The Joys of Repeated Failure, especially in Network Marketing

For most of us, “failure” has a tragic and undeserved reputation as something bad and painful. It’s very unfair, and it holds us back and limits our success. If “failure” had an attorney, it would have an excellent chance of winning a lawsuit for defamation and slander.  :-)

Too often, we view failure as reflecting on the person who “failed”. We view them (or ourselves) as having poor judgment, poor skills, or lack of character! How absurd!

There are only a handful of ways to “fail”, and I don’t view any of them as bad.

First, you can “fail” by losing a competition. I remember talking to a high school athlete who defined himself as “slow” because he lost a race to the state’s fastest sprinter. I also remember a beautiful and talented woman who defined herself as “ugly” because in college she finished fourth in a beauty pageant.  How, exactly, are those examples of “failure”?

Are you beating yourself up when you don’t win your MLM Companies product retailing contest?  Or when there are bonuses for new sponsoring activities?  Why?

Second, you can “fail” by not completing a project or achieving a goal. A friend of mine once enrolled in a graduate school, discovered it didn’t suit her needs, and made the very wise decision to drop out and pursue other interests. For years, she was embarrassed by that, and considered it a “failure”. Hmmmm.

You are not always in control of your MLM goals because it involves other people.  Your MLM team may not be ready to help you get to your MLM fortune or specific intention because  they may not have the simple disciplines or MLM accountability in their daily method of operation.  To get what you want you need to “Inspect what you Expect” and then your goals can be achieved.

Third, you may “fail” to get the results you expect from an experiment. It seems P. T. Barnum’s circus always paraded through town to attract attention and sell tickets. One day, he needed a trumpet player, and offered a free ticket.  A boy volunteered, picked up the horn, the parade marched off, and the boy was terrible! He couldn’t play a note!  Barnum grabbed the horn, shouting, “I thought you said you could play!” The boy’s reply? “How should I know I couldn’t play, I never tried before.”

As an MLM leader, you have to experiment with new options that get results before you share them downline.  Giving anyone an MLM game plan before it’s been proven to work is almost like the example above.

Fourth, unlike that young man, you can “fail” by refusing to try. Wayne Gretzky once noted, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Enough said.

In network marketing, we all can attain new distributors who never become active…it’s part of our personal development as we develop our power question and sort through our targeted prospects and in general hone our own strategic objectives.  Since we all understand this is a home-based business, we also know not everyone will be able to develop the disciplines that are required to succeed.  They just won’t try. 

Failure is feedback, nothing more and nothing less. Failure means we did not get the results we anticipated when we began a project. It means we learned something different than we expected. Failure means we tried, we were in the game, we took a risk, and got a result. Failure is what makes scientific and economic progress possible. It’s what makes us fully human.

Everyone knows that Thomas Edison “failed” to create the electric light bulb through many thousands of experiments.  Abraham Lincoln failed in business, lost elections, was considered ugly and unlikely to ever succeed, until he became one of our greatest Presidents and saved the nation.  TIME magazine once ran an article about one of Albert Einstein’s “greatest blunders”, a “blunder” astronomers are now using to understand the future of the universe.

A man recently consulted with me, explaining that he had an idea for a new business, but was afraid to start for fear it would “fail.” He wanted assurance that the idea was sound, that his products would sell, that it would be a good investment. He refused to invest even a few dollars studying the industry or calling experts because he didn’t want “to waste the money if the idea isn’t going to work.”  Well.

The founder of IBM, Thomas Watson, was once asked the secret of success. Without hesitation, he immediately replied, “If you would increase your rate of success, you must first increase your rate of failure.” How very true!

To succeed, you have to get in the game. You have to be willing to be a beginner, a novice, an amateur, even a fool. You have to start, and in the beginning, others with more experience, greater resources or talent may “beat” you. You may “lose.” But, by being in the game, you will learn, you will get results, you will gain experience, wisdom and insight. And those are the assets that ultimately produce winners!

Get in the game. Take reasonable, creative risks. Be willing to lose or “fail”. Learn to embrace unexpected and (sometimes) painful or expensive outcomes as part of the tuition for success. Unless you are willing to pay the price, there is no chance to reach the top of the mountain.

Go for it!

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