Failure by Rick White, President 180BIZ
I’m here today to talk to you about failure. Winston Churchill once said that success is going from failure to failure with enthusiasm. That's amazing. And Henry Ford once said that failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. And if you know your automobile history, you’d know that Henry Ford went bankrupt three times before he started the Ford motor company. So there's a guy that definitely fell down a couple of times. If he didn't have a strong vision of what he thought was possible it would have been easy for him to give up.
The reality though is failure is not failure. It's a lesson. That's all it is. The only time you can ever fail is if you allow what just happened to dictate what you believe is possible. Let me say that again. Failure can only happen when you allow what just happened to dictate what you believe is possible. I don't know how many of you have had kids or grandkids or nieces or nephews or whatever, but when they were little, when they were babies and they first started to walk, they would get up and they would be really bouncing. We got a little one right now, Wyatt, my grandson, my youngest grandchild. And it's hilarious because he's walking, but he looks like an orangutan when he's walking. His hands are up as he rebalances and it's hilarious, but he falls all the time. He doesn't see it as failure. He just gets back up. Does it again, he does it a little bit better, a little bit smarter. And it's just amazing to watch the progression.
So I want to understand what happened or when it happened. When did learning turn to failure? I'll give you a perfect example. One of the things I've been pushing with my clients is a concept called exit scheduling. Exit scheduling is something that the dentists have been doing for years and years. When you walk out of that dentist office, you have an appointment for your next visit. We should be doing the same thing. It helps with the peaks and valleys. I have clients that are running 75% to 80% appointments and making them work.
Failure is how you're representing a lesson and where it's coming from is your expectation. You're expecting to do it perfect. That’s the definition of insanity. When you do something new, you are going to suck at it. You're not going to do it well. You're going to fall down. You're going to make mistakes. You're going to be self-conscious. Don't let that stop you. Get up. Brush off. Get better. When I first started doing these videos, I was amazed that you couldn't hear my knees knocking. I was so scared. And today I'm just excited about getting in front of you about being able to share a message that I hope can touch just one person. Failure is not failure. Failure is a lesson. It's an opportunity to learn.
I listened to a recent interview with Sarah Blakely, the a woman that invented Spanx and her dad is a lawyer and he did something that was absolutely amazing. I love this. Every night he would ask his kids at dinner, “What did you fail at today?” And he was genuinely disappointed if they didn't fail at something. Why? Because if you're doing something new, you're going to fail. You're not going to get the results you want. That's all failure is you're always going to get a result, but is it the result you want, you expected? And here's the thing with that expectation. Are you being fair? That that's what you've got to look at. When you're going through this process, understand you're going to fall down. It's okay. It's the journey. It's about getting better.
I listen to a lot of our podcasts and interviews with successful people. And you know what they want to talk about? They don't want to talk about the stuff they got. They want to talk about the struggle. They want to talk about the suck. They want to talk about what they did to overcome the challenges and adversities that they had in their path. That is what they're most proud of. Stop thinking that the goal of growth is the destination. The goal of growth is the growth. It's who you become. Start asking yourself every day, “What did I fail at today?” Ask yourself this first. Before you can lead anyone, you have to be able to manage yourself. What did I fail at today?
If you failed at something, it means you're growing. If you're not failing at anything, you're stuck. You're doing the same thing every day. And that's no good. There's no passion. There's no zest. There's no juice for the life. You’re living the same way every day. What did I fail at today? That's the first question. The second question is, “What did I learn?” And then the third question is “What am I going to do better the next time?” That is the process of constant and never ending improvement. That is what life is all about. When you are pushing yourself to get into the uncomfortable zone, the area where you're not as sure you can get through it, you must grow through it. This is where the juice is. When you see progress, when you see your businesses growing, when you see your families getting better and closer, when you see yourself becoming more transparent, open, and vulnerable and allowing it to happen, that is when this gets better. I want you to remember, failure is simply a lesson.
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