A lot of entrepreneurs and businesspeople have spoken, written and even lectured how failure is part of not only the innovation process but also of the entrepreneurship one. Most of the people that have succeeded expected to fail. They started to learn from setbacks and begin to adapt to any given situation or scenario. And most importantly, they didn’t give up.
Yet, no matter how often a business owner hears that, he or she will always fear failure and start to worry about it, instead of transforming it into an ally.
So here’s why worrying about failure may cost you just as much or even more than trying and not succeeding.
Fear inhibits the inspiration process. Worrying about letdowns is almost certainly getting in the way of powerful and visionary thinking.
If you are able to set aside the fret about not getting it right, you are able to concentrate on finding and acting on inspiration. That’s extremely important because every empire was not built on worry of loss – they’ve always been built on both inspiration and vision. Regardless of the size of failure you may experience, it will certainly fade in comparison with blocking your inspiration.
Hesitation eradicates motivation. Sitting and waiting, hesitating and constantly asking yourself whether you will fail or not is definitely a motivation killer.
Hesitation, alongside worry translates into negative energy. For the life of me I cannot see a person live with that, let alone succeed. And if you waste a lot of time hesitating over an important decision, it becomes impossible to stay motivated and do the most important things you should be doing. Maybe you’ve never considered that by undermining your motivation, you are actually making your company more vulnerable and likely to fail. And if you fail, don’t sit there waiting – get to it.
Delay equals loss of money. Book a flight that leaves tomorrow – I didn’t think so either.
Beside the fact that delay will inevitably crush motivation, it is also pretty damn expensive. There are just a number of things that will be less expensive the next day rather than today. Even if you manage to overcome your fear and hesitation, the time it took you to do it can actually put a big dent in your budget. Ironically, this makes you more likely to fail – not less.
Keep in mind Reid Hoffman‘s saying: “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late”.
Lost opportunities. Any person who has tried anything in his life will tell you that opportunity cost is a real thing.
If you don’t know what the opportunity cost is, I’ll try to explain it as best as possible. Opportunity cost is the value of a certain thing you give up by choosing the thing you did. Take for example the shelf-space in a grocery store. You have some fruit and some vegetable shelf-spaces. Which do you choose? If you choose the fruit shelf-space, you won’t be able to sell your vegetables. Yet worrying about failure gets even worse because, in that particular case, because you’re missing out on selling vegetables given the fact that the shelves will remain empty.
Just consider what would have happened if Bill Gates or Steve Jobs would have been focused on worrying about failing and waiting to get started. One simply cannot put a value on a lost opportunity.
Therefore, it is safe to say that failure can be both expensive and brutal. However, when you think what worrying about it actually costs you, it’s usually better to just take a leap of faith instead of just staying focus on the landing. As a good friend of mine used to say, jumping is the only way a person ever flies.