In his book Principles, Ray Dalio doesn’t just share stories of his big successes – he also writes about his failures (including a gamble early in his business career where he almost lost everything that he had).
Here’s what he said about failure:
“I found that most of the extraordinary successful people I’ve met had similar big painful failures that taught them the lessons that ultimately helped them succeed. Looking back on getting fired from Apple in 1985, Steve Jobs said, ‘It was awful-tasking medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.’ …
Your pain will fade and you will have many other opportunities ahead of you, though you might not see them at the time. The most important thing you can do is to gather the lessons these failures provide and gain humility and radical open-mindedness in order to increase your chances of success. Then you press on.”
I agree with what Dalio says about failure …
In my own life, I’ve had a couple big ones. At the time, I wouldn’t have wished those things on my worst enemy. Now, years later, I can appreciate the lessons that I learned from them.
Those lessons are something that I could never learn from any book (as radio personality Charlamagne Tha God says, “There are no losses in life – only lessons”)
Dalio also wrote that the tough times helped him realize who his real friends were, because they were sticking with him through thick and thin. I’ve seen that in my own life as well – the challenges give you the opportunity to see who your real friends are, and weeds out the fair-weather ones.
Society needs to adopt a different view about “failure”. But since that will never happen, the individual entrepreneur has to change his/her thinking on the matter and eliminate the word “failure” from their vocabulary.
The entrepreneur has to look for the silver lining in any stumble, and think “well, I just learned something new”.
If you can adopt that attitude, your chances of success will skyrocket.
If you’re looking for more success as a business coach, I’ll be doing an encore live training with Karl Bryan on Tuesday called Lead Generation On Steroids For Business Coaches.
We ran it last week and got lots of great feedback from those coaches who attended. You can grab your spot here: