In this blog, we will share a very dear topic that resides in every entrepreneur or business owner’s heart: failure and fear of failure and how we should perceive failure when we experience it in our lives or business.
Before that, let me share a wonderful quote that was brought to my attention through a TEDx talk by author Brene Brown where she quoted Theodore Roosevelt’s quote:
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who airs, who comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming but who does actually strive to do the deeds who knows great enthusiasms the great devotions who spends himself in a worthy cause who at best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly.”
It really describes that the people who are not in the arena are the critics. The people who repeatedly point out how this strong man stumbles are quote-unquote haters. These are the people on the sidelines. These people are so judgmental that they don’t dare to step into the arena. They don’t dare to be there in the stadium, putting themselves out there day in and day out to build a business, make a difference, and build a better future for themselves, their families, and the world.
Let’s dive in and explore some of these strategies, perspectives, and mindset shifts that we’ve gone through in our personal life and the business that have allowed us to overcome failure at every single step.
Every time that I fail, I learn.
Let’s discuss a little more about failure, and I have another quote from the founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, on failure
“Every time that I win or I succeed, I celebrate, and every time that I fail, I learn.”
We must understand everyone is in the arena as we have dared to put ourselves out there to build something out of nothing and to craft a future for ourselves, having nothing but faith in Allah and a mission and vision that we want to bring to reality.
Through this journey no matter what, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will test us. Allah will place our challenges and obstacles in front, but we have to have faith, and we have to have tawakkula that every single obstacle and challenge we face in our businesses and lives has been placed to teach us a lesson.
It’s been placed there for us to discover a deeper part of ourselves. Maybe a skill we lack, a character trait that we need to work on, perhaps a particular part of our business that we need to optimize before we get to the next level because if we don’t optimize that part of our business. We try to scale the business things are going to break, and it’s just not going to work.
I can assure you that every time I look back at my journey in business as an entrepreneur, I look at all the ups and downs of the roller coaster, the left turns, the right turns, and the u-turns. Now all of it makes sense looking backward.
I wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t change any mistake, obstacle, or quote-unquote failure because every time I’ve faced a challenge, it’s taught me something about myself or allowed me to improve at a certain skill to reach the next level. And that would have never happened if it was not for going through failure.
But ultimately, when we zoom out, we have to realize these are lessons from Allah. Trials and tests where He is to reveal to us something about ourselves that we need to work on that we need to know.
There is no such thing as failure; there is only learning
When you fail, you learn which one is better: Do you prefer celebrating all the time, or do you prefer learning? You should have the courage to face failure with open arms. You shouldn’t be afraid of it because what if Allah has placed this desire within your heart because he knows that this is something you’re capable of, and He knows that this is something that you’re destined to do?
Do you want to be someone who makes an impact and leaves behind a legacy of goodness that will benefit them in the akhirah, or do you want to be someone who goes through life constantly, wondering what if?
You should be rather the first, and even if you might not have made an impact, you should prefer instead to be placed in front of Allah and put in a position where, when asked what did you do with the time that I gave you: “Your answer should be, Ya Rab, spent that time in conscious and good endeavor working towards building something that will have a positive impact and even though I might not have reached it I gave it my all, and I tried.”
It is through that journey that you should get your satisfaction.
It is not by achieving a certain milestone. It is not by getting to a certain income level. It is through the journey of trial and error and constant failure, and learning lessons that the journey brings your way.