It may sound a bit egotistical when I tell you that I, Marc Sparks, have something in common with the world’s best basketball player and the man who revolutionized the auto-making industry like no other—all three of us have failed. Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, was cut from his high school basketball team. Henry Ford didn’t put a reverse gear in his first automobile. Can you imagine how silly he must have felt when he tried to parallel park that first Ford between carriages in front of a horse barn?
As a rule, I gravitate toward and surround myself with positive people (more about that in a future blog). I want people on my side who have failed a time or two… or more. They know what’s it’s like to struggle—and they embrace it—because they know that where there is no struggle, there is no strength!
Failing isn’t the end; it’s an integral part of succeeding, much as a soldier earns his stripes. We’re all soldiers in this battlefield of life. I would much rather partner with someone who has left everything he has on the battlefield and FAILED than someone who stumbled upon success through some stroke of luck. I LOVE entrepreneurs that come to my office at Timber Creek Capital on their last gasp from getting kicked in the teeth from failure BUT they still have that fire left in their belly. They’re each like a phoenix, eager to rise from the ashes after being forged in the fires of life. They don’t fear failure!
No one wants to fail on purpose; however, when you do—and you will—FAIL FAST and move on! Don’t waste time grieving something you can’t change. Playing the “should have/could have” game will kill you if you spend too much time on it. So many good people get paralyzed from failure and even the fear of failure. Failing is OK! Failing is healthy, and failing will make you ten times more powerful than you were before you failed!
I am a competitive person by nature; however, nearly EVERYTHING I have learned and earned came from failing along the way. The average entrepreneur fails 3.8 times before he succeeds. It’s all about how you handle yourself after you fail that will determine your destiny.
Marc Sparks is an entrepreneur who has been involved in more than sixty start-ups since the Seventies. He is also the owner and CEO of Timber Creek Capital, a private equity firm. Read more Marc Sparks’ insights at www.whoismarcsparks.com and excerpts from his upcoming book, They Can’t Eat You at www.marcsparks.com.