The Failure Cycle

PART 1 OF 3 The Failure Cycle


Failure allows us to grow! A simple childhood right of passage, learning to ride a bike, illustrates why. The cycle begins with training wheels, a steady hand or fancy footwork required to strike the “perfect balance” to get started.  Next, you must maintain balance while pedaling, learning to control your speed and mastering the final touch, manipulating the brakes properly to slow or stop.  

Failing forward as an entrepreneur follows a similar pattern. Striking the “perfect balance” between work and family while wearing multiple hats, attempting to build your business and digging deep for the grit required in tough times is often just as painful as falling off a bike. Maintaining passion and commitment when the balance is off is difficult. Yet, finding the courage to stop doing things that aren’t working is possibly the hardest part of owning a business.

Just like riding a bike, if we make the wrong choices, take the wrong steps or create the wrong balance… we will fall, and are often left wondering how and why this happened. Seeking the answers to these questions is when we learn that failure teaches more than success!  Previously undiscovered mistakes are revealed allowing us to take action by making adjustments to the original business plan.

If you haven’t experienced failure, I submit that you aren’t attempting new things. Creating a new habit, developing a routine, or building an action plan is bound to result in failure on some level. The old adage you never forget how to ride a bike stems from the fact that when we fall off, we are taught to get back on and try again. This philosophy holds true in business as well.

Many coaching clients join our program because what they are doing is “not working” or it is working but they “feel out of balance” or “want more”. In short, a business that once was fun and exciting has become hard, stressful, time consuming, and overwhelming. Professional business coaches are trained to identify “failure cycles”. In fact, we have discovered seven habits which most often contribute to this cycle as illustrated in the graph. Grab the next Real Producers Magazine to read Part Two of The Failure Cycle, for a detailed discussion of the first three of the seven identified habits.