Are you like many other business owners that are searching for the Stepping Stones for Success? Ever hear or say this? “If at first you don't succeed, try-try again!” That may still be great advice for all of us building our on-line businesses. But how many times have we failed and felt like failures doing it? There is good news to be found in our failings, success is at hand.
In a book by John C. Maxwell entitled “Failing Forward: Stepping Stones for Success“, we learn that we do not have to feel like failures when we fail. As a matter of fact, those who are high achievers and successful have learned a new definition of failure and can benefit when things go wrong. It isn't about doing things wrong on purpose, but problems will come to anyone striving to achieve. It is more important to learn from the failures and keep moving.
Failing forward is about understanding that there is one major difference between achievers and average people. It is also about learning a new definition of failure.
What do you believe the difference is between people who achieve and people who are average? Does it seem to you that successful people seem to always make it big with little apparent effort yet others seem to have something stopping them from soaring and submit to defeat?
Surprisingly, the difference (according to the author) is not found in this list:
- Family backgrounds – achievers come from solid and from broken homes.
- Wealth – you'll be surprised to find this heritage isn't a good indicator for achievers.
- High morals – some are good people but achievers are among scoundrels too. (Please understand I'm not advocating a scoundrel lifestyle!)
- Without Hardship – Even in the hardest of times, great achievers are found.
You can find achievers and success by looking at how they handle failure.
“Errors become mistakes when we perceive them and respond to them incorrectly. Mistakes become failures when we continually respond to them incorrectly.”
The author states that “people who fail forward are able to see errors or negative experiences as regular part of life, learn from them, and then move on. They persevere in order to achieve their purpose in life.”
The author helps us remember that we are all human and make mistakes with this.
“Rules for Being Human”
Rule #1: You will learn lessons.
Rule #2: There are no mistakes – only lessons.
Rule #3: A lesson is repeated until it is learned.
Rule #4: If you don't learn the easy lessons, they get harder.
Rule #5: You'll know you've learned a lesson when your actions change.
Consider this: Failing does not mean you are a failure. Once you understand and define failure differently and see it as an opportunity to learn and grow, you no longer attach your own value to the mistake. You grow and begin to achieve success with each lesson. More failures, more lessons, more growth.
Important lessons are found from many examples from the past; Thomas Edison, Helen Keller, Truett Cathey, Erma Bombeck and many others discussed in the book that all have faced their failings and persevered. Learning how they did it is inspirational.
All of the chapters in this book are full of rich lessons. One other chapter I'll highlight is “Avoid the Top Ten Reasons People Fail”. It is worth the time to read and consider each of these. Here's the simple list. Read the chapter for more.
Top Ten Reasons People Fail
- Poor People Skills
- A Negative Attitude
- A Bad Fit
- Lack of Focus
- A Weak Commitment
- An Unwillingness to Change
- A Shortcut Mind-Set
- Relying on Talent Alone
- A Response to Poor Information
- No Goals
To summarize, Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success covers 13 major steps that help us develop the traits and character needed to be successful when we fail.
Learning the lessons that change our actions totally makes this book well worth the investment.
p.s. If this is the season for you to give great gifts or if you find that the holiday are a great time to relax with a good book, I thought I'd put a link to Amazon for this book for you. Click here.