How Many Times Do You Fail Before You Give Up?

The answer is never.  You never give up.  You change things.  But you never give up.

Change Your Prototype

Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb before it worked.  A reporter once asked him how it felt to fail 1000 times.  Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times.  The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”  The hours and years that he put into creating the light bulb in unfathomable.  He never stopped thinking about it, drawing prototypes, experimenting.  And neither should you.  Each step of your invention will require the invention of a new component.  My mother once said to me, “Every mistake or failure is but a stepping stone to those who have tenacity and faith that an idea is relevant.”  Very wise woman.

Change Your Mindset 

Stop telling yourself there is a maximum amount of effort or time required to achieve your ultimate success.  Start reading stories of others who came before you and how many times they “failed” before they finally got it right.  How long do you think it took to redraw, recreate, implement and start over with 1,000 light bulbs? The colonel from KFC supposedly pitched his chicken recipe 1009 times before someone bought it.  How many hours did he spend in the kitchen going over, tweaking and recreating that recipe until it was perfect? The stories go on and on.  For every highly successful person, there is years of failures in their lives that came before their success. The only difference between them and the ones that don’t succeed is that they never gave up on their dream. There’s nothing wrong with you.  In fact, you are one of the 1% who was meant to do something awesome.

Change Teams

You are only as strong as your weakest link.  Seriously.  When you are almost trying to defy the laws of nature to create something awesome, it only takes one negative person to send you down an anxiety-ridden rabbit hole.  If you have people around you who are undermining you, shooting down your ideas and generally creating a negative atmosphere, you won’t have the energy or mindset needed to keep going.  Sometimes, one is a lonely number, but to achieve, that might be what it takes.  So, get comfortable with being alone until you find the right teammates.

Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Cognitive dissonance is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.  “Yes, I can make this happen.  But wait, what if I can’t.  What if I’m on the wrong path?  No, I believe in myself…. I think?  I’ve put everything I have into making this work.  Will I be able to pay my bills?  Will I have to file bankruptcy?”  This is cognitive dissonance.  Here’s the thing.  We all go through this and the bigger your dream, the bigger the dissonance.  If you are really determined to make this thing happen, this is going to be your new best friend.  She will be around day and night to keep you on your toes.  Get used to her- get comfortable with her.

All You Need Is One Yes

Probability Rule One -The probability of an event, which informs us of the likelihood of it occurring, can range anywhere from 0 (indicating that the event will never occur) to 1 (indicating that the event is certain).  Given enough chances and enough time, a no will always turn into a yes.  And you only need one yes.  I am no stranger to hearing the word “no,” in fact, I’ve grown comfortable with it too.  But it only takes one yes.  And that “yes” will happen.  It will.

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