Reframing Failure for Future Success
As a senior online entrepreneur, you probably have a goal to achieve success in the least amount of time possible. However, many individuals mistakenly believe they can reach the finish line without ever experiencing a single failure along the way.
Somehow, failure has become stigmatized to mean a person is not capable of doing things correctly. The truth is, if you want to succeed as a niche marketer, there's no way to avoid eventual failure.
Failure isn't something that has to last. But it is something that each and every entrepreneur will eventually have to deal with. Instead of being ashamed or harboring guilt about not getting something right the first time, you need to cultivate a mindset where you are proud of the effort you put forth.
In the world of online marketing, that effort alone puts you far ahead of most beginners who tried to succeed in this career. For them, at the first sign of overwhelm, they backed out and never even attempted to reach their goals.
Use Your Fear of Failure to Your Advantage
It's human nature for you to want to avoid pain. We do this in all areas of life, both personal and professional. You want to avoid pain in your relationships, so you choose individuals to be around who you think you will enjoy your time with.
In your career, you want to take all of the steps necessary and possible to help you understand what has to be done in order for you to see the results you are after. There are some people who are very sloppy with their future success and never make the effort to prepare a good foundation.
But for others, they are willing to go the extra mile to learn and do anything they need to do to succeed in a short amount of time without experiencing the frustration and humiliation of failure.
Fear of failure is nothing new. It's something that just about every entrepreneur has to deal with. But how you handle it will determine whether or not you can use it to your advantage or allow it to become an impediment to your success.
Your fear can actually help you to some degree. It might make you learn more, take every precaution not to let your audience down, etc. The only time it becomes a problem is if you allow it to paralyze you.
When you suffer from an immense fear of failure in your business, it can make every small success that much sweeter. Instead of taking it for granted, you will be able to enjoy those moments when everything goes right, and nothing goes wrong.
Let Failure Be the Feedback You Need to Improve
Instead of looking at failure as your biggest foe, start looking at it as a guide who is willing to lead you to success. When you fail, it is the chance you need to see what doesn't work with your business.
Instead of an irate customer coming to you with complaints, failure allows you to see the holes in your strategy ahead of time, before anything reaches the public eye. It provides instant feedback showing you exactly how and where you need to improve so that you can take the steps necessary to work on your techniques.
When you experience failure, you are in essence getting constructive criticism from your own efforts. Instead of being told you're not good enough or not capable, you are simply being shown what doesn't work so that you can change course and find what does.
There's a saying about failure that says you should fail forward. But what does that mean? There are two different kinds of entrepreneurs pursuing this career. Some will fail at a small task and throw in the towel completely.
Others will experience a failure, take a moment to analyze what they did wrong, and then fix it so they can continue moving on toward their goals. These people are failing forward because they are gaining the momentum they need to reach the finish line.
John C. Maxwell once said that people should, “Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” These are instructions that online senior entrepreneurs should take to heart. The premise is basically that you should not sit on the sidelines fearing failure, but instead, jump right into it and fail as often and early as you need to in order to continue striving towards your goals.
You can use failure as a learning tool in many areas of your business. For example, if your sales copy doesn't convert into sales, then it may mean you were not persuasive enough.
Your sales copy failure is giving you instructions to learn the art of persuasion. If you fail again, then you may need to either study it more or make sure you are serving a hungry audience and meeting their needs with the right type of product or slant.
Many people who have gone through multiple failures consider this almost a game of sorts. It's like a puzzle that you have to solve, and as much as you may be frustrated in having to wait for your income to take off, you can either approach this with a positive mindset or a defeatist attitude.
Successful People Always Have a Trail of Failures
If you want to walk among successful entrepreneurs, you need to be able to showcase your ability to bounce back from failure. There are so many extremely successful people who have failed more times than you can imagine.
Have you ever watched and enjoyed a Disney movie? Been to Disneyland or Disney World? Well Walt Disney himself was fired specifically for lacking imagination. Can you imagine being the poor guy who fired Walt Disney for that cause?
Author JK Rowling – who penned the blockbuster Harry Potter books, was turned down by a dozen major publishers. One little publisher took a chance on her, and years later, their wealth is unimaginable. Not only were the books a hit, but there are movies and even theme parks built around her stories.
How about Thomas Edison, who created the first commercially viable lightbulb. He says it took him more than 10,000 failures to achieve success. Whenever he was asked about it, he always told people that he wasn’t a failure just because he’d failed 9,999 times – because he succeeded on the 10,000th.
Ever eaten at Kentucky Fried Chicken? Most people admire the fact that Colonel Sanders was a senior citizen in his sixties when he achieved success. But that only came after more than 1,000 investors rejected his concept.
