If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. You’ve heard the phrase all your life, but how often did it actually inspire you to actually, well, try again? If you’re going to be a success, you’re going to meet with rejection or a significant loss a dozen times over before you “make it.” The one thing that major successes in business (not to mention politics, entertainment, and most other endeavours), have in common is the ability to pick themselves up after a failure and take what they’ve learned from it to their next venture.
Success is never a straight line from one to ten. It’s a roller coaster of small victories followed by defeats that seem twice as big. In the world of sports, the list of undefeated champions is very short. For every iPhone there’s a Newton. For every Star Wars, there’s both a Howard the Duck and a Star Wars Holiday Special.
Overcoming obstacles and reframing failure as just one step along the path to success is crucial to continued success in today’s business world. Failure is part of the experience of trying something new, and sometimes it won’t work out as well as you’d hoped, but the experience teaches you something that will be invaluable later on. That may sound pat or trite, but that’s the lesson you’ll hear from nearly every public figure you admire.
You’ve probably heard that Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” But here’s something you don’t hear nearly as much: As many accolades as “The Great One” has made, in his best year (1983) his shot percentage was 26.7. Think about that. The biggest name in hockey missed three out of every four shots he took in the best year of his career, and in five years he missed nine out of ten.
Failure Is a Necessary Journey
Here’s a similar statistic: Gordon Ramsay, a man best known for turning around failing restaurants, has owned 42 restaurants in his career—and 16 of them have closed. And who can forget that Halle Berry won awards for being both the best and worst actress in the same year?
Failure is part of the journey, and you are in great company if you fail at something you were sure was going to change the world. So, by all means, take your shot. And if you hit the mark 25% of the time, you can consider yourself a huge success.
To help inspire readers who are frustrated, or worse, too anxious about the possibility of failing to try to chase their dreams, here is a list by GetVoIP that highlights some of the greatest success stories, and how it wouldn’t be possible without their greatest failure.