Thoughts On Business Success

A Growth Mindset and Business Success

So, you may be asking yourself “What exactly is a growth mindset?” Well, a growth mindset is an actual, demonstrable psychological phenomenon. It turns out that many long-term successful individuals possess certain characteristics that they share with other long-term successful individuals.

 growth mindsett

These characteristics have been termed a “growth mindset”. Now, some people, who tend to achieve less than their full potential, also possess a set of characteristics that they share with other under-achievers. This set of traits has been dubbed the “fixed mindset”. Most people, more or less, fall in one camp or the other.

People with a growth mindset tend to have a desire to learn from life. This desire leads to the ability to embrace challenges, to overcome setbacks, to see effort as worth the results, to accept criticism and to admire and learn from the successes of others. These behaviors allow native intelligence to grow throughout a lifetime. (Hence, the name.) People with a growth mindset are believers in free will and this belief allows them to achieve their goals time and time again.

People with a fixed mindset tend to have a desire to appear smart, with a corresponding fear of looking foolish. Their desire leads them to avoid challenges, to give up easily, to see extra effort as wasted, to ignore or reject criticism and to envy and begrudge the success of others. These behaviors tend to limit native intelligence to a fixed amount. (Again, hence the name.)  People with a fixed mindset often plateau early in life and fail to have, let alone reach, fixed goals.

The good news is that a growth mindset can be cultivated fairly easily by changing some critical behaviors. First of all, you have to decide to choose growth over stagnation. You also have to be willing to take positive action and begin to accept challenges and criticism and learning from both. An excellent way to begin is by developing the philosophy of “yet”.

This simple step simple attaches the word “yet” to the end of every negative thought, as in “That will never work, yet…” or “It’s probably not worth going, yet…” This simple trick opens the possibility for growth and that possibility leads to changed behavior that does cause the development of the growth mindset.

Be Grateful

be grateful

It is easy to expect success as if being successful was a right instead of a privilege and a gift. The problem with expecting to succeed is that, without more, the self-absorption of that expectation can slowly and subtly poison everything around you, including your business. True success is earned and when it arrives it should be, and needs to be, accompanied by a stirring sense of gratitude.

This gratitude is not simply about being grateful for what you have achieved. It is about being grounded enough in the moment of success to remember and recognize everyone who helped you get to this particular time and place. Without this grounded gratefulness any success is lessened and will, in all likelihood, be fleeting.

So how do you repay those how helped you in achieving your goals? Well, obviously, acknowledging those individuals and sharing the benefits of your success with them is a great place to start. Yet, above and beyond taking care of your nearest and dearest, you also need to “pay it forward” by becoming a mentor and helper to others who are currently on their own journey towards success.

Think about how you can collaborate with someone else in order to further their efforts. See if you can contribute in some way to their projects. This contribution doesn’t have to be monetary. Advice and the wisdom of experience are often far more valuable than cold cash.

This gratitude can extend even further. There are people who are currently helping you every day that you may not see as mentors. Your customers are among these people. Without them, success becomes impossible. Take the time to let them know how important they are. Your vendors are also equally important.

Yes, they provide you with materials that you pay them for, but a truly grounded and grateful attitude would also recognize each of them for the critical element they play in your business. Look outside the box and you’ll see that success is not a solo effort, it’s a team sport.

Success In Business Requires Flexibility

business requires flexibility

There is nothing more stifling to success than rigid thinking. Rigid thinking leads to rigid behaviors and rigid behaviors lead to dead ends, blind alleys, and creative cul de sacs. In other words, while there is a certain amount of comfort to routine, too much routine can choke off all chances that you will be able to successfully reach your business goals. Why?

The answer is simple. The world, including the business world, is constantly changing. Rigid thinking and rigid behavior, by definition, are resistant to change. Therefore, rigidity, in thought and action, spells obsolescence in the business world. Everyone else moves forward while you are left behind in the dust. So, what’s the answer to this problem? In a word, flexibility.

