On Our Way to Wealthy: Failing in life is not the end unless you give up

Michael Jordan is one of many high-profile people whose success reflect their understanding that failing at something is not the end, unless you give up.

Carlee McCullough | 6/26/2015, 2:24 p.m.
Michael Jordan is one of many high-profile people whose success reflect their understanding that failing at something is not the ...

Carlee McCullough

Carlee McCullough

In business law, we frequently encounter people who are in need of our services because of business missteps. Those missteps could include signing a bad lease, running out of money, failing to plan for a rainy day, lawsuits, taxes, lack of customers, poor location, or problematic products/services. Failure in business is not only commonplace, it is highly likely. We all make mistakes, and in business, mistakes of some kind are inevitable. The goal is to learn from the mistakes and not make the same mistakes twice.

“People who avoid failure also avoid success.” Robert T. Kiyosaki

Entrepreneurs experience failure at a high rate. But success cannot be obtained with the risk of failure. If a person is so conservative and afraid of failure, they will ultimately not put forth the amount of risk that needs to be garnered for the big win. It takes a special person to pursue a dream of entrepreneurship. It is not for the faint of heart, because business owners all know that failure is a possibility. Yet entrepreneurs role the dice any way and gamble on their abilities to provide for themselves and their families.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
Robert F. Kennedy

Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player to have ever played the game. Regardless of who you think is the best player, he is by far the most successful as it relates to branding through his deal with Nike.

Jordan is also well known for his truthfulness about his failures. “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career,” he said. “I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” But even with the missed shots, everyone wanted to be like Mike.

Jordan is not alone in his “failures.” Thomas Edison supposedly failed 10,000 times before he got the light bulb just right. It has been reported that Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television job because her bosses did not believe in her. (I wonder where the individual is today who fired her then.) The commonality between Jordan, Oprah and Edison is they never gave up and eventually achieved greatness in their respective careers. So if you have suffered a failure or a setback, remember you are in good company.

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley

We all hate to fail. Perhaps it is ego or pride that makes us dread failure even though we may realize that failure can be used as a learning tool and a stepping-stone. Failure can physically make us sick and ashamed. Sometimes we do not know how to rebound from a setback. But the fear of failure cannot keep someone out of the race to success. We have to learn how to compartmentalize the failure, move on, and let go of the emotion that attaches itself to failure.