If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner looking to scale your business, here’s a little-known secret: Failure is your best friend.
What? Allow me to explain.
As a business person looking to grow your business to epic proportions, you must develop a clear vision, stretch yourself into uncharted territories, and sync gracefully with the right team. There is no way around it: Failure is going to be part of that equation.
But that’s okay! You will trip and fall on your path, but you will pick yourself right up, learn from your mistakes, and go on to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
PLAYING IT SAFE IS NOT A BUSINESS STRATEGY
In most cases, failure does not come from taking the leap. It comes from giving up before you’ve given yourself a chance to soar. Just the idea of trying new things and taking risks can move you out of your comfort zone and cause you to panic before you’ve even taken your first step.
DON’T LISTEN TO THE NEGATIVITY OF OTHERS
Your mind races to the negative possibilities: What if I fail and fall? What if I get into debt and can’t pay my bills? You hear all of the naysaying voices in your head: your spouse, your mother, your father, your best friends, your cousins, your former colleagues, and even acquaintances who know little about you. They even give you the added bonus of telling you each and every business horror story and failure they ever heard.
Sometimes they innocently ask, “Are you sure you are ready for this?”
Even if they have the best of intentions, it’s as if they are all hoping you’ll fail—just to be able to say those fatal words: I told you so.
Because the scaling process and fear of failure are so daunting and scary, many business owners are often unwilling to take the leaps necessary to take their businesses to the next level and grow. And yet, calculated risk-taking is an essential part of success, which means that avoiding the scaling process due to fear of failure will completely paralyze and stagnate your business.
YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO FAIL
Consider the statistics. The “play it safe” mindset leads 34 million American business owners to avoid risk entirely and suffer from smallness. But what these business owners don’t realize is that playing it safe leads to unsafe results—missed opportunities, inability to meet demand, lost market-share, flat-to-declining performance, employee unrest and turnover—or, a business that could have been and would have been, yet never made the full commitment to fly.
Failure gives you the insight to look at your experiences in a new light. Yes, moments of failure can be excruciatingly painful, and we obviously don’t go looking for them. But that is exactly where the growth happens. When everything is copacetic and operating smoothly, there is nothing compelling you to look within and examine the deeper questions that provide you with opportunities to make the biggest shifts in your life.
THESE BUSINESS GIANTS WEREN’T AFRAID TO FAIL (AND DID)
If you doubt my word on failure being your best friend, consider how many business titans belly-flopped in the deep end of the pool before they met with some of their greatest triumphs. Jeff Bezos had zShops. Steve Jobs had NeXT Computers. Richard Branson had Virgin Cola. Talk about clunkers!
Failure is a teacher who gives lessons that you will never forget. It’s what you do with this education that counts.
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Voice for Business Success
Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, The World Leader in Scaling Businesses. She is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of, Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19. Her client list has included Ben & Jerry’s, Supercuts, Charlotte Russe, and Allstate.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success and create a more meaningful life. The Pinnacle Global Network, her private mentoring and mastermind enterprise has guided thousands of business owners over the past 10 years. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox across the US. Allison has also hosted her own podcast, The Scale or Fail Show, since 2011.