In today’s world, information is power, money, and control all rolled into one. The fast and free flow of information is what makes this possible. Everything changes quickly and what is a successful formula or a popular product in one cycle can be, and usually is, old news in the next. The only way to successfully stay on top of this bucking bronco of information and use it to your advantage is to be flexible enough to roll with the changes.

Flexibility is easy to achieve as long as you are not too tied down to any single idea, product, service or manner of delivery. If you keep up with changing market conditions through judicious use of the flow of information, you can easily spot new trends and adopt them successfully, usually before your competitors have had time to act.

The only trick is to not fear change and, instead, embrace it. If change is the only reality in the business world then, to be successful in that world, change as to be your reality as well.

Cultivate Your Creative Muscles

cultivate your creative muscle

Creativity can be elusive. It’s not something that you can summon at will. When it happens, it strikes like lightning. Yet, like lightning, it can be maddeningly unpredictable. However, because creativity is an essential element of a successful business mindset, it is necessary to understand the creative process and how you, the business owner, can cultivate your own creative juices.

The creative process is largely internal and unconscious. No one ever wakes up and says “Hey! Today I’m going to be creative.” Creativity is all about taking in a lot of influences and letting those influences combine, ferment and morph in your subconscious. Together, they form a sort of mental potting soil where new and different ideas have a chance to germinate and grow. The more things you learn, read, see and hear the more creative soil you are able to produce.

So, as a business owner who wants to be creative, the best thing you can do is get out there and in the world and open yourself up to new experiences. Be curious about many different things. Develop hobbies. Challenge yourself. Do the unexpected. The more you push your own personal envelope the more you are charging your own creative batteries. When those batteries are charged, it is much more likely that inspiration will strike. Who knows where that new idea will take you?

Focus and Endurance for Your Career

focus for your career

In any activity or endeavor, it is important to build endurance. Endurance can be defined as the ability to focus on the task at hand and bring it successfully to a conclusion. Some call it fortitude, others call it strength or stamina. No matter what you call it though, endurance is the ability to persevere and get the job done, no matter what.

Usually, when we speak of endurance, we’re referring to physical activity. Yet, endurance is as important in the business world as it is anywhere else. In business circles, endurance usually takes the form of focus. Instead of physical prowess, it becomes the ability to concentrate successfully on a given task. Focus is a critical skill set for any business owner, especially in today’s fast-paced world where success often means keeping several equally important balls in the air at one time.

So, how do you focus on multitasking, a situation where, by its very definition, several things are happening at once? Well, the key to a successful focus is attention. When several things are happening simultaneously, you need to concentrate on only one thing at a time. This doesn’t mean that you bring one task to full completion before you start on another. Rather, you spend just enough time on a given task to take it to the next stage of development and then you turn your attention to another task.

In some sense, it’s a little like being a mother duck with ducklings. You give your attention to the duckling that is farthest out of line, nudging it forward to where it should be before you turn your attention to the next little duck. Each duckling gets a measure of your focus, but none gets your full attention all the time. In this way, each task gets moved along in turn, and all are successfully completed in time.

Having A Vision for Your Success

have a vision

When it comes to survival, we are visual animals. As a species, our eyesight is our most developed sense. We have stereoscopic sight that can detect a wide variety of colors and shading. This, in turn, lets us see easily see patterns and movement. These combined abilities allowed us to avoid becoming dinner while trying to get dinner for ourselves. Our vision helped us to physically succeed, and it still does today.

When it comes to business success, vision is no less important to survival. However, instead of our sense of sight, this vision involves our sense of imagination and possibility. Vision, in the business sense, is really the ability to visualize successful outcomes. It is the ability to imagine positive results. It is, at its heart, the ability to lucidly dream of where you want to go with your business.

