“Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do.”
This is a quote from Think and Grow Rich (referral link) by Napoleon Hill. As unbelievable as it feels, you are not alone – failure happens to everyone. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that second part of this quote goes on to say that most of the 500 wealthy men interviewed by the author told him that their greatest success came just one step beyond what they thought they were capable of handling, just one step after they had admitted total defeat. Yet, they persisted towards their goal. A major theme in many business books I’ve read reiterate this point – to achieve success, you must keep going after failure.
I’m not saying that it’s always a good idea to keep flogging the dead horse, I mean, lessons should be learned and the course corrected where possible. But it seems where failure is concerned, it shouldn’t stand in the way of success. You never know how close you are to a win.
Important: Your perception of failure will therefore determine the level of success you can achieve, especially if it understands that loss is “part of winning”, and not the “opposite of winning”. Most people just dont believe that. We’re not programmed to!
So What If You Fail? Try Again!
The “Rich Dad” says losers quit when they fail and winners fail until they succeed. So, you should fail fast and fail early, as it is your failure that is going to lead to you where you ultimately want to go. Don’t seek failure out, but whenit happens, absorb it and keep moving, especially if you’ve failed just inches short of your goal. If we’re talking about failure, then it makes sense to talk about risk too, as this inevitably appears before failure. Most middle class people consider risk a very negative concept, but this is why many never become business owners – owning a business implies risk, whereas being an employee doesn’t (generally). The irony is that the only way out of the rat race is to take risks.
Risk doesn’t have to be a bad thing – sure, the first time you jump out of an airplane, to you, it’s risky, it’s pretty terrifying as well, especially when you haven’t packed your own shoot (I’ve jumped from 10 000ft, the most courage is required just before you leave the plane). Taking risks pushes limits and boosts confidence, even if it doesn’t work out as you expected. Robert Kiyosaki makes the point about learning to manage risk versus avoiding it altogether.
Why is it the middle-class believe that finding a job is a less risky solution than starting a business? Well, we all know about the success rate of start-up businesses (only 2/3 of all small business start-ups survive the first two years and less than half make it to four years), but what about the risk of being laid off? When recession hits (as it has recently), employees are usually the first to go – in today’s business world, there is very little loyalty to employees. So, perhaps we can conclude both options are risky – the difference is, when you have your own business, a lot more is in your control.
Starting a business outwardly appears risky, but through education, you can learn to take calculated risks and manage them. The problem with being an employee is that, if you get to keep your job, risk is just deferred to later in life, because you cant work forever, and you may not have saved enough for retirement while you were working.
I don’t necessarily agree that entrepreneurship needs to be risky. When you start small, you prove the concept works without lots of money, and you remove a large percentage of the financial risk. If it isn’t going to work without a lot of money, it’s likely that it won’t work with it. And the Internet has made starting a business even easier, requiring less, and achieving more. The real risk is inaction, letting life happen to you, wishing that things were different, but never making any effort to change them yourself. If you sit back and hope to be promoted at work, you are more likely to ensure the best of life will never be obtained. Life rewards action. If you ask most aged people, they will tell you, when you get to the end of your life, there is usually a regret that more risks weren’t taken. You may never encounter the worst of life if you stay an employee, but you may never be free to experience the best of life either.
Want To Leave Your Job? Manage Your Exit
You’ve been thinking about quitting your job for a while now. But, its as if thats too much to process. You think getting another job will solve the problem – time to update the CV! But do you really want to go through the fuss of changing jobs? Will there ever be a better time to quit? Life just gets harder, not easier – so why are you putting it off?
Before I left my corporate job, I thought about quitting almost every day. I had a good job, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. Living for the weekend just wasn’t living. I knew that each day I stayed there, killed a small fraction of my soul. So, I put a plan together, a plan to leave my job! An exit strategy.
Things don’t always to go plan, but without a plan, you are more than likely not going to move forward. Ask yourself, what would it take for me to quit my job? Be specific. These questions might help:
- How much money do you need monthly to live (no luxuries)?
- How could you earn short-term cash to help pay the bills?
- Are you willing to use some of your savings to help?
- What can you do now while still employed?
- Are you willing to down-grade your lifestyle for a while?
- Is there an option to reduce hours or work part-time rather than quit?
- What is your backup plan if plan-A fails (get your job back? get another job?)?
Having worked after-hours on my Internet businesses for some time, I had planned to have a reasonable income by the time I left my job. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work out, but it didn’t derail my plan entirely. I had seen that as a risk, and put a mitigation into place if the risk materialized. My contingency was to help my wife out with her childminder business a couple days a week, which is still gets me closer to my dream than if I stayed at my job full-time. If you can live with the worst thing that can happen, you’ve managed your risk.
Depending on how much of your plan you still need to action, it could take up to 6 months to prepare to quit your job. If you are serious about making money online, quitting your job may be the best thing you can do. But don’t jump into an empty swimming pool – you need to make sure a “transition process” is in place, else, it could be fatal for your dream. If you fall too hard because you rushed it, you might not be willing to jump again in the future.
I have no regrets leaving my job. I might not be on my way to the executive lounge any more, but I now have a shot to earn passive income, become location independent and spend more time than I can imagine with my family and friends. So, what’s stopping you put at least a plan together to get you out your job?