Once you understand that failing leads to positive results, then it’s not a question of whether you will fail, but how fast and often you are able to do so.
Are you afraid of failing? Don’t worry if you are, because I am too. But think hard about everything you are at least semi-good at. Were you this good when you first started?
It Applies to Hobbies
My wife Emma is a great cook. So much so that EVERYONE, without exception, who tasted her homemade food agrees. Yet, I’m pretty sure she didn’t start out knowing which ingredient to put into her dishes. I mean, she could be a born cooking genius for all I know, but not every dish she’s ever cooked in her life was universally regarded as “tasty”. If she never put in the wrong ingredients before, how will she ever understand that certain spices just don’t mix? Even if she never failed, the first dinner she’s ever prepared cannot possibly compare to what she cooks now. The secret to her success may have something to do with her natural abilities, but more importantly, it’s her relentless pursuit to try new recipes and improve her skills.
It Works with Debt and Investing Too
Are you putting off your debt repayment plan because you don’t think the tiny extra payment matters? Or perhaps you don’t have debt but have been putting off your contribution to your 401k? Let me be honest, because you are right in many ways. Watching your 401k balance when you first start your contribution is like waiting for ants to transport bread across the room. It’s boring and it seems to take forever.
I can see how unmotivated you may feel at first, but read the stories of people who built a six figure balance with a meager salary. If they can do it, so can you. Consistency pays, no matter how impossible it seems at the beginning.
It’s the Key to Making Money
So many people wait for the perfect opportunity to start a business. The perfect time, the perfect partners, and the perfect business plan. Yet, many successful business start off with no plans at all. It’s not that planning is bad, but because events happen in real time and plans need to adapt. The economy can change, business partners can leave, and the grand vision may not even be viable once you get into it. Businesses try new things all the time. They may fail, but then they just try again until something sticks.
Maybe you want to make more money but you are afraid that your skills aren’t good enough. Well, guess what? The more you do it, the better you will be at it. And you want to know something? You will always get criticism along the way.
Take my Save Money on Everything ebook for example. Two days ago, I published a snippet of it and one reader wrote this comment.
Oh David, it pains me to say this but what’s the point? This content is glaringly obvious and does not encourage readers to return.
Yikes. But when I check the numbers, there were 14 other people on the same day that decided to get the free ebook because of that article. There will always be people who won’t like what you do, think you charge too much or throw cold water at your ideas, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth your troubles.
Every idea may not start out good, and you will fail and feel discouraged. The key to greatness is almost never how you start, but the constant refinements along the way. After all, you are judged by the current product, not how many times you had to improve it.
Actually, if you think about it, Mike’s comment is so valuable. In many ways, he was right, and his insight can only make the ebook better. If I never let others access to the article, how could I improve on it in the future?
Don’t be Afraid
No one starts out being successful. We learn, adapt, change, and eventually are able to produce something of quality. Natural abilities are important, but hard work and constant improvement is what makes cents.
Sara will eventually learn how to walk. She won’t be afraid to fail, and she will eventually succeed. That, I think we all know.