Don’t be afraid to dream. As Henry Ford once said, if you think you can do something or if you think you can’t do something, you’re right. So, spend a few minutes each day visualizing where exactly you plan on going and you plan on getting there. This is not daydreaming, far from it. This is focused on development, scheduling, and organization.

Plan your day by seeing the optimum outcomes. This is the same process that athletes use to hone their performance. When you imagine yourself succeeding, you are more likely to actually succeed. Remember, if you don’t take the time to build your own dreams, someone will hire you to take the time to build theirs.

Network and Connect with Others

network and connect

In business, as in life, you can’t go it alone. It’s said that none of us are islands, but if we were each of us form a vast and interconnected archipelago. Bridges and boats stream traffic between all these islands and that traffic is largely information. If you cut yourself off from this flow of information, either purposely or by mistake, you do so at your own peril. Why? Because the island next to you is going to make those connections and the information they provide and use it to his or her advantage.

Networking is an essential element of every successful business. It provides you with contacts, leads, clients, partners, suppliers and much more. It carries your name and your business reputation farther and more efficiently than most advertising. Most importantly, it is an endless source of profit, ideas, collaboration, and support. If you are networking, you should do more. If you’re not networking, you need to start. If you don’t network, your business will stagnate and die.

When you’re networking you need to keep a couple of important points in mind. First, every social or professional engagement can provide you with an opportunity to network. There’s often nothing more formal about it than an exchange of information and follow-up connection. Remember, as a business owner you’re always “on the clock”, so to speak. Be ready to take advantage of a potentially lucrative networking situation should the opportunity arise.

Second, when you are networking treat people naturally, the way you’d want to be treated. Offer no-strings advice. Often solving a problem for free generates more long-term profit than the cost of the advice or service. Also, listen more than you talk. Silence really can be golden when you take the time to hear what another person is saying.

Finally, always remember that honesty is the best policy. Don’t promise something that you cannot produce. Don’t be someone you’re not in order to close a deal. Be yourself and watch those connections grow!

Be Accepting Of Yourself While Striving For Greatness

strive for greatness

There is absolutely no way for you to be successful and reach your goals until you accept who you are. You must like yourself and what you do before anyone else will. The world detects how you feel about yourself and often simply shares the opinion you have about who you are. Be yourself and free yourself in the process.

You are an individual who is unique. Your talents and abilities, your intelligence and interests, your opinions and tastes, make you who you are. There is no need to hide a part of yourself or alter a part of yourself for the sake of conformity. True success is about freedom and all truly successful people are individualists who have accepted and glorified who they are. You should do the same.

At the same time, being yourself does not mean glorying in mediocrity. You need to be the very best version of yourself possible. This means that you must work at being you. You must put the time into self-improvement. Acceptance is not an excuse for laziness, cowardice or fear. Life is a privilege. It is a gift.

The gift and the privilege of life are that you get to be yourself, the best self you can possibly be. Use the gift, take advantage of the privilege that you’ve been given. Don’t squander the chance. Let your own unique light shine forth. This is the light that will illuminate the path to real success in life. It will also be the light that attracts other people to you.

Success Requires Persistence

success requires persistence

Ok, let’s talk about persistence. For starters, how many old sayings, aphorisms and clichés are there about persistence? The early bird gets the worm. Slow and steady wins the race. If at first, you don’t succeed, try again. If life gives you lemons make lemonade.

The list goes on and on. The reason that there are so many old sayings about persistence is twofold: First, it’s a really important element in success and second, it an element of success that gives a lot of people a lot of trouble. Something that’s as important and troublesome as persistence deserves a lot of clichéd sayings and a lot of attention.

The problem with the road to success is that many people only picture the destination, not the journey. When they do this, they not only fail to see that true success is not a destination (it’s a lifelong process) but they also fail to see the potential problems that routinely occur when striving for success.

This means that when these problems do occur, the unprepared person is stopped dead in their tracks. In their confusion, they forget where they were going and why and instead head back to where they came from.

