Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert is an award-winning entrepreneur, an attorney, a New York Times best-selling author, a media personality and a highly sought after keynote speaker.

Take the Fear out of Failure for Small Business Success!

Take the Fear out of Failure for Small Business Success!

I'm known as THE Small Business expert. Why "THE"? Because, along with great successes I've made some mistakes, so I can share real world experiences to help you succeed. I don't just write about small business, I've lived every difficult moment of building my business dreams and loved every second - the good and the bad.

If you get a room full of people and start asking them what makes a person successful, you’ll end up with a pretty long list of attributes. Then, if you ask the group to categorize those attributes, you’ll find that most of the attributes go into one category: Attitude. Your ability to succeed in business—and in life—is determined much more by your attitude than by your intelligence, wealth, education or good looks. Not that any of these other qualities are unimportant, most are, but without a good attitude success is very difficult to achieve.

In business, if you harbor an attitude of fear you’re doomed before you begin. Let’s lay out a couple of undeniable facts and then submit ourselves to a little attitude adjustment to get rid of the fear factor.

Fact #1: Success is not guaranteed.

Perhaps no one had more creative ideas than Thomas Edison. After his tireless quest to invent the light bulb he said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

From this we discover that failure is, in fact, a component of success. Don’t be afraid of failure, learn from failure. Be motivated by your failure. Do not let failure turn into fear, because then your resultant fear will, in turn, lead to an even bigger failure, namely, the failure to pursue your dreams and ideas.

Fact #2: Failure is guaranteed.

Edison failed 10,000 times: where does that leave us mere mortals? If you’ve spoken to anyone who gets the label of “overnight success,” you’ll discover the truth that their “overnight” lasted for years and carried them over a very rocky and winding road.

We all have to expect setbacks. They shouldn’t take us totally by surprise. While it’s important not to give up before trying, it’s also important to have a “Plan B” or at least know you may have to draw one up someday.

A question we should all ask ourselves is, “What’s the worst that can happen?” If the answer to that question leaves us with our health and our loved ones, then why be afraid? Everything else is just “stuff” and stuff can be replaced.

Added value: The best—and most important—stories you’ll ever share with your family and friends will be the stories of your failures.

I hope I’ve let a little air out of fear’s balloon. Let me share another piece of wisdom that will help you control your fear rather than allow fear to control you.

I suspect that as you’ve read this you’ve nodded and agreed that most of it is true. Now it’s up to you to hold onto that truth. There’s an old saying that goes, “Don’t doubt in the dark what you know to be true in the light.”

When you find yourself in a difficult and “dark” situation, step away, compose yourself and remind yourself of the truths we’ve outlined here. Refuse to let yourself make a decision out of fear. You’ll find that the process gets easier and easier as you gain experience putting fear back in its place.


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