When I was younger, my mind was filled with infinite thoughts and dreams. All I ever wanted was for those dreams to translate into reality as soon as possible. However, I was never successful in materialising those ideas into plans. Did I lack creativity or were my dreams too far-fetched? When I failed, many would say that my dreams were too big out of reach and I did not have the abilities to make the happen.
It was then that it dawned on me, failure makes us meditate on the things we lack in order to fulfil our goals. Your failure is in harmony with your success. The more you fail, the faster you are closing the gap between you and your ultimate dream. It is however imperative that you learn a lesson, move on and in the process, hold on to your dream and stay focused.
I can personally confirm to the power of failure. I left home when I was 16 and was on welfare until I was 21. I struggled with life at school and did not have a clarity on how I was going to manage my business. My first attempt at starting a business failed completely. My second attempt wasn’t so successful either. The easiest thing to do at that time was to give up but I am glad I did not. I failed over and over again…until I realised that I was missing a piece of my jigsaw.
Failure made me introspect like I had never done before. It made me crave for success even more than ever. I had the drive, the passion, the great ideas, but I lacked something. That something I realised was project management. It made me realize that I was shooting blindly in the dark because I was missing the right skills in order to manage my business. After I embraced management, my business failures turned to successes. I cannot say that it happened overnight and without any effort, but it sure was magical! I built a company back in 2001, just after I received my PMP designation and that idea ended up becoming the largest importer of license goods in Canada competing head-to-head with Hallmark, a multi-billion-dollar company and partnering with some of the largest entertainment companies, including Disney, Marvel, Warner Brothers and more. While I would like to say is that I did it on my own, I didn’t. I realized with my new skills that while you can go fast alone, you can go further together, so I put in place a team to help support my dream and leveraging the discipline of my management skills.
Project management is principle not only to manage projects; it is also included in our everyday lives. The discipline of project management has become the foundation of my successes as an entrepreneur. The discipline of project management can be used and adapted to work within our lives. It is not always about schedules, costs, risks, and planning. There is much more to it. People do not really think about it much, but everything we have today is due to entrepreneurs taking on the risks and having the courage to see an idea through to execution. Being self-employed is not easy, yet almost everyone at one point or another may have wanted to take the leap into being an entrepreneur. What stops them is risk, is fear, costs and the ultimately the unknown. What project management did for me is help me better understand what I was getting into before I was waist deep in it. The discipline helped reduce my fears, understand what the impact would be on my life, my family and my wallet. Without this foundation, I would not be as successful as I have been in business and my family life.
Failure was the biggest Educator for me
When I look back today, I believe the best thing that happened to me was failure. The fact that I had failed on numerous occasions transformed me, made me rethink my decisions and direction, I was not scared of taking up challenges anymore and was constantly on the lookout for new opportunities.
Disappointments make us realise what we are really made of. When one misses the mark, we learn to take responsibility for it. We also learn to work harder to reach that mark. Within 2 years, I was on the right track and was attracting all the right things. What lessons did I learn from this experience? I was now better built to understand the people I hire. I looked for people who can handle both success and the downfall equally well. Do they have the ability to take up a challenge, learn from it and are not shy to ask for help when they most need it? Most people are scared to do something new because the fear of failure always lingers on their mind. It sits there like a weight not letting us take up any new challenge.
If failure was on the part of a colleague or subordinate, do you use it as a growth opportunity, or do you come down hard on your people? Following any failure, take time to investigate what led up to it. Ask yourself what mistakes were made and what lessons can be learned. When it comes to business, few things are perfect, and nothing is ever complete. Failure presents the perfect opportunity to realign priorities, establish clear direction and make better decisions.
One way to look at failure is to realise the spirit of opulence. We are all drawing from a source which has an infinite amount of strength to give us. There is so much abundance in the universe that no matter how many times you fail, there will always be your dream waiting for you to come and fulfil it.
Today, my failures define who I am. You have to try over and over again. What we need to do is to change our conditioning that success is for the few. If you learn how to grow after you fail, there is no power in the world that could stop you.