Failure is relative. It’s not losing because that’s definite. In fact, failure can look like success to some people. Think of an elite athlete who makes the Olympics and ends up in 4th place. For me, that would be an incredible success! But for that Olympian who was a hopeful for the gold, it is a failure.
Most of the time, failing comes about as the result of trying to achieve a specific goal, and the more specific and the more difficult the goal, the more likely you are to fail. I have people all the time tell me in jest, that is why they don’t create goals! After a courtesy laugh, I always get a little annoyed and it’s because you cannot be truly elite unless you strive to attain an incredibly difficult goal. We consider the Olympian an elite athlete, not a failure.
So how do we relate this to business? Well, just like the athlete chooses a sport, we need to decide what game we are playing. What is the purpose for being in business? This answer then leads us to how we define our success. For the gold medal hopeful its gold. For you it might be to have your business in 3 different locations or to hit 3 million dollars in sales. Whatever it is it needs to be specific.
Refusing to set goals and define your purpose might make you less likely to experience failures along the way, but it will also make you less likely to be elite. If you desire greatness for your business, then define your purpose and create challenging long-term goals. We are not defined by our failures, but rather our gradual improvements. If you are tough enough to persevere beyond the failures along the way, your commitment to the process will result in you reaching greatness.