“Never be discouraged. The fact that you will be a winner at the first attempt is unclear. You don’t get master’s degree after attending school on the first day. You got to endure till you get there.” –IsraelmoreAyivor, Shaping the dream
Before founding the Ford Motor Company, all of Henry Ford’s automobile business ventures failed and left him broke. Akio Morita, the Founder of multi-billion-dollar company Sony, only managed to sell 100 units of his very first product – a rice cooker. Bill Gates’ first venture with Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data only received lukewarm success. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television job and Elvis Presley was told he was no good after just one performance. Each of these names faced failure early on in their careers but then went on to achieve tremendous fortune and fame. So what do the lives of these personalities teach us?Our first attempts are likely to fail, but that should not stop you from pulling off the ultimate triumph.
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When we falter the first time around, which we most likely will, our ego takes over and makes us quit. Accepting that to err is human, learning from the failure and moving ahead with a better perspective is key to success, and this can only happen when your first attempt will fail drastically.
Be an achiever, not a quitter
Recognising a low point and then taking slow and steady steps to sort out your mistakes is a sign of an achiever. Although Bill Gates and Paul Allen couldn’t make much of their early venture, Traf-O-Data, their failed attempt played a significant role in providing a base for their next big project, Microsoft, and rest is the history.
A first-time entrepreneur is always inexperienced even if they’ve worked at one of the biggest companies in the world. Running a business is vastly different from working for a business. As a first-time entrepreneur, you don't know what you don't know. You will encounter unprecedented situations at several points in the process of setting up and running your own business. Even a good mentor cannot supply you with ready guidelines as every situation and challenge demands individual attention. This is the reason why concepts like “Sh***y First Draft”(SFD) have been coined by experts. According to the writer Anne Lamott, SFDs are supposed to be narratives that we make up on our own through a lack of experience and knowledge or narratives passed on to us by people who also have had minimum knowledge and exposure.
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”– Arianna Huffington, Co-founder and Editor-In-Chief,TheHuffington Post
Failure on a first attempt just doesn’t happen to a young fresh-out-of-college person. This can occur at any point in your career. For instance, if you are switching jobs or trying something new in the existing one. Challenging oneself constantly rather than being comfortable is one of the biggest recipes of success.
So no matter what point of your professional life you are in, if you’re making a first attempt in a new direction, know that you could meet with failure anytime. Be prepared and instead of letting the failure bring you down, make sure you make it a cause for success.