That’s all it takes. One right turn after a string of wrong ones. Ever been to a Starbucks? Howard Schultz approached 217 investors who all thought his idea was a big fail. But the others didn’t. Imagine if he’d given up in the face of doubt?
Oprah Winfrey was fired from an early job because they said she was unfit for television. Guess she showed them! She became one of the highest earning talk show personalities in history – why? Because she didn’t accept failure.
This is a small handful of famous individuals who achieved success after a flurry of failures. This doesn’t include the millions of men and women who fail and every day, only to see success further down the path on their journey.
Sometimes, it’s a matter of other people not believing in you. You may have to work on your brand or pitch. Other times, it’s merely a lack of knowledge with something technical that needs to be worked out.
But regardless of what is the root cause of your failure, you have to be determined going into this career that failure is only a short stop along the way. It’s not the end of the road or the final decision.
It’s temporary. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. And it’s nothing to feel guilty about, either. You are making an effort, finding your way and you should take great pride in that fact as others sit frozen all around you.
Failure Is Not Your Identity - It's a Step in Your Process
When some people fail, they take it to heart so much that it seems almost branded into their identity. They use the word as a weapon against themselves. This might be a learned type of abuse.
As you were growing up, ask yourself if you were ridiculed by those who were expected to be trusted adults in your life. Did they mock your abilities and stifle your creativity? If it wasn’t the adults, then was it other children – your peers?
Even if you always considered yourself a failure in the past, now is the time to shed that label and free yourself up for a future of soaring success. There’s no tattoo embedded into your skin identifying you as someone who can’t achieve their goals.
You have every opportunity someone else does as an online entrepreneur. You can lead a niche audience. You can sell products to them. You can grow your business ten-fold if you have that desire.
Consider each failure as a stepping stone that leads you on your path to success. You are always faced with a fork in the road, and every time you fail, you’re eliminating one wrong direction so that you can find the right solution, instead.
If you experience failure, don’t let your emotions take center stage. Sure, it’s disappointing. But try to be more methodical about it and learn how to take it with a grain of salt, strategize and then move forward.
In the end, you’ll be rewarded with the success you deserve for being diligent and motivated to try until you figured it out. You’re learning along the way and doing what needs to be done to make it work for you.
It’s almost sad that many senior entrepreneurs identify as failures. If anyone else came to you with their story of struggle about how they were trying something and continuing trying to succeed, there’s not a chance you would ridicule them and admonish them as failures.
Instead, you’d cheer them on, be impressed by their fortitude and admire their can-do attitude. You’d love the no-quitter mindset. But when it’s you? You turn what should be a positive character trait into something to be ashamed of.
If you want to succeed, you have to walk through the fire of failure. It’s inevitable. The only thing that will hinder you is if you’re insistent on avoiding failure to the point that you can’t get out of your own way.
If you have tied your identity to your job, then you need to repair your view of yourself. No one should be defined by the career they hold. You can be whomever you want to be, and do whatever you want to do.
Whether you succeed or fail at it is no indication of who you are as a person. It’s nothing more than a series of tasks you do each day in exchange for your paycheck, which is then used to pay for the life that you want.
You, as a person are so much more than that. You’re loving and kind. A parent. A spouse. A child. A citizen. A neighbor. A creative individual. A scholar of certain topics. You are not a failure.
Failing Allows You to Sympathize With Your Niche Audience
When you’re a leader, you’re guiding people who are coming to you for advice for things they don’t feel confident enough to do on their own. One of the main reasons for this is because they may have failed at doing the task themselves.
Whether it’s losing weight or building a business, consumers often turn to those in leadership positions because they have a track record of many failures in their rearview mirror.
Failure – and sharing that failure with your audience – can sometimes make you more trusted as a leader. You’re being vulnerable and honest and the fact that you’ve experienced failure and are now succeeding means they don’t have to feel so bad about their own struggles.
You’ll be able to identify their pain points more easily, relate to their troubles and help them through the biggest obstacles they have in front of them. If you had succeeded right from the beginning, you may have been more harsh on their efforts.
Even if your failures aren’t the same as theirs, the fact that you have experienced the same emotions associated with failure in general – the shame, frustration, and guilt – means you’ll be able to gently help them whenever they need your guidance.
If you’re a senior marketer who is paralyzed by previous failures, start reframing your mindset from one of embarrassment at what you’re going through to one of pride in your determination to succeed.
Start by catching yourself whenever you notice you’re identifying yourself with a negative label. Correct yourself so that your subconscious mind picks up on the cues you give it to not make the same mistake again. This is how you learn to love who you are and to believe in yourself for what you can achieve.