I am a failure. I am a success.
A story of beware and of behold
As I have said in my profile, I’ve been an entrepreneur in some capacity since I was 22 years of age. In that time I have learned tons. The biggest thing that I have learned is that EVERY entrepreneur is a failure! Every single one of them.
Every entrepreneur you and I know has failed more often than not. Sometimes they start that business, it starts off slow, and it ramps up. Then something catastrophic happens. An employee ruins your largest client, a supplier decides to no longer carry your best selling product, the farm where you source your tomatoes goes of business suddenly and you can’t source them fast enough for your restaurant, or maybe you make bad decisions and have to shut the doors.
Sometimes it’s just an idea that you tell someone else they should do.
Sometimes you have an idea like I did with SoulFire Clothing. You started the company not really to make money but because you could never find clothes promoting the message you want to portray. You try your hand at logo design. You create something that you like, kinda. Since you aren’t in love with it you do nothing else for three full years. For most people, they would view this as a failure. What if, just what if, you picked that idea back up 3 years later and you put in the time energy and effort to built a clothing brand. Would most people consider you a success?
The problem with success is that for everyone NOT on the journey with you, it seems like it happened overnight. They don’t see the days, months, or years spent grinding away. The decade you have spent toiling trying to stay above water. You see, they don’t see the “failure” part. All these folks will see is the success. They don’t see all the failures that got you there. They don’t see the 408 times you failed to hit it big on the 409th time, like Formula 409. All those who are not in the trenches with you will see if the 409th time which was the success. They won’t see how you cried after attempt 100 or how you felt like a failure after the 200th failed advertisement. They don’t see failure number 300 in marketing that business. They don’t see that 400th t-shirt design that gains traction. All most will know is the 409th attempt where you hit it big. This is the biggest reason why, I think, people are unwilling to try and succeed in entrepreneurship. They do not realize the DAILY failures that one has to grow through in order to get to success.
Failure and success are both just moments in time. They are not permanent on either end. They are like a photograph. Click. Today you have success. Click. Today you have failure. Sometimes those moments can be minute by minutes. Let us say you have been trying to distribute your product using a particular distributor. You have been selling them on the idea for a year and FINALLY, you receive a return call that says they would like to distribute your products. So 365 days of failure led you to success. That is truly how success and failure work. People love to assume that success and failure are opposite ends of the same line. But as I said before the truth of success and failure is best outlined in the diagram below.
Speaking of being a failure or a success, don't forget about our Pray, Hustle, Sleep, Repeat line of clothing. When we came up with this idea it was based on the premise that of work HARD but don't leave your faith behind. We hope you like it!!