The Paradox of Failure

What is the key to success?


Yes, failure.

The one thing that all successful people have in common is that they have failed… a lot! Like a whole lot.

Michael Jordan puts it this way:

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Success only comes from one thing: trying. You will never succeed more times than you try. You will usually not succeed as many times as you try. Those times that you don’t succeed could be called failures.

It’s simple math. To succeed more, you must try more, and the byproduct of that is failing more.

This is one of the places where traditional education lets us down the most. In traditional education, you are taught a thing, given a test on it, and that is your grade: pass or fail. That’s it. Move on to the next thing.

Fail the test? Guess you’re a loser. On to the next thing. Try not to suck so much next time.

When you look at a college transcript, nothing on it tells you how hard the courses were that you took or how you stretched out of your comfort zone. All that it has is that GPA.

I graduated cum laude by taking easy courses. My transcript looks great. I was totally unprepared for real life because I had learned to avoid failure.

Since then, I have learned that failure does not matter. Failure is the background. It is like white on a canvas. Success is all that matters. Success is the paint on the canvas.

Try and try and try. Only the successes make the score board.

The clock keeps running whether you try or you hide. If you try and fail, you learn. If you don’t try, you just lose.

Michael Whitehouse is a networking coach and motivational speaker. If you’d like to have a call with Michael to talk about ways that you can embrace more success in your life, click here to schedule a complementary session.

Gratitude and Shiny Object Syndrome

My daughter has enough toys for three kids. Still, every time we go to a store, she wants to get a toy.

Perhaps this sounds familiar from your business?

How many books do you have that you haven’t read? How many courses have you paid for that you haven’t completed? How many networking connections have you yet to follow up on?

If the answer to those three questions is 0, then you have achieved enlightenment and can stop reading. For the rest of us, read on.

Not only do you have that stack of unread books, unfinished courses, and unfollowed up connections, but you’re still buying more books, signing up for more courses, meeting more people.

Why do we do this? We do it because we are unsatisfied with where we are in business or life. Being unsatisfied with our current situation, we assume that we must not have what we need. We look for the new shiny that will change everything.

What if I told you that the opportunity that will lead you to realization of your vision may already be in your hands?

When we think of gratitude, we often think of it as a tool to be happy with what we have. We may think of it as a way to be satisfied with settling, although that’s not quite accurate.

I would like to suggest that gratitude not only brings happiness today, but it can also lead you to success tomorrow.

When we lack gratitude and appreciation for the good things in out lives, we can overlook the opportunities and resources at our disposal. Our opportunities are part of our present life.

When we start to appreciate what we have, we start to appreciate what it can do for us.

Instead of always looking for a new book or idea, we can meditate on the ideas we already know and seek new solutions from them.

Instead of a new course or technique, we can focus on how to execute on the techniques we already have.

Instead of constantly seeking new connections, we can find ways to deepen our existing connections.

When we have gratitude for what we have, we feel less need to chase after the new shiny thing. The things we already have are often pretty shiny themselves.

Do you find yourself wasting time, money, and energy chasing after shiny objects rather than advancing your business, career, or life? Would you like to have more gratitude and appreciation for the shiny things you already possess? Schedule a free coaching session with Michael Whitehouse to build that gratitude and appreciation that will guide you to the right tools to live the life you want. Click here to schedule now.

The Burden of Unsolicited Advice

The burden of unsolicited advice by Michael Whitehouse

Unsolicited advice is a bit like performing surgery in the dark. While well intentioned, it is unlikely to hit the mark, and it creates a burden on the person who receives it.

This is different from general advice. If I make a general post with an idea or tips, then you are free to choose to embrace it or not. It is up to you to read it or just keep scrolling. On the other hand, if you comment or private message you, then I have created a burden and even obligation.

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3 Steps to Cold Start Yourself

Sometimes you’re at a dead stop. Maybe it’s just a tough morning to get up. Maybe it’s a tough year. You need to cold start yourself.