When you are prepared for and anticipate the setbacks that can and will happen on the journey to success, you are ready to repair, rethink and reengage. The persistent person understands that failure is a temporary condition that affects everyone at one time or another before they reach their goal. They also understand that failure and setback teach powerful lessons that ultimately make you stronger. As Gandhi said, strength does not come through winning. Instead, strength comes through failure. When you struggle and decide not to quit, that is a strength. It is also persistence and points up why every successful business owner understands that setbacks are opportunities in disguise.

Taking Responsibility for Both the Good and Bad

take responsibility

This one is fairly straightforward. President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said, “The buck stops here”. What he meant by that was, as President, he did not have the option to pass the buck when it came to mistakes or failure. He was the boss and the buck stopped getting passed with him.

That’s pretty smart advice for any business owner who wants to be more successful. When it comes to the results of the decisions you make, don’t pass the buck. Everyone is happy to take credit for a successful outcome; as well they should if they were directly responsible for that success. That’s the easy part. The hard part is owning up to your own mistakes.

There is somewhat of an inclination to try and blame someone or something else for a negative outcome. The most successful people fight that inclination and accept the blame for their mistakes as readily as they accept congratulations for their successes. They do so because they realize that being the captain of the ship means that all decisions start and end with you.

If you happen to make a bad decision then you own that fact, tighten your belt and move forward armed with the knowledge on how never to repeat that mistake. This is a part of the process of growth. It is a process that demonstrates the greatest opportunity arises from failure. By avoiding the repercussions of that failure, you also avoid the opportunity to grow as a leader and learn from your own mistakes.

In other words, you condemn yourself to make that same mistake over and over. So, if and when you are faced with a bad business situation of your own making, don’t pass the buck. The buck stops with you. Accept that and move on.

The Risk-Taking Businessperson Wins in The End

take risk

We’ve all heard the old saying “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. Like most old sayings, there’s a strong element of truth in those words. At the risk of following one old saying with another, without risk, there is not, and cannot be any reward. There is an element of chance inherent in every venture and unless that chance is recognized and faced, the venture will never become reality.

That being said, there are people who are natural risk-takers, as well as people who are very risk-averse. The key to success when it comes to risk-taking is understanding what type of person you are and how this personality trait can affect your business when it comes to dealing with risk.

It is important to keep in mind that the secret of success when it comes to business risk is mitigating potential damage in favor of potential gain. Therefore, neither type of risk personality, in and of itself, provides an advantage over the other when it comes to risk management. A risk-taker can just as easily overreach themselves as a risk-averse person can under reach themselves.

When faced with a situation that offers reward and risk, the key is to coolly and impartially assess the potential positive and negative outcomes and decide accordingly. Successful business people are sometimes seen as risk-takers simply because they understand the danger in a situation better than anyone else involved. So, while it appears that they are courting disaster, the reality is that the risks involved have been managed so as to control negative consequences.

In this way, the successful business person who takes a risk is very much like a professional tightrope walker. To the observer, it looks death-defying and, perhaps, frightening. To the performer, it is simply another day at the office. Their skill, training, and preparation sufficiently offset the inherent risk to make the feat only appear to be remarkably dangerous.

In your own business, don’t be afraid of risk but, at the same time, don’t take the risk lightly. Weigh your options carefully and, when you arrive at a prudent decision, move forward with confidence.

Use Competition To Your Advantage

use your competition

The world is built, to some extent, on the concept of competition. Everything living competes for specific resources that are needed to grow, thrive and outperform ecological rivals. Sunlight, space, water, and nutrients are utilized to the fullest extent by the smallest to largest creatures wherever they are found and in whatever quantities.

As human beings, we are hardwired to engage in this competitive contest too. It’s a part of our genetic heritage and one every business owner needs to embrace.

