The title sounds a bit contradictory doesn’t it? Often we attribute success with those that seem to know it all and never fail. The truth is that their success most likely did not happen over night, but was filled with many failures along the way.
What is the opposite of success? Many of us would quickly respond, “failure”, but this is not true. Failure is a necessary part of success. The correct answer to the question is, “quitting”, because without any efforts at all we most certainly will not succeed.
Do you remember elementary school? Middle school? High school? How often did you raise your hand to answer a question? For the longest time, unless I was absolutely sure I had the correct answer, I would not raise my hand voluntarily. In fact, I always dreaded the moments where no one raised their hand and the teacher was forced to choose one of us! “Don’t pick me, don’t pick me, don’t make eye contact…” I was afraid! Afraid of what? Of giving the wrong answer of course. Someone might think I’m stupid if my answer was incorrect.
We all went through school feeling this way. The student with all the answers was praised for his factual knowledge of the subject, and the student who didn’t know the right answers was labeled as ‘stupid’ and was told that he/she would never amount to anything in life.
When we graduated from college many of us had dreams of starting our own business and becoming wealthy beyond what anyone could have ever imagined. By our 10 year reunion, we have visions of pulling up in our exotic luxury car and telling everyone how we made our fortune.
But, once we hit the real world, our dreams quickly fade and the fear creeps back in. What if I try to start a business and it fails? All my friends are going to laugh and say, “I told you that was a dumb idea.” There we go again, afraid to raise our hand and make an effort, just like in middle school.
It’s true, you might go out and try something that fails miserably! So what? Through your failure, you now have first hand knowledge of what didn’t work, and you’re that much closer to find what does work. Do you know anyone that has built a successful business? Ask them about their failures; they’ll certainly remember them, and they’ll most likely tell you how that failure sparked their success.
When I first had the idea for this website I had very little encouragement, and I could tell that many of my friends thought it was a waste of time. I had no experience with web design, I didn’t know what SEO stood for, and I didn’t know anyone else that had any experience with websites either. But you know what? I had a passion for finance and a heart to help others, and this was the best way I could think of to fulfill that passion.
Boy have I made mistakes! I think it took me a month to even get Google to crawl my site. Then, after 3 months of work, I realised that my page was built improperly and would not update my subscribers with new articles. It took me nearly two days to transfer my site to another web-builder!
I may have made mistakes, but I have also learned a ton! My website is quickly becoming one of the top finance blogs on the web, and it never would have happened if I let my fear of failure take over.
What’s Your Story?
So I know many of you have a story as well. What was it that you decided to do? What mistakes have you made along the way? And, how did you overcome these failures? Was it all worth it?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.