It could be a full on depression, a reaction to a disappointment in life or business, or something else.

But the result is the same: you are at a dead stop. No momentum. No energy. No desire to get up and go.

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Networking Online in Covid Quarantine

Networking online in covid quarantine

A lot of people tell me that they did well making connections in person, but they aren’t sure how to handle networking online in a virtual quarantine world.

The basic process of networking online is quite comparable to networking in person with a few key differences. Let’s start by looking at the steps of making a networking connection.

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Solution Oriented Marketing

For most business owners, sales and marketing are a necessary evil to be able to do what they want to do for their customers. Sales often feels adversarial and almost hostile. What if there was a way to engage with people whom you can help that put you both on the same side without the us vs them feeling of traditional sales?

Solution Oriented Marketing
Solution Oriented Marketing allows you to sit on the same side of the table with your clients from the first interaction, eliminating the uncomfortable, adversarial sales process.
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Six Stages to Success and Goals

There are many stages on the way to achieving goals

As I have been diving into my coaching work, I am finding that everyone is at a different stage in their journey to achieve their goals. I wanted to share my thoughts on how one might delineate those stages to assess where they are in the journey.

In this article, I’ll discuss the six stages and what you can expect at each stage as well as some brief thoughts on what you should do to move to the next one.

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The Foolishness of Fear

For some people, the telephone is the scariest thing in the haunted house.

In sales, we often encounter irrational fear. We may not want to pick up the phone to make calls because we are afraid of what they might say. Our fear may prevent us from coming right out and asking for an appointment. We might be afraid to drop into a business to make a first contact. On an appointment, our fear might prevent us from asking for the sale.

When you work in sales, and if you are an entrepreneur you work in sales, you have to do a lot of scary things. You have a scary job.

But do you really?

Have you ever seen one of those signs that says “Confined space. Permit required.” That’s because the space inside is claustrophobically small. It might just wide enough for a person to enter. Somebody gets that permit and goes into that space. That’s a scary job.

Image result for confined space sign
The people who hold those permits are probably unimpressed by how scary it is for you to make a phone call.

Firefighters have to run into burning buildings. As I write this, there are a series of deadly wildfires raging in California. There are firefighters who have to go out into the burning forests and get right up next to fires the size of towns, in which a sudden shift of the wind could engulf them in flames. That’s a scary job.

Police officers I have spoken to have told me that the scariest kind of call is not an armed standoff, not a gang issue, not a bank robbery, but a domestic situation. With an ordinary criminal, they are making rational judgements. They can be negotiated with. In a domestic situation, emotions are high and reason is out the window. Alcohol or drugs might be involved. There could be children in danger. The perpetrator may feel that they’re at the end of the road with nothing to lose. A police officer is expected to assess the situation, find the perfect answer, and do it all on the fly. That is a scary job.

Soldiers may find themselves going into a place where an enemy is actively trying to kill them with guns, missiles, or even bombs disguised as anything from piles of trash to baby carriages. That is a scary job.

This man would be unimpressed by your challenges walking into an office and asking for the owner.

Where were we before I went on this little soliloquy? Right, we were talking about how scary it can be to pick up a phone, to walk into a business, or to ask a fellow professional business owner to make a deal. Still think your job is scary?

Yet, it’s in our head. Foolish and absurd as it is, some of us are afraid to pick up a phone to set an appointment. How do we overcome that? Perspective and action. Perspective to realize that we’re not running into burning buildings or facing IEDs. Action to just get started. Pick up the phone and start dialing. Set your feet moving towards the door. Push the words out of your mouth to ask one more time for the sale.

If you are selling a quality product that is good for the consumer, you owe it to them to overcome your fear and help them make the right decision. Don’t let your irrational fear cause them to miss out on something good.

Sometimes all it takes to overcome your fears can be a little support and help in getting your head right. If you need that in your business, my Common Sense Coaching program may be right for you.

Michael Whitehouse is a connector in Southeast Connecticut. He is a publisher and market manager for Best Version Media.