The problem is that some people perceive competition as a somewhat undesirable trait. This is because these people look at competition as a black and white issue. It is seen as either a win at all cost, take no prisoners proposition or as a watered-down and barely discernable version of itself, where consensus and agreement are the order of the day.

This imposed polarity masks the true nature and power of competition. In reality, competitiveness is neither a black nor white extreme. Instead, genuine competition is a valid force for positive change.

The successful business person knows that healthy and honest competition is the motive force behind innovation. The business world, like the natural world, is driven forward by this continuing innovation that occurs in response to changes in the existing environment. In the natural world, these changes are largely climactic.

The life form that best adapts to these changes survives and thrives. In the business world, these changes are socio-economic. The business that best predicts market trends and meets demand most efficiently also survives and thrives.

As a business owner, you need to remember that competition is the lifeblood of the marketplace. It not only drives innovation, but it also inspires creativity and helps build new paradigms. Don’t shy away from your naturally competitive nature. You are in the game to win the game, so are your fellow business owners.

Challenge yourself and challenge them in the process. Through competition, you each drive the others to better products, services, and performance. Each winner shows the way to the next level, the next round, and the next race. Remember, competition is the true heart of business success.

Your Success Requires Personal Confidence

success, confidence

Nothing succeeds like success, right? Sure. However, true success comes from confidence and confidence, in turn, comes from success. They each revolve around the other in the ultimate symbiotic relationship. However, this is not a “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” kind of proposition.

Confidence definitely precedes success in the order of appearance. That’s because the quiet assurance of true confidence, as opposed to mere cockiness, serves to lay the foundation for reaching a goal. In this way, confidence is more of an outward manifestation of an inward persona than it is a pose or an affectation. Cockiness, on the other hand, is simply on an outward shield that masks inward insecurity.

As a business owner, you need to be confident of yourself and your product or service. People react positively to a confident person, especially if that confidence is real and a part of that person’s soul. In order to develop this type of true confidence, there are several things that you can do.

First, always remember that confident people are able to take a stand on an issue or a decision not because they think they are right, but because they are not afraid to be wrong. They see a difficult situation as an opportunity for growth. Finding the right solution to a problem is more important than being right. Therefore, if they are wrong, they will be the first people to admit it and move on.

Confident people often listen far more often then they talk. They are more interested in hearing different information and opinions than they are in broadcasting their own. They also are never afraid to admit fallibility and ask for help. They know that other people’s knowledge is their greatest strength.

Finally, they understand that success is a team sport. They know that any goal is achieved through the efforts of many, not the will of the few. Therefore, they share the spotlight of success and shine it on others far more than they shine it on themselves.

Being Mindful Of Your Worth

be mindful of your worth

Experience is a great teacher. Each day, all our lives are jam-packed with numerous experiences. A lot of these experiences are everyday occurrences. Others are less common. Occasionally, some are so unique that they are literally life-changing. However, whether the experience is mundane or out of this world, it offers us a teaching moment.

Most of us will, hopefully, come away from a unique experience with a fresh perspective. Yet, very few of us grasp the enlightenment that is inherent in the day-to-day activities that, by necessity, take up most of our time. Buddhists call this awareness of the learning potential in the commonplace “mindfulness”. Successful business people understand this concept and utilize it to their advantage.

When you begin to be mindful, you see that everything that you do has merit. You also realize that no matter what you are doing, you can do it better. In business, this means that you begin to pay closer attention to every task. You understand that each task fits into others and together they comprise the whole of your business enterprise. If you take a shortcut or cut corners on the smallest of things it only serves to undermine the largest and seemingly most important jobs.

Likewise, when you attempt to do the most basic of jobs to the very best of your ability this mindful mindset carries over into other areas and brings a new level of excellence to your entire enterprise. So, use every experience, every day, as a moment to learn. Be mindful of bad or lazy behaviors and work to change them into more positive and productive actions. Your entire business will benefit from this simple attention to detail.

