Why We Are Intentionally Failing In Our Business

by | Feb 28, 2019 | Mindset, Personal Growth

Photo Credit: Estée Janssens on Unsplash

We Fail On Purpose — But I Still Don’t Like It

Intentionally failing is really not a happy thought for me.

I wanted to put that out there from the get-go so you don’t think that I’m someone I’m not. Just like most other people, I cringe at the thought of making mistakes or failing.

But I’ve decided that fear of failing isn’t going to hold me back from pursuing my dream.

And to be honest with you, failure, messing up and making mistakes have been my close companions this year.

After all, last year was our first year in business. So it has been a steep learning curve. We’ve been constantly learning…

  • About how we can serve you, our client, better
  • What you really want and need
  • How to speak to your heart, not just your head, so that we help you to make the changes you want
  • How to make enough to keep the business sustainable in the early years
  • All the business stuff, like new systems, programs, apps, time management, pricing, scheduling (and the list goes on…)

And in all of those new things, I’ve felt so far outside of my comfort zone. It’s been challenging and stretching year.

The ONE Place Where I Felt Comfortable

In fact, the ONLY place where I’ve felt comfortable this past year was when I was sitting face-to-face with a woman or a couple who felt stuck and wanted more.

My sweet spot is in the coach’s chair.

(Mind you, working on creative things, like creating memes, has been pretty fun too.)

However, in order for our business to grow so we can serve you better and reach more women, I need to keep learning these new business skills…

Or we won’t be business.

That is the simple hard fact.

Areas Where You Should Try NOT To Fail

In the midst of all the challenges, we’ve also had a lot of wins to celebrate:

  • Broken hearts mending
  • Women moving forward in their purpose and their whys
  • Couples reuniting and renewing their love for each other
  • Women pushing past resentment into freedom and forgiveness
  • Individuals gaining clarity to move forward in their business, work or personal life

And, of course, we’ve made a TON of mistakes along the way.

Thankfully, these mistakes have mostly been related to our business because dropping the ball when it comes to people is a lot more critical.

Gary Keller describes it like this in his great book The ONE Thing:

“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls– family, health, friends, integrity– are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”

Failing Forward Gives You Invaluable Learnings

So, Hannah, Melis and I are regularly talking about the value of failing forward. Of learning from our mistakes, losses and bad experiences. There’s a lot of value in taking risks to make new things grow.

And this kind of learning, when the rubber meets the road, is the kind of learning that we never forget.

On the really tough days, when I’m tempted to throw in the towel and call it quits, I remember why I started doing this in the first place. I think about each woman that we’re impacting — I think about you.

Something important to remember, though, is that how you risk changes depending on the season you’re in. For us, as a young business, we don’t have as much to lose right.

Unlike long-time business owners, we haven’t yet spent years pouring into our business…

For instance, a young business doesn’t have a big bank account (unlike the Youtube guys who have already made their millions and will help you make your first million).

Why You Need To Risk Failing

At the same time, here’s the important truth about failure when it comes to business: if we fail too big, we’ll be gone. But if we’re too cautious and never risk anything, then we’ll be left behind.

So, to be a relevant business — or organization — we need to risk failing.

Seth Godin puts it this way, “If you fail too big, you don’t get to fail anymore. If you never fail, then you haven’t done anything.”

What this means, is that we need to shift our thinking around mistakes and failures and stop seeing them as our enemies. Instead, we need to develop a healthier mindset around them and see them as an opportunity to grow.

Wisdom says to fail smart (the often quoted business mantra is to “fail fast”). Risk it all and you’re finished.

The trick is to fail somewhere in between these two extremes so that you continue to innovate and grow.  

Learning How And Where To Fail In Your Own Life

So when you’re reflecting on your own life and where you want to grow, keep this in mind — fail smart.

Take a few minutes to answer the following questions on a piece of paper:

  1. Where are you willing to risk this year?
  2. What are you NOT willing to risk? (Remember that these answers will likely depend on the season of life you’re in.)
  3. Where do you need to learn and innovate in your personal or professional life?
  4. What calculated risk can you take in the upcoming weeks?

After you’ve reflected on these questions, take action and begin taking calculated risks to take the next step in building your business or grow in your life.

How are you going to fail this year?

If you enjoyed this post, leave a comment below – we love to hear from you! Or you might like to keep reading…

About Ann

Ann’s work is centred on the belief that every woman has purpose. So her mission is to empower a community of women to live their extraordinary lives with joy…

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Ann Visser


Women's Mindset & Leadership Coach


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