Failure IS an Option AND it’s Okay

This short video will hopefully change your view of failure. One of the hardest things business owners have to deal with is failure. We make decisions every day without knowing the outcome. Sometimes I think the biggest failure is a lack of decision at all.

Most of the successful business owners I know make their decisions very carefully but they also know that those decisions may have a negative outcome. The key is understanding this as early as possible and making it right.

  • Great video Brad! A) LOVE the shirt! B) Does it get easier to fail over time?? I am terrified of it some days and others its not as big a deal!

    Thanks for this advice!

  • gordpurdy

    So many small business owners seem to NOT have the capacity to understand the term failure. There is usually way too much invested in their company that is not doing well and like you said they continue to put "good money after bad"! I don't think they are worried about what other people think. I do believe that they need a lesson in economics 101. if you are in a business for over 5 years and still not making a decent living then there is issues. If you still have no profitability after that 5 year time period and you have adjusted, then obviously you need to get out of the business and again like you said..'start over". How many projects do we all know of either within the family or friend that can't see the forest for the trees and put sooo much pressure on themselves as well as their families. All because of there inability to not listen to those around them, or to actually believe the accounting books..
    It's the ability to understand that they are not failures, and that it just didn't work out. Move on and use that enthusiasm to adjust and go to your next project.


  • I guess you must see a lot of that in the real estate business Gord. I have been told that there is a very high turnover rate in real estate specially over the first few years. Is that true?

    I'm so glad to have you among my blog readers :-)

  • gordpurdy

    The Real Estate industry is very unique. It's not so much as a turn around but more like a disappearance of those who realize that it is not as easy as it seems and many just "maintain " their licenses. Real Estate licenses are obtained relatively easily by passing a set of Phases over a couple of years. After the 3rd Phase you can practice real estate and then 2 years after that, you then need "Articling Courses" within a 2 year period. So to actually obtain a license to sell is relatively easy. This is the pull for many in a weakened economy for those who may be laid off or going through a phase in their lives.

    To begin a career in real estate you need money. It takes at least a few years to develop some kind of data base in hopes of creating repeat business or referrals. If you don't have a pool of cash to help you over those years , then it can be frustrating and difficult to get motivated and "stick to your guns". Therefore many lose faith in the industry and themselves and simply "maintain their licenses in hopes of maybe returning at another time when they either have more money or get the enthusiasm back. There is only 2 ways to make desperation or inspiration. You can't just jump into this industry in hopes of profiting, it doesn't happen that way. It's hard work, constant communication via old and new technology.

    In conclusion, I would say that there is a large amount of people "on hold" when staring the real estate career, and not so much in regards to a turnover rate.

  • JJ

    the failure is the God´s plan 2 b succesfull in His Creation.............NAMASTE!!!!!!!!......don´t foreget the God´s Big Picture...rgrds............JJ

  • Thanks for all the great insight Brad. Not too mention the fantastic freebies and advice.

  • You are welcome Alan. Just checked out your website. I wish I were closer to Windsor since I'm a big yoga person.

  • Allen Henderson

    If you've been around self help and/or AA you know all of the cliches about failure. "It doesn't matter how many times you fall down, it'S how many times you get up that counts." T.A. Edison's comment that he failed at producing the light bulb 10,000 times before he succeeded. These statements and admonitions are true and useful in helping us get over the real problem which is our egos. It is so easy to stay stuck or stay too long out of a need to prove a point or the famous ego fueled "I can do this."
    My years of experience have proven over and over that the way out is through and it doesn't happen until I experience and accept the requisite ego deflation that comes with failure and move on. My mantra has become, "It's none of my business what you think of me." The reality is no one was ever thinking about me one way or the other but my ego didn't get it. We don't get peace until we get our ego's in check. Ego deflation is the key in the door to peace and happiness. Failure is the cause, ego deflation, peace and happiness are the effect. Remember, you are never as unworthy nor as wonderful as you think you are!!!!! Failures open doors to better solutions and better, happier lives. When at a crossroads and given a choice choose the peaceful solution........ALWAYS!!!!!!
    Brad, you mentioned a buddy who was having some problems and you were helping him out. I have many friends in Ontario who had more problems than your friend could even imagine and now have many long years of sobriety. It would be blessed to connect him. Regards.

  • Allen what you say about ego is entirely true. I am constantly fighting that inner demon. I think ego prevents us from admitting failure sooner than we really should.

