you most likely won’t be successful later unless you make changes too.  If you are struggling today, the same holds true.  Change is needed to change your results.

Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders have two key habits in common.  These two habits increase their focus, commitment and the results they achieve.

1.   Focus on Your Target.

On Target  Success will remain elusive if you are not clear on what it is you want to achieve.  Are your goals SMART (specific, measureable, actionable, realistic and time-specific)?  Are they written?  Are they integrated into your weekly, monthly and quarterly action plans?  Do you take time to reflect on your goals, the results and if actions are taking you where you want to be?

If you answered no to any one of these questions then you are leaving success to chance.  Business leaders use journaling as a tool to integrate all of these requirements into a fast, effective method that also has been shown to increase productivity and ease decision-making.

2.  Stay Connected with Your Network.

You have a circle of friends, colleagues, business advisors, mentors, suppliers and your database of customers or others interested in what you have to say.  This network is one of the most powerful and valuable tools you have available tGet Connectedo build a successful business.  The key is staying connected to each person in your network.
Take time each day to connect with three people. These people may be new contacts, acquaintances you haven’t spoken to in awhile or someone who is a key supporter.

Networking events are one way to connect.  Follow up after events with each person, and personalize your communications with them.  Explore what you can do for them!  Add value to your message by offering something of interest to your contact – a current article, a tool, a referral.

Next, create a system that will allow you to stay connected.  One colleague I met sends out a letter every month and includes a 1 page article of interest or tips that he believes colleagues and potential clients may find useful.  A newsletter, personal emails, a quick phone call, or an invitation for coffee or lunch are all options you can use to stay connected.

Set-backs or failures are a natural part of the road to success.  If you want to grow your business or advance your career and enjoy greater success, integrate these two leadership habits into your day and enjoy the benefits that follow.

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