For anyone who has ever done anything worthwhile in their life, they would know the value of success and more than that they will importantly know the value of timing their failure! Yes, believe it or not more than timing of success (which is certainly important) it is of paramount importance how one times their failure, time it too soon and you may loose on some benefit and time it too loose, you end up missing the opportunity completely! Join me here we explore this space and try to unravel what makes timing failure so important and whats the real way to go about it!
Success stories, almost always start with the statement “I or We saw an opportunity” rarely do we see a success story openly stated as “I or We failed at “X” so we planned and that’s how the success story of “Y” came to life!” You may say, well why does it matter what “X” was and if the whole world is celebrating the “Y” shouldn’t we all do the same, well sure enough we can celebrate “Y” but if we ignore “Y” and fail to understand what happened in that space, be rest assured the transformation of Y to X is just a matter of time- When and not If! It is within these hidden away, intentionally or unintentionally forgotten spaces of “X” that lie the real secret of understanding and embracing failure well so that whatever next steps one chooses to take from thereon, they end up being essentially rewarding success stories that “Y” is! So what is it about timing of “X” or rather timing of one’s failure? How does that become a factor to determine the scope and success of “Y”? Read on!
To answer the question about the timing of failure, one must understand , what is failure and how is that different to success? Can at times Failure be really Success disguised in the moment? Let me explain! Consider this, you are a business tycoon with a few millions of change to spare and of the many real estate projects that your firm is working one odd project which represents .0005% of your revenue and perhaps .00025% of your business profit has gone bust- so what does that mean to you- may be nothing right- you may not even notice it unless it comes up in the mentions of the annual review meeting or something like that, but now, if that’s the only project you had and the only one thing to showcase as your business endeavor to the world- now what is unfolding? Almost staring into the darkness which threatens to wipe off your very existence of the business horizon ins’t it! So the first thing to take note is that the frame of failure is very important- if you use the right frame, you can really see if what is unfolding is indeed failure or perhaps just a small bump on the road that you tread upon and this first observation is vital to arrive at the next critical one- the one that helps you decipher timing- knowing when enough is just enough and when you need to stand down, step back or just stand still or perhaps take that crucial detour- simply because the way ahead is simply self-consuming and detrimental!
If you carefully observe stories that spelt success owing to a failure- it almost always is the case of the crucial timing of that failure! We have all heard about how larger businesses have acquired some business that was been offered at dirt cheap rate simply because the founders could not sustain it and how over time that business ended up saving the larger one and ended up being the identity of the business itself! This is the space where failing at the right time becomes crucial- you see, even for the original founders of a business for being able to walk away and actually earn something of a failing business (at that moment in time) is much of an achievement and that ability to have that kind of a risk appetite to dive into the unknown at that time is what creates a contextual difference about how the big business is changing its approach and attitude in the business landscape and thereby creates enough buzz and ripples to not only revive the failing business but if the conditions are right, empower it and turn that failing story into a shining success beacon! This all but can happen only if the failing business and the one that can identify and pick it up arrive in the frame of context at the right time! If the timing is wronged by even a few quarters, more often than not, it ends up scripts of fallen businesses and missed opportunities!
There is one more essence to this game of timing and that is of being the right size, you see when failures happen at the right time and the right size, they stand a chance of being picked up, course corrected and give another lease of life, either by the same people or by a different group of people! We have these examples all around us, know that airline which has been struggling and seeking buyers or investors, well why isn’t it being rescues, for the simple reason that the size of failure, you see when it comes to business like it comes to even helping on a personal level- you would never go beyond your set boundaries and the moment you think that even offering the help that wish to is going to tie you down or hamper your peace and safety- intellectually and financially- needless to stay you are going to step back and stand down unless you are helped by few more friends who can collaborate and together then perhaps you can tame the odd colossal failure- again provided the benefits of the turnaround are in line with what every partner is expecting! If that doesn’t fit the bill, then you have people backing off in the middle of the things and trust me that’s one things you never want to happen- that is like pushing a car downhill with no one at the wheels to control the jump start!
Whether we like it or not, whether it be business or the personal equations that we have amongst us, unless we have stories of failures around us subsequent stories of stellar success would be all but lost and even the few original success stories would loose their appeal, because failures of all kinds- whether or not dealt with provide a stark contrast to human society and this alone perhaps is what keep humanity anchored to certain set of values and principles! It is when the cost and benefit of failures are played out in societies in the open that people tend to become more understanding responsible and attentive to whats unfolding around them, for whether you are aware or not and believe it or not, someone else’s failure can mean your success pivot and even the converse s true!
So as you journey along, as you plan for milestones of success and celebrations, do also try to calibrate your failures that may come your way on the way- for if you get it right and know the right failure to arrive at, you may end up scripting perhaps the greatest come back stories or perhaps be the reason for something new altogether to begin! Who knows! There is no real reason to fear failure, rather it is only when you embrace failure that you are able to liberate yourself off the ignorance and arrogance associated with it and that in itself becomes a key to your future foundation whether you want to just perhaps want to get a job or sell popcorn or build the next business empire!
So I leave you with thoughts here, urging you to perhaps plan your failure, so that your success is even more brilliant and dazzling! Whatever you do, time it well and size it apt! Every Success Story has been built on the Souls of some failure- at times these souls are known and more often than not they remain unknown! As someone said, Failure is not Final and Success is not eternal!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one soon! Until then stay safe and stay wise!