The idea of me causes a business owner’s heart rate to spike.
Most self made millionaires have had at least 3 of me.
Seth Godin observes “countless entrepreneurs have perfected” giving up when they see me coming.
Macy’s Pixar, Heinz, and JetBlue wouldn’t be where they are without me.
Failure is the answer to the riddle!
I totally embrace this concept because I for one am far from perfect.
I have made my fair share of mistakes big and small.
The optimist in me sees all of these “failures” as opportunities for growth. Or maybe that is how I am able to sleep at night…
Luckily, there is a vast amount of research to support my sunshine and roses philosophy.
A study that compares beliefs held by self-made millionaires compared to those of the middle class is telling.
9/10 self-made millionaires believe failure is important to becoming wealthy.
Only 2/10 of the middle class believe in the importance of failure.
I have my sights set on big goals that will enable me to give back in a big way and am, therefore, holding onto my belief that these failures will set us up for success.
Learn from our mistakes and take these opportunities to uncover our weaknesses.
These learnings allows us to better understand our strengths so we can leverage those and ultimately find other ways to address our weaknesses (e.g., through outsourcing activities we are not good at so we can focus on the things that we enjoy doing and are actually good at).
In 2007 JetBlue’s the founder and CEO David Neeleman experienced one of his empire making failures in the midst of a major East Coast snowstorm. While other airlines grounded planes in anticipation of the storm, JetBlue decided to go forward.
What came to be known within the company as the Valentine’s Day Massacre, caused for passengers to be stuck on planes on the runway for more than 9 hours and flights schedules to be backed up globally for days.
Neeleman’s decision to keep operations moving despite of predictions of heavy snow and freezing rain ultimately cost the company $44 MILLION. Needless to say, David Neeleman lost his job.
A embarrassing business operations, customer service, and media debacle like this could spur one to hide under a pillow for the rest of his or her life.
Instead, he moved to Brazil and started another new airline called Azul.
It doesn’t snow in Brazil.
I suspect your mistakes haven’t caused you to relocate countries (although Brazil doesn’t sound so bad!).
So fess up! What FAILURES have you had lately?
And of course, I’m anxious to know — Did my riddle stump you?
Tell me in the comments! Please!
Stats, stories, and quotes from the book Brilliant Business.