Wednesday May 13, 2020
Recently, I shared a story in my Joyous Journey membership about my first failed business. Everybody really found it valuable, so I thought I would share it with you.
I lost money. It did not work out well. And you learn a lot when things don't work out.
Here are the three biggest lessons that I learned from my failed business.
When I first became an entrepreneur, I was part of a network marketing company. I was in the company for about two years and I was very eager.
It was my first time being an entrepreneur and I on a mission.
I wanted to change the world. I wanted to help millions of people and build a huge business.
Hindsight, as they say is 20/20, and the lessons that I learned didn't sink in until years later, when I could reflect back and realize why it didn't work.
You can only succeed at something you truly believe in.
When I started with that company, I truly believed in it.
I had seen so many success stories and it seemed like it would be easy to become successful.
That didn't happen for me.
In network marketing you grow your business by selling the opportunity, by bringing other builders on.
Over a period of months, I gradually discovered my belief in the opportunity had started to fade because it just wasn't working for me. Even though it was working for other people in the company.
What I didn't realize at the time is that you can't sell something you don't believe in.
When you don't believe, you don't take the actions that are necessary to sell and I had stopped taking the actions that were important to make sales.
The second big lesson that I learned was that I wanted what I didn't really want.
Let me explain this one.
I wanted this big business but deep down I knew I wasn't ready for that kind of responsibility.
I wasn't ready to be the CEO of a million-dollar company and I think on some level I knew that, but I couldn't put it into words.
It's nice to have visions and dreams but looking back I can now see that there was no way I was ready for that kind of responsibility.
Even when I shifted businesses and I started consulting and then moved into coaching, which is what I do now, I still wasn't in a position where I felt ready for that level of responsibility in the beginning.
I think often times for entrepreneurs, we have big vision, but what comes with that vision, we might not yet be ready for. And that's perfectly okay.
The third thing I learned, is that failure is a great creator of both clarity and character.
Studies have found that one of the most important attributes that successful entrepreneurs have is grit.
Grit is the combination of passion and perseverance.
If you stay in the game long enough and your passionate about it, you'll figure it out.
I didn't give up. I didn't give up because that first business didn't work.
I pivoted and I said, “okay, I'm going to keep this vision, but I've got to find another way there.”
And that's what led me into consulting and speaking.
What I realized is failure just helps you figure out the better way to get somewhere.
When you start on something, you have your vision but you don't know the exact path that will get you there.
Failure is like a signpost that says “don't go this way, go that way!” That's your pivot.
So, those were three big lessons that I learned from my first business:
- You've got to believe in what you're selling wholeheartedly.
- You might not be ready for the big stuff. And that's okay. You will be one day.
- Failure is a great opportunity for clarity and character building.
Never let failure stop you.
It is just a signpost that says “Not this way, pivot."
Failure is never the determinant of your ultimate outcome. That's always up to you.
There are so many ways to get to where you want to go.
So now I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment sharing what lessons you've learned from failure.