Most people never become as successful as they want to be. I’m convinced that the reason is their perception of what failure is. Notice that I didn’t say they’re afraid of failing. Nobody likes failing. No matter how much other people tell you that failing is OK, we all know that it’s something we want to avoid. And the reason we want to avoid failure, I think, is that we don’t understand what failure is.
We think of failure and success as two doors. You open the right one and the grand prize is waiting for you. But open the wrong one and you’ll find Satan ready to punish you for eternity. It seems like you can either fail or become successful. There are only two outcomes.
I see it a little different. I think that we all want to go from point A to point B and there are a lot of failures and successes along the way. Some things you do have extremely positive results. Some don’t. That’s it. Just throw as much stuff at the wall as possible and see what sticks. I think that success is as simple as that.
And I believe that the main reason for businesses going bankrupt is arrogance. Some entrepreneurs envision a business and they are determined to execute it as they planned it. When something isn’t working, they try the same thing, but this time they try harder. They want to force a business model when the market wants something different. Let me give you a few examples:

  • PayPal was originally a cryptography company. That wasn’t working out for them but saw this great opportunity for becoming a virtual money delivery service and they took it. They didn’t see this as failure; they had their eyes open to see a bigger opportunity.
  • Napster went from being a failed P2P software (very popular but very unprofitable) to a giant in the music industry. I don’t think they consider the first part of their journey a failure; it was just a step to success. Sometimes, to find out what works, you have to find out what doesn’t work first.
  • Facebook used to be a sort of “Hot or Not” service.
  • Twitter started as a podcast delivery service.

My point is that you shouldn’t envision a business, execute it, and if it doesn’t make money call it a failure. Don’t assume that you have all the answers. Start the journey as humble as you can be. Acknowledge that you’re going to test a lot of things; some will work and some won’t. Good luck!
BTW, tomorrow at 1pm PST I’ll be doing a FREE webinar on content marketing. I’ll be showing you how some of the smartest companies in the world use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and blogs to get millions of visitors and dollars. It’s going to be amazing! See you there.