One of my favorite quotes is a Japanese proverb that says "fall down seven times, get up eight times". One of the biggest obstacles to our success as business owners is how we choose to deal with our failures. When I started out in business I was chasing a ghost - a perfect model of a successful business that I somehow, some way needed to find and replicate. Any deviations from this perfect model were a failure which I was to reprimanded for so that I could quickly brush myself off to get back on "the path". Too many failures and I began to feel a failure myself.
Thankfully I've learned through painful trial and error that that isn't how it works.
The best explanation I've heard of how success works is that we're like an auto-guided missile. We set off with a very clear goal - a destination in mind. But as we get into our journey, we need to make course corrections as we go - a little to the left, a little to the right. Sometimes a lot to the right. And the path we end up charting is never the one we could have planned for ourselves anyway. It's a far richer learning experience, with even greater opportunities than we could have conceived of when we started. How quickly you can recover from a failure will determine how successful you'll become. I now teach my coaching students about the power of "failing forward". Failures are great - as long as they don't stop us moving towards our goal. Think of your path as an obstacle course - like a line of poles that show dogs weave in and out of - yes you're going to hit some poles - a lot of poles on your journey.
But the goal isn't perfection - it's progress.