Failure is not likely for the person that will start small and growing step-by-step. Setbacks will come and from these come experience. By Gary Shotton #000205
By Gary Shotton
Hello, my name is Gary Shotton and I’m sitting here in my machine shop inside the Quality department where we measure the parts to be sure they’re accurate before we ship them. I own this company. It’s a closed tolerance machine shop. Today we’re going to talk about failure and how to avoid failure. And a little bit of what to do if you have a bit of a failure.
So, number one if you have been with me in teaching and hearing what I’ve talked, I’m always talking about starting on your first business very small. Very, very small in a way that you don’t have to borrow money that your own Pocket change or your own small amount of money that you’ve accumulated yourself. You’re not borrowing from a bank. You’re not borrowing from your relatives, but start very very small and then grow step by step. I just tell you that is foundational to Being successful and not having failure.
Many times people just want to jump and they don’t feel like they have any kind of a business going unless they have a significant amount of money Invested. Or they have a number of employees. Well, that comes later, that comes when you have some experience. And so, I just got to reiterate those lessons. And so, I’ll ask you, are you trying to start too big in? Reality, have you started too big? Have you tried to grow too fast? Those are typical mistakes that lead to failure. And nobody wants to be a failure. No one wants to see failure.
Number two. You know, if you follow that advice, then you won’t really have failure. You’ll have what I call setbacks. A setback is a learning opportunity. It’s an opportunity for something that didn’t go well. You expected something to go this way and it didn’t happen. You expected this sale to come from this customer or you expected this product be a very large success and it wasn’t. You know if it’s small, it’s not a failure it’s a setback. And you’ve got to recognize that’s where you learn the most. It’s when you have those setbacks, when you have those disappointments, you know if everything’s just flying smoothly and everything’s just fine. Well, then you’re probably not learning a lot.
I had a reason when I was just a young guy in my Early 20s, I was actually just 19 or 20 right in that age bracket; and I had a friend that had access to an airplane and I had this idea that I’m going to learn to fly. Well, you know, I’m going to learn to fly, but I don’t want to crash that thing. I’ve got to learn the details. I’m going to fly and I did. But I was over my head. I wanted to advance too fast. I wanted to be on top of this. So, I learned though when something didn’t go exactly right or when the wind was just a little bit odd or something; and we actually practiced. One of the things we practice is that we would get high in the air and my instructor would just turn off the engine Whoa, we’re flying an airplane and the engine is not going. What do you do? Well, that’s a setback. That’s not a failure. We didn’t crash. We practiced setbacks. We learn from the setbacks. You’ll learn from the setbacks. So ask yourself right now, am I willing to go through setbacks and be willing to Identify these as an actual learning opportunity that you will learn from?. You’re going to learn more from the setbacks than if everything goes smoothly.
Well, when you have a setback and it does happen and you’re kind of knocked off your feet, you know it’s time to get back up and try that exact same thing again. Think of it this way, you know you just went to a school where you had to pay tuition, and when you paid tuition you learn the lesson, and now when you’ve learned the lesson you go on and use that lesson that you’ve learned. Well, if you try in business something and it didn’t work perfectly and you had a setback maybe near failure; whatever word you want to use. And you’re kind of regrouping and you’re getting some more Financing or you’re doing something different, go at it again. If you’re convinced, this will work many times it’s that second or third or fourth try that will get you over.
I’ve been told that when a spider weaves a web that it will swing around and it’ll try and try and try again until it finally makes a connection across that void and then it’s connected and it’ll finish up its course. It didn’t stop. You can’t stop. You’ve got to go on. Now if you decide that you’re in the wrong business or something like that, that’s a different story. But if you were convinced this would work; whatever it was a new product, a new setting, a new advertising method, be truthful with yourself. Did you learn something from it? If you did learn something from it then why don’t you use that? Why don’t you make an adjustment and make another run in it? Are you doing that? Are you willing to count your setbacks as the best thing that could happen for you to learn something? That’s the way it works. There’s no way around it.
Next I have to tell you that some people just talk way too much. We have a phenomena now that we’ve got Facebook and I’m not against Facebook but I’ll tell you if you look up my name on Facebook I have an account. But you’ll see that I don’t post very much. You do what you want, but I don’t post very much. I certainly would not post every setback or every failure or every near failure. I’m not lying. I just didn’t post that. I just didn’t tell people about them. I’m not interested in broadcasting when I have a setback. I’m interested in learning. I’m going to learn from that. I’m going to make use of that but loose lips are a difficult thing. In the world war two they had this saying that said “loose lips sink ships”. Well that was in World War two where you didn’t want to tell people your plan. There are a few people you could and would want to share with these things.
First of all, if you’re going to share something do it in confidence. Then do it with somebody that can actually help you. Now there’s another place in time to share. It’s right now. When you’re really willing to help somebody else. Help others, but usually that’s a year or two down the line. A time period down the line because you don’t know the future. You don’t know the step three, four, five and six so you don’t really know much to share somebody to help them. Until you’ve been kind of down the road a little ways and have learned the real lesson from it and see it play out. And see the end result of that. That’s what you’re going to need to do when you’re talking about failure. Don’t broadcast your failures. Ask yourself. Are you just absolutely too talkative? Are you sharing information with the wrong people? Why are you sharing them? Why don’t you keep it quiet?
Well, I’ve got to give you some examples to make our teaching valuable you know. So, I’m going to tell you some of my failures and how they happened and how I rebounded from those. And I’m going to tell you number one. It was quite a few years ago and I had this plan where I had a moving and storage business and I was into what’s called mini storages. That’s where you build these buildings and people have junk. Mostly it’s their extra stuff. The stuff that we couldn’t fit in their garage. And they would rent sometimes for $30 a month, or $50 a month, or $75 a month and you have a hundred of these. And you give them a Padlock, and there’s a door and it’s just a concrete floor with one light bulb that it’s a pretty easy rental. Well, I was into that man. I’m really going to do that. I’m really really really really going to do this.
Well, I made a big mistake. I had a piece of property right next to me that I was interested in but then I found another piece of property that was like ten miles away. And you know, I thought I guess I was pretty cocky at that. I was pretty proud of myself and I started two projects at one time and neither one of them planned out. Neither one of them worked. I had to trim back. I had to really trim back because these are not going to work. I had to work my way out of these over time and there was a bit of pain. Because I lost money in one particular case. I lost of these two projects. I lost $40,000 because I thought I had a Financing in order and it was going to be a bigger Project several hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I paid for certain engineering and surveying and soil testing. I’m committed to pay thinking I’m going to get my financing; and the bank says, you know I think I’m going to change my mind and not give you the money.
So, be careful. Be careful how you grow. How fast you grow. What you do and growing. If you find yourself trying to push too fast, too far, you’re always going to have to take risk. Don’t get me wrong. I mean if you slay back too low and don’t do anything you’re never going anyplace. But if you’ll press out with the rate pace and the rate that you are designed to work at then I believe that you will have setbacks that’s called learning, that’s called the lesson. You know you went to third grade and at the end of third grade you had to pass this test and you got to go to fourth Grade and then you finish fourth grade and then on up the ladder, that’s how business works. And once you learn the skills that the thoughts about business over this period of time you’re going to do better. And I believe you’ll not fail. You are designed to succeed and I’m here to help you. Well, I hope this has been helpful. We ask you to view Inspiring Better Business, IBBTalks, on video you can go to the audio in many formats. Please be a part of this. Thank you.
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