The Entrepreneur and Failure
I suspect at some point in time it becomes self-evident to successful entrepreneurs that past failures have been their very best friends in life. As a sophomore in high school I enjoyed advanced geometry as much as any subject I studied and probably spent about two hours every night doing homework.
Yet throughout the whole eternity of my sophomore year I received only Cs and at least one C minus handed to me by the teacher as if my test paper was a defecatious offering of my German Shepard contained in a plastic bag. My point is that as a sixteen year old young man I was blessed to have the experience to consistently study hard only to be rewarded with Cs, which I considered as a reward of anything but success.
People who have played sports at any level know exactly of what I am speaking. I can remember a basketball game I played at the beginning of my senior year in which we lost by a score of 77 to 33. I had worked for six years to be a starter on our varsity basketball team. I had practiced my jump shot outdoors in the heat of summer and refused to stop my practice even in the midst of rain storms. I had persisted in basketball after a bout with Osgood Schlatter Disease during which time I could not run for nine months. Because I could not play I served as the team manager. The reward for my persistence was a stern close-up look of reality. Dedicated, consistent, and organized hard work is many times rewarded by humiliating defeat at the hands of competitors who are clearly and unquestionably superior in every way. The fellows I played against in that game were bigger, quicker, stronger, more skilled in every facet of the game and played together much better as a team than we did.
However, in the dark silence of the long bus ride home I was offered a priceless gift which I willingly received. My persistence had been rewarded with the priceless reward of a nonreward.
At 68 years of age I see clearly now that many disqualify themselves from entrepreneurship because they expect recognition and respect for what they perceive to be a job well done, and sadly have acquired no facility whereby they can persevere without the acknowledgement of a job well done (which their pride demands).
In my experience, the courage to enter into entrepreneurship and persist until one succeeds derives from the ability and willingness to endure repeated failures, and to then continue on. ~ Anthony
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