Some Final Thoughts

Here are a few final things to consider to help you become more successful as a professional.

3 Hacks to Make Your Mornings More Productive

Photo by Andreas Klassen on Unsplash

How would you like to start your day off with a burst of productivity? If you can buckle down and get stuff done first thing in the morning, no matter what happens the rest of the day you will have made progress in your business.

Having highly productive mornings 5 days a week is easier than you may think. Just implement these 3 hacks and get it done.

1 – Make A To-Do List

It’s much easier to get to work when you know what you should be doing. Write out a to-do list for yourself. Focus on the important stuff you need to get done each given day.

Break down bigger projects into smaller bite-sized chunks that you can easily tackle even in the wee hours of the day.

I prefer to make my list at the end of my workday. I’m still right in the middle of doing business and have a good idea of what needs to be done next. Another option is to write your list first thing in the morning while you’re sipping your coffee. By the time the caffeine kicks in you’ll be ready to get to work.

2 – No Phone, Email or Social Media for the First Few Hours Of Your Day

Hack #2 is just as important as your list. You won’t get much done if you’re distracted. Yes, emails need to be checked, phone calls need to be returned and you should interact on social media, but this is not the time for it.

Keep your first few hours free of distractions. You don’t want to spend your valuable time putting out fires, dealing with customer service issues or worse, watching cute cat videos. There’s a time for that (at least the first two). First, let’s focus on things that will grow our business like new product creation and marketing.

3 – Work On Your Top 3 Tasks

Take another look at that to-do list you made out. Pick 3 things that you have to get done today, no matter what. These should be the tasks that help your business growth the most. Pick your biggest moneymakers and put an asterisk or exclamation mark next to them.

Work on these tasks first and make sure you get them done before lunch. That way no matter what happens with the rest of your day you will have made some important progress.

Stick to these 3 simple hacks and watch them transform your mornings. You’ll get more done and make progress more quickly. And don’t be surprised if that productivity carries into the rest of your day. You set the tone for your entire workday in the morning by getting into the habit of following these simple rules.

See Your Success

Photo by Andreas Klassen on Unsplash

You’ve heard of visualization, right? However, the odds are that because of what you’ve heard you probably don’t have a very good opinion of the entire visualization process. You’re likely lumping visualization into the same category as crystals and dream catchers. That’s a shame. Visualization doesn’t deserve the bad rap it’s received.

The first thing that you need to do is dissuade yourself from all the preconceptions that you may have in regard to visualization. This is a powerful process that can bring real results to any business owner. That’s because visualization is a natural part of our make-up. Let me explain.

A long time ago, before any real technologies had been developed, our species had to hunt in order to live. Sure, we could gather some food, but the real caloric goodies came from the meat of the animal we hunted. This meant that hunting was an extremely important activity. You could say it was a life and death activity.

Because of this, hunters took their job very seriously. When they prepared for a hunt, they sought to gain every advantage they could over the prey that they were trying to bring down. One of the things that they did was to imagine the coming hunt in as much detail as they could muster. They would see their prey.

They would see how they were going to stalk the prey. They would see themselves being successful and bringing home the meat that their people so desperately needed. This practice run-through before the hunt gave them an advantage when the real event occurred. They were ready for any eventuality and prepared to make the correct moves no matter what happened.

This ability to visualize future events became part and parcel of our genetic makeup. This means that each of us still has this ability to this day. However, instead of using it to gain an advantage in hunting prey, we are able to use it to gain an advantage in any important event that we are faced with.

For example, you as a professional deal with multiple critical events on a regular basis. These are events where you need to have a successful outcome. By visualizing the event in detail before it occurs, you give yourself the same advantage that our ancestors did before they hunted. Your outcome is as important to you as theirs was to them. They did not fail. With visualization, neither will you.

