Traits of the Rich & Free #8 – Willingness to fail

September 2, 2010Post by Laura Humphreys

The world’s most successful people are failures! It’s true. You can bet your bottom dollar that any successful, wealthy business person you can think of has failed at something in a spectacular way. You cannot go through life without failing, unless of course you never try anything. In business you will fail in some way. You will make mistakes. Some may cost you a lot of money. But the trick to successful failure (I know, I know, its an oxymoron), know only too well by the rich and free, is to view mistakes as valuable education. You learn more from the things that go wrong than the things that go right. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn. I had lunch with Melissa Clark Reynolds yesterday, who has had and continues to have great success in business. She had a lovely statement she subscribes to, “If I have an opportunity to learn something or an opportunity to earn something, I will choose the opportunity to learn every time.”

The other side to being willing to fail is the ability to learn from past failures and plan to avoid them in the future. Just because you are willing to fail, doesn’t mean that you will. If you can see failure ahead, you can plan to avoid it. This is the secret to successful risk taking. You need to take risks in business (and in life generally) to grow. You simply cannot grow by standing still and remaining in your comfort zone. But if you plan well for your journey when you do step out of your comfort zone, you can increase your chances of success. And the wonderful thing about comfort zones is that once you do step outside, your comfort zone expands. What was once unfamiliar and uncomfortable becomes known and comfortable. Leaving you ready to do what? Step outside it again of course! Here’s to planned risk taking and learning from our mistakes…