Decision-making in business can be nerve-wracking. Many entrepreneurs may have experienced it, too: heart beats turn wild, the palm gets sweaty before calling a huge decision that can either make or break the business, leading to abysmal failures. We’re about to make that next, risky step that can make us fall flat on our face.
It’s a similar situation for Stephanie Weichert, a Life and Executive Coach, Strategic Interventionist, published author, speaker, strategic director for START Fitness® and business consultant. When Weichert was about to release her motivational book, she said it was a moment of stepping into the unknown, just like a scene in the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In that scene, Indiana Jones had to cross an invisible bridge to find the Holy Grail, which will be the key to his Father’s healing. Taking that perilous path had no certain outcome.
“It’s a leap of faith,” Indiana Jones said. There was no other way. Thus, despite the risk, he took a huge leap forward.
The risk was worth it. Indiana successfully landed on the right steps. But that’s not always the case, especially in business. When the big leap in business results in failure, it usually produces two outcomes. The resilient entrepreneur will learn from his mistake, and try again. The non-resilient will be afraid to try again.
It’s easy to understand why the non-resilient throws the towel. Failing hurts, and not everyone can take the pain. However, knowing that there’s a good reason to stand up again, and climb the leap of faith once more, fills the fuel.
We have learned from public business failures that staying safe can also take a toll on the business in the long run. Safety cannot help us adapt to change, bearing fruits only for a season. If you remember Blockbuster, its story has a valuable lesson.
The Netflix innovator proposed his idea about streaming movies to Blockbuster, and got rejected. Sometime in 2008, Blockbuster’s CEO Jim Keyes told the online publication, Motley Fool, “Neither Redbox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition.”
Keyes turned down opportunities to explore out-of-the-box ideas. He only focused on the current technology during that time, instead of delving to possible, future innovations. His unwillingness to take a risk, thinking his current success would provide him assured long-term prosperity, led Blockbuster to its downfall – eventually facing bankruptcy.
‘Soloprenuers’ must learn a lesson from Blockbuster’s mistake: staying in the safety zone can also mean closing doors of opportunities where big ideas dwell. Choosing to be safe can also mean avoiding future success.
Most of the time, entrepreneurs know what they like to do, but they choose not to take the leap. For most of them, it’s not arrogance that keeps them rooted to indecision; it’s fear.
We tend to doubt our own business ideas, and think that our creativity will not help us achieve a different level of success. We tend to be fearful of that leap, thinking our credentials, and our business strengths are not enough. For many times, we use our past failures as the basis of what will happen to our future. Our negative beliefs and values about ourselves are preventing us from pursuing our business ideas. A lot of entrepreneurs don’t realize that staying small and safe can cause businesses to die on the vine over time.
The stories that we tell ourselves have a direct impact to us pursuing our dreams. If we continue to believe that we can’t make it, then we won’t. If we tell ourselves, our ideas are not good enough, then we will not make it happen. If we tell ourselves we’ll most likely fail than succeed, then it will stop us from reaching the top.
To build our momentum, we must remember these three keys:
- What we tell ourselves about our failures can either help us make our wings or add a dead weight.
- We can use our past failures as lessons to make a different, and more effective move next time.
- Trying and failing is always better than not trying at all. Remember the story of Blockbuster.
That next big leap can be daunting. That step is crucial, and different for each of us. However, the only way to take that next step is to convince ourselves that there are good things in store for us; there are opportunities still heading our way. Our resilience dictates our ability to make that next move. We must be willing to be vulnerable and to risk, for us to have the courage to try again. That next step into the unknown can be our huge leap of faith.
Enjoy this video that talks more about how failures can be a positive thing in the grand scheme of things: