How Not To Fail? 6 Things To Know For Building Your Business

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Do you know the secret for how not to fail? Growing up, I always felt that if I didn’t try something, I couldn’t fail. The more I grew, the more I invested in learning, and the more I tried, the more I discovered that the only way to fail was NOT to try. Everything else was a chance to learn and grow even more.

Motivation Quote: The only way to fail is to not try. 

When it comes to building your business, this truth remains. You need to try to move from where you are to where you want to be. If you don’t try, you won’t move. If you don’t move, you will fail.

Dare to find your way to try.

Six Knows for Building Your Business

Know Why 

Why are you doing what you are doing? This vision statement should reflect your values and your unique purpose, and it should resonate with you, your employees, and your customers.

Without a definitive why, you will invest a lot of energy and time throwing things at your customers hoping something sticks. You don’t know because you don’t know. This just leaves a mess, keeps you from having all of your resources to invest in your why focus, and annoys a lot of your customers (who may or may not ever return).

Take time to understand the fundamental reasons for why you are doing what you are doing. Your why will help keep you focused on your unique direction and will limit the rabbit trails you follow. Your why reminds you that just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Know Who 

There can be only one. 

Have you thought about the ONE ideal customer your why addresses? 

As an author, I never wanted to define my one because I didn’t want only to sell one book. I wanted to sell books to EVERYONE! Defining one would certainly hold me back from that goal. 

Understanding your target person helps you address the many because what you do ripples out to the rest.

Think of your one as a pebble you drop into a still pond. The pebble only hits one spot, but the waves created from that one pebble will literally touch every point in the pond at different levels. 

Know How 

The pathway to your success has never been walked before. You are setting out on a journey that requires you to take the road less traveled. Actually, you have to take the road never traveled before because you are the only person who can walk your path.

It’s important to invest in learning from others that have gone before you – both in your industry and outside your industry. But you can’t copy what they did to get to where you want to be. You have to take what you learn from their journey and make your own way. It can be similar to their path, but the journey will also be unique because you are unique.

I’m currently taking guitar lessons. The young man teaching me the lessons is taller than me. He has longer arms and longer fingers than me. He plays an electric guitar while I play a classical acoustic guitar. Although we are technically playing the same instruments, I have to do things a little different from how he does them for all the reasons listed above and more.

I listen to what he says. I watch what he’s doing. I study the book we are using (which was written by a man who also happens to be taller). I try different ways to form the chords until I find the way that works best for me. 

If I demanded to do it just as he does it, I would never find a way that would work for me. If I forced myself to do just as the book shows, I would get frustrated and exhausted. If I never tried different alterations, then I would fail at learning the guitar. 

You learn how to live your purpose by trying, learning from your efforts (and from the efforts of others before you), and then eventually unlock your unique way.

only way to fail

Know When 

There are two whens you need to know. 

The first when is NOW. The only time you have to work with is right now. Yesterday is too late. Tomorrow never comes (because by the time it gets here, it is now). 

If you are going to build your business, then you have to start now. If you don’t start now, then you will never start. Now is the time.

The second when you need to know is the right time. 

The right time to take a particular step in your journey will be determined by what you need to learn and what the circumstances around you allow. 

I read an article about a venue that closed only two weeks after it opened. It was a concert venue that decided to open in the middle of a pandemic. In the same article, I read a comment from a similar venue in a neighboring community that had to close temporarily as well because of the climate and conditions in the industry. But they had been running for a quarter of a century and looked forward to reopening down the road when circumstances adjusted. 

The first company had no plans to try again.

When you try to force your vision into a time or place unwilling or unable to accept your vision, then you can crush the dream or the potential customer base before you begin to set a foundation. 

Know Where 

Your why will help to identify your where, after all, you can’t build a fishing guide empire in a land-locked community. 

Back in the 1980s, the outlet mall frenzy was just beginning. In the small town of Boaz, Alabama, a large outlet mall went up. According to my professor at the time, it defied all the “rules” for WHERE a successful outlet mall should grow.

  • It wasn’t next to an interstate.
  • It wasn’t near a major tourist attraction.
  • It wasn’t around a large city.

But despite all of these broken rules, people bused in from 200 miles away to shop these outlet malls. My professor said it was a fluke. 

In a way, it was. Because they were one of the first, they did things differently than the ones that came after them. Unfortunately for the outlet mall and the town of Boaz, the where rules eventually caught up. The people that once bused in began to take their business to the outlet malls that fell in line with the rules.

Your where will be affected by your why, your who, and your how. You may be positioned at the front of the industry and allowed to break the rules for a time, but eventually the who and how will catch up to your where.

Know What

The best part of knowing your why is that it will help you define your what. 

In the above example of a fishing guide empire, I commented that you couldn’t do it in a land-locked community. But what you could do is build a fishing rod empire, or a fishery empire, or a dozen things within the fishing industry. 

Allow your imagination to help you identify your what. 

List out all of the possibilities aligned with, related to, or within your why definition. Compare those to your current where or find a where that will meet them and gauge the value of a move. Look at those ideas against your who and your how (and even your when).

The more you invest in defining your journey, the bolder you will be in walking out your journey.

But here is the ultimate key. You will have to take your journey. 

The reason you only fail when you don’t try is because you don’t move when you don’t try. Your journey requires movement and action. Without action, you are stuck where you are. If you want to build success in your business or build a business you haven’t yet imagined completely, you will have to move from where you are in this moment.

You don’t fail if you try, learn, grow, and keep moving towards your success.

Try. Learn. Grow. Keep Going!

Challenge: Begin at the beginning. Work your way through the six KNOWS. Identify any points where you don’t know. Over the next few days, begin to hone your know.

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only way to fail

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