Monday, September 1, 2014

Real failure isn't a moment in time, it's an attitude in your mind.

In the movies, things are often painted with a nice black or white brush. We know what winning looks like, and we know what losing looks like. Success and failure are properly labeled so we can easily recognize them.

In real life, we might imagine such labels exist, but the reality is that they don't. Failure and success are often two different perspectives on an event. And even those perspectives are subject to change over time. 

For example, there was a company called Blue Ribbon Sports, known better today as Nike. In 1971, they were a tiny business that was losing their distributorship for ASICS running shoes in the USA. This effectively put them out of business. They had no product to sell. In that moment, it would be easy to look at this event and declare it failure. 

But founder Phil Knight managed to find someone to manufacture a new design, to create their own product - later known as Nike. If they had NOT lost the distributorship, they may have carried on as a distributor. While there's nothing especially wrong with that, it would have meant that you'd have never heard "Just Do It" as there would be no Nike. There's no way that a distributor would have the brand equity that Nike does. In essence, losing the distributorship was a major success. But it took a bit of time to see that. Most importantly, it took the will to keep going.

Such is the nature of much failure and success. What looks good in a given moment may not stand the test of time. Conversely, what looks like a complete failure today can be the genesis of a remarkable success. Keep that in mind before you become too downcast over a setback. Real failure isn't a moment in time, it's an attitude in your mind. Stay positive and just keep looking.

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