The Labour of Love or the Love of Labour?

labor of love, passion
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

We’ve all heard that one of the keys to success and happiness is to follow your passion. The idea here is that if you do something that you love to do as a means to make a living, your enthusiasm will inevitably rub off on others. They will then begin to see what you do through your eyes.

They will see the value. They will see the excitement. They will see the passion. Most importantly, they will want to own a piece of that excitement and passion. As a result, they will purchase the product or service that you offer. The end result is that you make money doing what you love.

There is, however, a counterpoint to the above argument. This dissenting viewpoint says that following your passion is pointless and meaningless, at least when it comes to turning a profit. Instead of doing what you love, you need to go and find out what needs to be done and do that thing, regardless of your personal feelings about the task at hand.

If the world has a problem, your job as an entrepreneur is to solve that problem. How you feel about the problem or the solution is immaterial. Your viewpoint doesn’t enter the picture. What counts is what the marketplace wants. They develop the need. You fill the need. Your reward is profit, plain and simple. Personal fulfillment doesn’t enter the picture.

There is a problem with both of these viewpoints. Both are right, to an extent, but neither fully captures the essence of what entrepreneurialism is all about. For example, let’s take a look at following your passion. When you follow your passion, you certainly are excited and enthusiastic about what you do.

You probably look forward to getting to work each day. The problem is that, in most cases, your passion is not shared by most of the people who are your potential customers. You are fulfilling yourself, but you are not fulfilling them. Therefore, you are not going to succeed.

The same holds true for the dissenting viewpoint. You most certainly do need to find a solution to your potential customer’s problems if you want to turn a profit. However, if the thought of providing that solution makes you unhappy, you will never be able to take the steps necessary for developing the solution at all. Again, you are not going to succeed.

The solution lies in balancing these two points of view. Do what you love, but make sure that what you are doing is solving your customer’s problems. Solve your customer’s problems, but make sure that in doing so you find fulfillment.

Failure is Your Friend

failure is your friend
Photo by Ian Kim on Unsplash

There is a lot of talk out there about success. Do a quick search about any business-related subject and you’re sure to come up with a slew of content that, in some way, talks about or discusses success. Search Amazon using the word “success”.

What are your search results going to be? Hundreds and hundreds of books whose subject revolves about being successful at something. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Everyone wants to be successful at whatever it is they are doing. This is especially true in a business environment. In business, success means a satisfied and happy customer base.

It means demand for your product or service exceeding supply. It means having a lean and flexible organization. Most of all, it means a comfortable profit margin.

The thing is, success isn’t all about success. Let me put that another way. When all you do is concentrate on the positive end results of being successful, you miss the point. You see, it’s ironic, but real success isn’t about succeeding. Instead, it’s about failure.

No one wants to talk about failure. People tend to avoid both the word and the concept. When failure is discussed, it is treated as a moral lesson. The person who failed is held up as an example of how not to do things. There is a suggestion, and sometimes more than a suggestion, that some internal personal flaws caused the failure.

This tendency to avoid failure, or to blame the person who didn’t succeed for their failure, is extremely damaging. It perpetuates the myth of winners who succeed at almost effortlessly, who are ordained to win due to some sort of superior moral compass. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The real truth is that you must fail in order to succeed. Oscar Wilde said that experience is simply the name that we give our mistakes. Nothing could be truer.  We learn from our mistakes. Failing teaches us the lessons that we need to learn in order to reach our goals. The most successful people understand this. They have internalized the lessons of their own failures.

They have used these lessons to get where they are today. Real success is not a game. It is not a reality show. It does not fall upon the shoulders of the chosen few. Real success comes from failing, often more than once. It is in these moments of failure that we learn how to avoid mistakes in the future and successfully reach our goals.

I would appreciate your comments.

[avatar user=”mike” size=”thumbnail” align=”” link=”file”]Mike Gaudreau is the owner of The Wealthy Boomers, a site devoted to helping seniors make money online. Mike resides in Montreal Canada.[/avatar]

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