Failure. Though it starts with the letter F, it should not be considered a bad word. Failing is a natural part of life that we should all go through. If we never failed, the joy of success wouldn’t taste as sweet, and we’d have no way to learn what we were doing wrong or how we could correct it. I’ll be the first to admit that I fail all the time… and I’m proud of it! Actually I’ve fallen flat on my face quite a bit, but I’ve used those face-plants as a tool for success rather than letting them bring me down.
Last year I dove head first into the world of self employment. I started my own training company aptly called “Seeley Training.” Though it was a great learning experience and it gave me many things to be proud of, Seeley Training was (without a doubt) a HUGE failure. However, that failure made me realize several things. The most important of these was that I’m a content guy, plain and simple, not a business guy. I now know that I was put on this earth to sit behind a mic and teach people how to do cool stuff with software. I just wasn’t cut out for the whole salesman/CEO/customer service/web designer/developer/editor (you get the picture) thing. If I had never tried, and failed, I would’ve spent the rest of my life wondering “what if” and that my friends is no way to live!
In business and in life we cannot afford to be afraid of failing. If a fear of failure had kept Steve Jobs from taking the risks he took, I might not be sitting here writing this blog post on my 24″ iMac while listening to iTunes and reading tweets on my iPhone… No matter what you’re doing, have the courage to dream big, step outside the box, and take a chance. There was a time when I was afraid to record video tutorials, much less speak in public… but I took a chance and started a little show in my living room that grew into an audience of millions and launched the career that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
As you know, I’ve traveled a rough road both personally and professionally. But all of the failures (and successes) have made me the person I am today, so I’m not the least bit ashamed of any of them. I’ve taken the time to learn from these failures and have since obtained a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, thus giving me a better perspective on how I choose to do business. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t sweep your failures under the rug… Be proud of each and every time you fall flat on your face, and realize that because you took the time to crash and burn today, you’ll be that much better off tomorrow.