We always like to hear about the success stories of a business, or an entrepreneur who struck jackpot on his first start up. Or a killer product that spread like wildfire on Facebook. But be careful with all these sweet glossy stories of ‘success’, because if you really notice, most of these success stories don’t tell you the whole picture. These success stories barely touch the surface of the struggles and the inner revolution that constantly send the entrepreneur to the brink of their sanity. Until they gave up that is.
When someone successful tells you why he is successful, you would believe everything that he says. Even if he tells you that his success is largely attributed to his vegan diet. You see, successful people often times don’t know why they are successful. Hence the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Because if you try to improve the recipe, you might wreck what’s the already working, and since nobody can really pinpoint what’s making it tick, it’s better not to touch anything. “FRAGILE” is labeled all over the glass of success.
See all the big companies that’s making millions everyday? They are bloody dull and boring companies, but hey, at least their bottom line has been black for the 50 years. So, if you try something creative here, you are not going to last very long.
The thing about success is, it’s an oxymoron. Like a sad joker. A faithful playboy. You see, all worthy successes is almost always built on failures.
In fact, what’s most important is the failure stories, which most of the success people seldom describe in details. Partly because those are the chapters in their lives where their ego is most threatened and bruised. No, they are not going to reveal their weakness to the world unless of course, you are smart enough to read between the lines. That’s why it’s good to read an unauthorized autobiography, because you get the author’s actual perspective on the subject, not what the subject wants the author to write.
And the good thing about learning from other’s failures is you save yourself a heck load of trouble. It’s like getting a good discount. Of course, not every failures you read is applicable to your situation, but so are the successes. The really good successful people I know shared with me of the pitfalls they faced in their ventures, and how they overcome it. There’s really no point for me to ask, “Where did all those figures in your bank account comes from?” How do you think they are going to answer that? Oh, you have to be honest in your dealings. Oh, you have to be good to your customers. Oh, you have to build a system. Oh crap!
There’s so much we can learn from a single failure than a hundred successes. There’s a Chinese saying that goes, “Failures is the Mother of All Success.” Yes, failure is female in the Chinese 5000-year culture. And the 5000-year culture has collectively concluded that you can only build the tower of success using bricks of failures. If not, your success is unlikely to last very long.
And Michael Jordan said this, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
And when Michael Jordan says he failed over and over again, I believe him. To me, his words is as true as truth. This is coming from the God of basketball. And when Michael Jordan says failure is the way to success, you better believe it. Or you’re not going to Heaven.
For a change, if you find yourself not seeing any positive changes after reading all these success stories, maybe there’s really something wrong with your reading material. In all likelihood, what you probably lack are the lessons on failure.
Remember this: We are born to fail, but we are never born as failure.