    Thanks for your insight :-)

  • I have had several failures. My biggest failure was an MLM venture. I sunk much money (I still have quite a bit of product) and time into building an online community for this product but it never panned out. Mostly because of my lack of passion and I finally gave up.

    I have recently discovered my passion and have applied it to my new project of building an online business. I am tired of starting something and then giving up. This time it is for real!

  • The great thing about discovering your passion is that even when you're not earning any money, you still love the game. That's how it is for me. I love what I do now.

    Nothing gets me more excited than waking up to a bunch of new comments on my blog :-)

    Thanks for that

  • I'm from the school of thought that "if you ain't failing then you ain't trying."

    1) Mo' Better Fudge in Trapper's Alley downtown Detroit early 90's. Downtown Detroit was a ghost town unless the Red Wings or Tigers were playing. We actually gambled on starting the business because there was talk of Casinos coming to downtown. The Casino plan failed and so did our business.

    2) "Websites for sale" website. I didn't market it correctly and didn't give it much of my time.

    3) Software development service. Couldn't compete with India, Costa Rica, China on rates.

  • Your number one failure is a good lesson. Never build your business around futures. :-)

    Thank you for sharing

  • Chris Eh Young

    I spent most of my life thinking that I was failing, when in reality, I was building the knowledge base for what I am about to step into. I was gaining insight and learning lessons. Unfortunately, sometimes it is hard to find the lesson until some time has passed and you have spent a few days wallowing in regret.
    There is always a lesson to be learned from failure if we take the time to look for it and then let it go.


  • I couldn't agree more Chris. It's okay to embrace our failures when they teach us valuable lessons. Regretting them won't do you any good.

  • Hi Brad,

    It's funny that you are talking about being afraid to fail but NOBODY talks about being afraid to succeed. I know this was one of my biggest hang ups especially when I worked a full time job. I would put stuff off or procrastinate because what happens if this stuff really works? I almost wanted it to fail so I wouldn't have to become uncomfortable and really be in business for myself. I've been saying I want to quit my job but it's also pretty scary. Being an employee all my life and having that paycheck come rolling in every two weeks is pretty safe. So while i do think a ton of people are afraid to fail, I think one thing that goes missing are those folks who are afraid to succeed.

  • Bill

    Thank you for having the courage to bring up this topic.

    I think I need to make a video about this subject on its own. But I agree that this is a big problem. I also faced this issue myself when I was simply an employee. I almost wonder sometimes if it's more a fear of the unknown and not a fear of success. I also think it's partially a fear of what you will become when you achieve the success.

    I'm here to tell you that I didn't change much with my bank balance :-)

  • Thanks for the response guys. Brad you are right, a pay check does give you an invisible safety net and it's good to know you have it there while you're learning the whole online thing. Right now I am a consultant for offline brick and mortar biz owners who want to get more out of their business online. The shift occurred for me when I started taking calls at work from people wanting to hire me. I could only work in the evening after my job so I had to turn down lucrative business deals because my full time job was getting in the way.

    But the key here was that i was doing something. Had I not been doing anything with all the courses and information I was studying I would still be back there at my old JOB. Many folks never get off the starting gate to even figure stuff out for themselves.

    Here's an example. I once paid $1500 for a course on flipping websites and domaining. I learned how to id niches and build websites and monetize them. I got really good at building sites but never listed any of my sites for sale because I was afraid they would not sell. My mentor at the time kicked me in the butt and made me list all of them. I listed 3 sites and sold each of them for $400. I just about paid for my course in one week! It was almost too good to be true, but once I got a taste I never looked back.

  • Bill:

    What you are saying is so true for me. I am comfortable getting a regular paycheck and in the past I was scared to death about being successful with an online career. It is possible that I may not have a job much longer as my company has been bought out. Now, I can not and am not afraid to fail or succeed. I have to succeed for my family.

  • Your paycheck offers an invisible safety net. The difference between a job and a business is when you own your business you can see the storm coming. When you have a job you won't know anything is wrong until you get your pink slip.

  • I think the critical issue is to know when perseverance is the right option and when quitting is the right option.
    Because if you quit everytime something goes wrong, you're obviously not going to get anywhere, either (just like if you keep holding on to a dead project).

    Somtimes you've got to say: "Screw it! I'm seeing this through!" to get a project into success. And sometimes you need to drop it and move on. I can't say I always recognize the right choice in time...

