Failure isn’t a bad thing. In fact,
it’s often necessary for success.
It wasn’t until my first business fell apart right before it launched that I realized that there are no failures. They are voices trying to direct us to our true destiny and happiness. They are clues. When I started to listen to the universe and re-align my actions to my mission and purpose, my life started to turn around. My new business challenged, but energized me. Things in my life started to just fall into place. And it never would have happened if my first business hadn’t ‘failed’.
As we take the summer to review the first half of the year, what needs to be re-aligned in your life or business that will bring you greater success for the second half of the year?
My first business after leaving the corporate world failed…before it even launched. It still feels weird saying it that way. When I left corporate I was so disillusioned with the construct of hierarchy, arbitrary deadlines and posturing, I was determined to be successful, using financial accomplishment the benchmark of that success.
I pushed and pushed, and the universe pushed back…hard.
I’ve always been passionate about health and wellness and I saw an opportunity to get in on a growing trend. I did a bunch of market research, met with manufacturers and suppliers, spoke to retailers and hired a very expensive brand team to design my logo (and charge me for most of the branding work I had already done). But as the months rolled by during the pre-launch period, things just weren’t clicking. My manufacturers had delay after delay. My pre-launch costs were starting to add up before I’d sold a single thing. Worst of all, my energy was at an all time low. I became a shell of myself. My relationship fell apart, which also left me homeless for a couple of weeks. It seemed every time I moved a step forward, things that were seemingly out of my control would send me one or two steps back. I pushed and pushed, and the universe pushed back…hard.
But I was determined. I pushed and tried to make things happen. But I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I look back now and it seems obvious. I was so focused on the outcome – a successful business and financial success – that I lost sight of the joy.
I did the smartest thing I had done in months: I surrendered.
Just as the business was about to launch, my manufacturing fell through completely. For about two months I did everything I could to find other solutions (including buying my own manufacturing plant) to be hit with more roadblocks. So I did the smartest thing I had done in months. I surrendered. I decided that this was the universe telling me (shouting by this point) that this business was not meant to be. Everything I had tried had been met with stumbling blocks and I was exhausted.
When things don’t work out, it’s not a failure. It’s a re-alignment.
The proudest moment I have from that time is that I never saw it as a failure. Even when everything had fallen apart, I made a decision: this was not to be, time to move on. And move on I did. I started doing what I love: helping women entrepreneurs. Since then I’ve had smaller re-alignments: refining exactly who I want to work with (ambitious women who know where they want to go and need help getting there), and how we work together. Each time I re-align, my energy increases, my skin gets clearer, my relationship with my man improves and I feel more joy…and co-incidentally my business picks up. Funny how that happens☺
Today I have a different definition of success (and failure!). I still have financial goals, but my overall success is defined by softer stuff: the quality of my relationship, my health and energy, my friendships, how much I’m able to travel and learn, and my ability to serve and help other women. And my ability to surrender and be patient, which is a never-ending work in progress.
1. Does your life or business need a re-alignemnt? Can you feel it?
2. Think back to past ‘failures’. How can you re-frame them to be fundamental experiences that lead you to who you are and where you are now?
As many of you know, I love, LOVE, Oprah. If you’re feeling mis-aligned right now, this clip is worth watching.