consider myself a
reasonably intelligent person. I've been fortunate enough to have some wonderful
successes. But when I think about the stupid mistakes I make on a daily basis,
I'm just thankful that I'm not a surgeon. And the thought of being operated on
by a fallible human being like myself is great incentive to either stay healthy
or to investigate the mysteries of Christian Science or perhaps even psychic
The leading tenant of medicine is, "First,
do no harm." That's not a mission statement that inspires customer confidence.
Are they going to cut me open and then do their damnedest just to break
evenójust to get me closed up again without making everything worse?
Failure happens. Regularly. To the best and
the brightest of us. "The brain is a wonderful organ," Robert Frost said; "it
starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you
get to the office." I work at home, so mine often stops earlier.
We are all
experts on failure. At least we're all more expert than we'd like to be. For
many people, the key to dealing with failure
is realizing that while failure is an event,
success is not. Success is a process: often a lengthy process and failure is
frequently a key component.
a surgeon; go ahead, do harm.
Tip: Failure is
good for you.
"Being in a
successful company is easy," Bill Gates says. "But when you're failing you're
forced to be creative, and to dig deep and think. In failing companies you
always have to question assumptions. I want some people around who have been
through that process."
reveals genius," the Roman poet Horace wrote, "and prosperity conceals it." Does
that mean you might even be better off failing than succeeding or that failure
may even be a more successful long-term strategy than success?
Dead Roman gurus and living techno-nerd icons to the contrary, let's not get too
carried away here. Still, studies have shown that entrepreneurs who succeed the
first time out are no more likely than anyone else to succeed if they try to
repeat their success with a second start-up. That's in spite of the advantages
they have in financing and in business contacts. On the other hand,
entrepreneurs who failed before finding success were far more likely to succeed
in their next venture.
succeeds like failure.
© Copyright 2013, Barry Maher,
& Associates, Las Vegas, Nevada