    As for my failures:
    - Tried to start a weight-loss coaching thing (mainly offline). Sunk some money into it and made 0 back.
    - Started several online projects with a group of friends/acquaintances who are programmers. They never held up their end of the deal and I was too lazy to try to whip everyone into shape.
    - Started an e-commerce business around expensive computer hardware, had a lot of work, came out perhaps just about even and had to abandon the project because my time was swallowed up by a bigger one.

    I could go on...

  • I have definitely taken the screw it I'm seeing this through attitude before. And sometimes it's worth it when you're in the middle of something and you just need to finish it before you can see results.

  • This is a great post. I am a master at failure, sometimes I think that my follow through needs to be stronger.

    Here are 2 of mine
    1. WSO I recently did. As people on WF know they make money, well there is no such thing as a cash machine, you still need to do the work or some something to make it work.

    2. Restaurant Menu with local advertisements. I talked to about 40 restaurant owners and still believe the idea was good, just the time and the person (me) was not right for it.

    In the end with the high # of failures, good things always come by trying.

    If you are not failing, you are not trying hard enough.


  • Whenever I run a WSO that doesn't profit, I take the product and make it free :-)

    With regards to your restaurant menu website. I teach realtors to build websites just like that all the time. You could probably find a realtor to take it off your hands in exchange for some branding.

  • marklyford

    Well, I know about failures ! As you know Brad I lost over $2,000,000 pretty much over night... But you know what now Im getting back on my feet, the lessons I have learnt are going to mean the next $2,000,000 are so much easier to keep and probably its going to be able to be easier to make more money than that now.. Its all experience... Apart from someone homeless there are not too many people that have had a string of "bad results" like I have.. But Im still hear battling ... moving on.. You cant get bogged down in the past failures.. (like Brad said, its the same with personal things ) , try to move on as soon as you can ...

    During this last three months I've been totally honest about all areas of my life, including all my failures. I hope that me sharing what I did wrong will help others not make the same mistakes...

    PS. Brad.... Im still eating your failure number one !!!!! £200 of chocolate !!

  • I will gladly buy back any chocolate you have left over. I love that stuff even if it is overpriced LOL

  • marklyford

    Nice offer mate, but you know its already nearly gone ;)

  • JMichaelZ

    My first product of my own was a spanish course. I had purchased a PLR course, but it was written in Spanish Spanish instead of mexican Spanish, since I was selling it to the US market for the most part, I spent a month rewriting it.

    Then I had to put it onto a PDF, put together the buying process. Design the website. All that stuff.

    I sold one.

    But . . .

    I am not 100 percent sure this qualifies as a failure because I learned a lot that I had known before and even now 2 years later, I still use some of the things I learned. ANd that part has worked out greatly to my advantage.

  • It still qualifies as a failure if you learn something. That is the point of failures. We learn from them and never make those mistakes again :-)

  • It needs to be said that failures are not limited to business. This applies to personal life too.

  • Guest

    I've had it on my list to write an article about this exact idea for a few weeks now, but with a minor twist on what you are saying. Marketers should never fear failure... that holds us back from trying new things that can lead to huge breakthroughs.

    I've had maybe 9-10 significant business ideas go nowhere, and used those lessons to create my first seven figure business. Had I given up at idea #5... I would have never got there. Same applies to successful people... branch out and try new things, don't just settle for the one or two successes you've had. Sometimes the old saying "get out while you are ahead" can be negative. Strive for that next level... keep moving forward!

  • You need a better firewall. I steal your ideas LOL

    MOST people give up at # 1 or 2.

  • I thought that it would be fun if we could all share some of our failures in business here.

    I will start.

    1. I joined a multilevel marketing program over a year ago. It was one of my first shots at mainstream. It failed miserably. I picked up some really good learning experiences however and I am now able to work with network marketers as my clients because I speak the lingo. How's that for a positive spin?

    2. We started a contest website where we tried to pay people's bills. Lots of people opted in but not many people watched the draw. To be fair I probably could've given it more time but I had some winners on deck that needed my focus so I dumped the project.

    I could go on but rather read your failures and what you learn from them :-) please share.

  • Thanks for sharing, what company? I joined 2, one still pays out today, the other lost a lot of money in the end....They are great place to learn or change mind set if you are a employee.

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