Is the world really your oyster? The phrase gets thrown around a lot. In fact, it gets thrown way too much. Why? Because in reality very few believe it, never mind achieve it.
Belief is the key to us achieving anything but you have to be willing to put yourself on the line. Running a business is probably one of the most taxing things you can do. It is a key demander of the one thing in life which we don’t have an endless supply of; Time. That leads to the question. Why put yourself in a place where you run the risk of failure?
That question led me on a journey. A question which completely changed the person I am. The interesting thing about this was that in trying to find the answer I had already answered it. I put myself in positions where I could fail and I learnt from it. Society has put this negative connotation on the term ‘failure’. It is something we should stay away from rather than embrace. An experience which will cause pain. This thought process, driven into us from childhood, is what stops us from significant growth. It is easy to see why children are more open to trying new things because the emphasis on failure is not so deeply engrained.
It’s the same in business and especially relevant to UK businesses. By getting taught to avoid failure and pain, we stay in the same place.
We grow comforted with what is around us and we grow safe in the knowledge that it’s probably not going to get any better, even if we want it to.
In business if you are not making mistakes, you are definitely not going anywhere. However you still need to be open to the failure, accept and learn to manage it. Business is full of risk, especially at the start but it can also be full of reward. That reward is not in terms of financial gain, but giving you insight into who you are and how you manage.
There has been times which I have struggled and no doubt there will be more. The truth is that these challenges have helped me grow far beyond the person who had decided to quit his job to search for something better over three years ago. Not having enough money to go out with my friends or afford decent things is a small sacrifice for long term gain. To be in a place where you have no choice but to grow and be disciplined.
I knew I struggled with discipline so I took away the choice of a paycheck to fall back on each month. Sure enough it limited my comfort and freedom.
You soon find out that it’s dark down there and the only person who can help you is yourself. An experience so full of uncertainty it forces you to find a solution no matter what. But sometimes it is needed.
Facing a challenge or doing something new is always a scary prospect. Not willing to take any risk will only keep you in more pain because you are denying what you want.
Creating a business is something you start because it is a vehicle for capital or because it can drive change bigger than what you can create yourself.
Successful people value their time, they sacrifice in order to gain and they are good with people. These traits are learnt through failure. The more you are willing to fail and learn from the experience the better you prepare yourself in the future.
This doesn’t mean you should detach yourself completely nor is that healthy. You still need connectivity. Having a small circle of people you trust means you can still give value without being overwhelmed. In truth, it is about balance but to get this, you need to go to these deep places to understand how that balance works. In business you learn this. It’s about the quality of your networks not the quantity. Sometimes you need to go backwards to move forward.
Growing a business requires time, discipline, love and attention. It is a baby. If you are not doing your best by it, then you are being a bad parent. Be prepared to open yourself up to new opportunities and experiences because what you learn from it will far outweigh any reason for not starting. In essence running the risk of failure will actually create the lifelong rewards that can drive you to do anything. However, are you prepared to sacrifice? Most people are not, so they stay in the same cycle.
So it is true, the world is indeed an oyster, but the bit they miss out, is learning how to open it.
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve jobs