Think back to when you were a kid… a really young kid. Or, if you have kids or know young kids (under 5 years old) think of them. Think about how fearless kids are at that age. How kids go out and “do it” first… and ask for forgiveness later. How kids don’t really care what other people think about them nearly as much as us adults do. And how kids are creative, imaginative, and think by their own rules.
We’re all born to be fearless. We’re all born risk takers. We’re all born as individuals… without the fear of failure… it’s just ingrained in us to get back up when we fall down. But, somewhere along the way… most of us lost all of that. And that’s not a good thing.
This is a topic for a whole other column… but our school system and society in general teach us that failure is bad. To avoid failure at all costs and conform with the norm so we won’t fail. Forget thinking outside of the box. The second we step outside of that “box”, we’re given a bad grade… or even laughed at by our peers because we’re doing something “not normal”.
But, when we grow up… it’s those very things we’re taught to avoid, that are our path to the greatest rewards in our lives.
Successful entrepreneurs are like kids in many ways.
We think differently than most other people. We don’t look at failure as a door closing, instead it’s just another step closer to success. Creativity and thinking “differently” are great things. In fact, most of the people I know who are making the biggest impact in the world (and are extremely high earners) are the most creative. They just decided that to reach their goals, they had to stop worrying about what others would think about them if they did fail. They just went out and did it.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur (I don’t only mean monetary success… but also being fulfilled, having fun, making a difference) then you need to find the kid in you again.
Next time you’re in the grocery store, be “crazy” and jump on the back of the shopping cart for a quick ride. I do it nearly every time… because it’s fun. People give me weird stares, but I don’t care.
Stop delaying what you really want in life because you’re afraid of what other people will think of you if you fail. I’ve delayed too many things I’ve wanted to do because of that funny self-inflicted fear. Once I decided to live life by my own terms, that fear went away.
Sign up for a class and learn something you’ve always wanted to learn. Schedule in time every week to do something you love. Stop thinking of reasons you’ll fail and start thinking of reasons you’ll succeed (I’m not just talking business here). Treat failures as stepping stones to success rather than doors preventing success.
I remember watching all three of my kids as they were moving from the baby to the toddler stage and each one of them would try to stand up (over and over and over again) from sitting down. They’d try. Fall on their rear. And without missing a beat try it again, and again, and again until they’d stand up by themselves.
That lack of the fear of failure is baked into all of us from birth. That is what life should be like. Imagine starting life if fear of failure stopped you from trying to talk, walk, run, or just plain be silly. Let’s decide to live our lives more like kids do. Take a risk this week. Start that business. Get up when you fall down. Be a kid again. It just may help you be more successful in business and life than you think.