strategies posted in business strategies  on 8 July 2014
by Andrew Lang 
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Are You Setting Yourself Up for Failure?

Hope is carrying out a task, and believing that positive results could very well come from completing the task.

Confidence is carrying out a task, and anticipating positive results from the task.

So how are you feeling when you carry out a task that you've failed at many times before, and yet continue to do the task, even expecting negative results?

Is it perseverence, or madness?

Certainly, if the result is guaranteed to be a failure, then you can use Einstein's quote on the matter.

But if the result is heavily contingent on many variables, including even the minor nuances of how you carry out the task, then surely it's perseverence - and not madness - to keep at it.

That all sounds well and good, and certainly perseverence is a big part of succeeding in whatever you want to do....BUT there's always a price to be paid for failure along the way. Failure does not let you off lightly. It demands its penance to be paid. Despite all the positive spin you read about failure merely being a stepping stone to success, it's not ALWAYS the necessary medicine we need to take. Sometimes it's a poison. Failure can weaken the spirit and preoccupy the mind with negativity. It can create a sense of doubt that prevents you from making good decisions, including considering new ideas. It can demotivate and depress people. It can lead people to not only give up on the task they failed at, but give up on all tasks.

We all need a certain amount of success through any given day to make us feel good. Success motivates and inspires us. It affirms many positive things about our business and ourselves. However, without a regular "hit" of success, failure starts insinuating itself into every task we carry out. Just a few days without success, and you're already feeling the withdrawl symptoms.

While this sounds a bit negative, success is predicated on what tasks you set yourself each day. Small, achievable and productive tasks are more likely to be done (succeeded) than vague, non-specific goals that haven't been broken down into smaller, specific tasks. Also, if success is PURELY predicated on other people's actions (usually, someone buying something from you), then you HAVE to find specific tasks that you can do to help improve your sales, no matter what. The situation of sitting back and being dependent on outside factors to help your success is going to set you on a ride you have no control over.

And having said that, your business model itself still needs to give you a chance to succeed. If you're entering a market where supply outstrips demand, you're making it extremely hard for yourself.

Whatever happens, you will need a certain level of success each day to continually spur you on. Running a business shouldn't be about feeling miserable or sweating over when the next order is coming in - it should be about regular, daily successes - both small and big. If it isn't, change the way you work, or maybe even diversify your business toward more attainable end-goals. Enjoy your business and choose to be a success every day.

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