I’d like to share with you that I’m celebrating two years in business this month.
Woo! I wanted to do something a little bit different and celebrate the failures I’ve experienced in these two years.
Check out the video I created below, or keep reading for the full transcript.
We are hard-wired to strive for success, as everything that everybody wants to be, a successful person. But we don’t talk about what makes us fail. Failure can be an embarrassing topic to talk about, and we don’t want to admit when we have failed in case people do judge us for this. But talking openly about how we failed and what we failed at will encourage and help you understand in the future how to go right and make the better decisions.
By sharing your failures with others, you really get an understanding that you’re not alone in this. Everybody fails, and they can help you understand how to overcome these failures and give you the support that you need.
It’s not failing. It’s learning.
Here are three lessons I’ve learned about failing in business that I’d like to share with you that I’ve experienced in the last two years.
Lesson number one. Fail often and fail hard.
This is something that is important because when you fail, you then learn all the things that you have done. Go through the steps, reevaluate what you’ve done, and find out what it was that contributed to that failure. Then you can understand what kind of patterns or behaviour that you might be doing that you can make a change with. Failing often and failing hard also means that you build up a resilience. And being resilient in freelances and self-employed business is such an important trait to have because it helps you get through those really tough times.
Lesson number two. Your competition is not your competition.
I’ve suffered from this a lot. I still do occasionally, but I’ve understood that that person that you may find a competition isn’t you. They are completely different. They have a different set of circumstances and a different life to you. And you may see everything that they’re doing, and they may be amazing and fantastic, but that’s what they choose to let you see. So, with your competition, your customers are buying into you. That’s what they want. You. Nobody else. It’s just you. So I look at it in the way of admiring. I admire the people around me creating amazing works and doing amazing things. And I’d say if it’s possible when you think you can do this, make friends with them. Get to know them better. They may become your greatest ally, and you can really learn from everything they do. And it’ll give you that extra edge.
Lesson number three. Find your tribe.
Being a self-employed person, being a freelancer, an entrepreneur can be a little bit lonely. It can be quite isolating as well. So surrounding yourself with people, using an analogy that I heard from the brilliant Ed Goodman with radiators. Find people that radiate energy, enthusiasm, warmth, and support for what you’re doing. And you can radiate that energy back to them. I’m really particularly lucky that I have two amazing business buddies by my side, Rachel Extance and Lenka Koppova. And we’re there for each other. We celebrate the highs, and we celebrate the lows. And without these people beside me, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. So seeking out people who are like-minded, who are there to support you is going to help you on that journey to celebrate the successes and obviously, the failures are going to be a fantastic way for you to progress through your business.
It can be quite isolating, working by yourself. There’s a solution to this. Have you tried coworking? Coworking is a space where you can rent a desk for an hour, for a day, for a month, and work from a space where there are other like-minded people who are there doing the same thing. You could also network. You can meet other people and make connections and broaden your community there as well. I work from the Cambridge business lounge. I also work from the Bradfield Center as well. So these places give opportunities to broaden your community.
If you want something a bit more virtual, have a look at Facebook groups. The best one out there, Freelance Heroes. Join them, and that’s where you can just feel like you’re part of a community, and you’re part of a greater thing. Where you can share those failures and people relate. They understand, and it’ll make you feel better, in the long run, to be part of that community and have the support that you really need to make your business successful.
So I’d love you to take from this video is to celebrate your failures. Move forward. Understand what you failed at. Celebrate them. Aim to fail, and then the success will be ever so much sweeter.
I hope this has provoked you to think about your relationship with failure, how you learn from it, and what you could share and do differently. So leave me a comment below, and let me know how this blog made you feel.