It’s a common misconception that successful people don’t fail – the truth is the more successful someone is, the greater likelihood they have experienced ALOT of failures
The thing that sets them apart is they do not allow the fear of potential failure stop them from getting started in the first place
The procrastination that stops the person from starting, is the only true failure
Some of the greatest discoveries, businesses and innovations over the years have been created from a place of failure
KFCs founder Colonel Harlan Sanders had over 1000 rejections – in 2022 KFC generated $2,830,000,000 profit
Thomas Alva Edison tried over 1000 different materials for the filament of the lightbulb. When asked “How does it feel to have failed over 1000 times” he responded with “I didn’t fail 1000 times, the lightbulb was an invention with 1000 steps”
Many times, over the years people have said to me “Its ok for you, literally everything you touch turns to gold”. Often, I will just let people think what they want, it’s not a worthwhile use of my energy to convince them otherwise
The truth is I have had more businesses and ideas that didn’t work, than ones that did. When you realise that something is not working, it’s a perfect opportunity to use the feedback as an opportunity to improve and/or pivot
Before starting www.blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk my cousin William and I worked as builders. Between us we had experienced several very challenging times in business
We were tenacious though, we never let a setback put us off. In 2010 we were asked to create a set of shelves from some scrap oak flooring by a regular client
We made them and they were over the moon. Suddenly it clicked . . . this was our big break . . . the solution for our ongoing problem (being skint all the time). We created a system to make the shelves as fast and effectively as possible. We worked out a process to pack them efficiently. We (with next to zero computer skills) set up accounts on amazon and eBay
We could visualise the money coming in . . . our biggest struggle was going to be how the hell were we going to be able to spend it all????
And then . . .
Well . . .
Nothing . . .
Because we only sold about 3 sets!
By no means did this cover the time and effort we had put in, our hourly rate would have been well below £1
Not a great business model
Rather than being discouraged, we accepted that we had learned some great lessons on manufacturing and selling online
When a client came to us with the idea of making a shepherd hut, we ran at it. We made so many mistakes when starting out . . . but every time we learned and became wiser. This helped us to constantly improve
In 2015 I left to follow my passion in property. Again, this was no easy task, leaving behind the comfort of a company car, consistent salary and the feeling of safety
The only reason my main source of income Otterhead House, went into holiday let was because it was valued at less than it had cost – At the time this could have been deemed as an epic failure (three years of 60-100 hour work weeks and huge sacrifice went into creating it)
By 2022 I realised that my building company and lifestyle, although very successful was not making me happy
Fortunately, I work with some amazing coaches, they helped me to look at the bigger picture – what did I really want from life?
The answer was so basic that it seemed too simplistic “to be able to surf every day in warm water” that’s it. I don’t aspire to own a Ferrari or any other pointless materialistic crap. I just wanted amazing experiences surrounded by awesome like-minded people
I made the decision to move to Lombok, Indonesia
The following 12 months were filled with lots of potential stress and anxiety. Including, but certainly not limited to;
- “What if it doesn’t work out?”
- “What if I don’t like it?”
- “What if I quit my business and I end up coming back?”
If I had simply focused on these questions and the potential negative outcomes, it would have seemed like an impossible task and I would still be living an unhappy life . . . wondering “what if?”
Instead, I broke it down into manageable steps, just focusing on the part that was in front of me rather than the bigger (much scarier) picture
Like most seemingly impossible things in life, there is always a formula that allows you to create a solution
The worst part of failure is generally the fear of it
I am in the extremely fortunate position of knowing that it’s better to regret doing something in life, rather than regret not doing something
Hope that’s helpful to you, let me know your thoughts in the comments?
If you are struggling with any topics mentioned in this blog, then please do feel free to get in touch?
Thanks for reading