Since as far back as I can remember I was a risk taker, an innovator, and someone that was willing to chart a new path without much fear of what others would think or say.
I was born an ENTREPRENEUR. I have spent the better part of the last decade studying business, the mind, how we make decisions, how to be successful, and how to fail well. I have read countless stories, books, articles, periodicals, and research on the importance of failure as a pathway to success.
Entrepreneurship is less about what you know and more about how you think. Success is directly tied to how willing you are to stick your neck out to try something, fail, iterate, and try again. Successful entrepreneurs are extremely good at losing, failing, finding ways things do not work and then getting up the next day and trying again.
I was sitting with a buddy of mine one morning and he was sharing some fascinating realities of baseball with me. In 2016 the batting average of Major League Baseball was .255 which essentially means that the average hitter fails .745 times when getting up to bat. These are the top performers in baseball. So to be good at baseball you have to be good at striking out?
The same is true of business. According to Bloomberg, "8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn"
So the best way to succeed is get more at bats?
Yesterday I was sitting with a friend of mine for a coaching session. He was sharing with me about his young business. In four short months he has been able to invest in his business buying the equipment he needs and pull a profit. He chatted about the fear of failure and how much he thinks about it crashing and burning. It keeps him up at night.
I know him, he does not fear losing cause he has a contingency plan for that. Like me entrepreneurship runs through his veins. It is what gets him up in the morning.
I sat back and listened collecting valuable statements. I studied his body language and watched as he delivered the weight of what he was sharing with me.
You know what he is really afraid of? Success. The fear of success is crippling.
When you start winning you begin second guessing it. You ask yourself questions like...
Am I really a part of the 20 percent?
How did I get here?
Do I deserve this?
Did I just hit the ball over the fence?
What do I do now?
What we say to ourselves about our successes and failures will determine what happens most often. As the great pastor Larry Andrews once said, worry is just negative goal setting. You will attract that which you set goals against.
The fear of success is just as crippling as the fear of failure.
Whichever side of the spectrum you are on, FEAR IS A LIAR.
Don't listen to it. Keep calm and carry on.