Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping stones for Success by John Maxwell will help you stop making excuses, start embracing failure as a natural, necessary part of the process and let you find the confidence to proceed in business and in life.
Failing Forward handles the psychology of success and failure, presenting case studies mostly of people and businesses that managed to come back from major setbacks or failures to succeed. Written in the typical John Maxwell style, it has anecdotes, stories and quotes relevant and leading towards the lessons to be learned from the book.
“Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” John Maxwell
This is the attitude that Maxwell wants to teach us with this book. Failing Forward is about losing some of the conditioning that we have all come out of school learning – the paralyzing fear of failure. Maxwell wants us to see failure at the horizon and move ahead with confidence.
Here are 3 lessons to help you change your perspective:
#1: You might not be responsible for your failures, but you can sure take responsibility for your success. It’s not always your fault when things go wrong, but, when you give up and feel sorry for yourself, that is. When successful people fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic. It’s not personal. If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, don’t let any single incidence color your view of yourself or your business. Do you know what all successful entrepreneurs have in common? The ability to bounce back after an error, mistake or failure. Figure out what you didn’t do right, so you don’t do it again. That’s the key to bouncing back and failing forward.
“Every successful person is someone who failed, yet never regarded himself as a failure.” John Maxwell
#2: Turn failure into knowledge and knowledge into success.
Failing is not losing unless you do not learn from what went wrong. As an entrepreneur, making multiple attempts to launch your business can take the pressure off every single one. We must come to the realization that entrepreneurs will go through multiple stages of failure, which will allow us to learn from each one and improve their next product or service we offer. This is how failure leads to success. When we put too much pressure on ourselves, we often don’t have the stomach to revisit our failure. But, how else should we find out what we did wrong? Make more. Quantity over quality. Be determined to understand your failures and then improve each time.
“Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business.” John Maxwell
#3: Three things help you make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
When you begin to realize that your failure is actually a step forward, you will move forward and be open to opportunities that comes your way. Take captive every opportunity. Maxwell suggests working on three things to ensure you do: set clear goals; work on your social skills; and, keep a positive mindset.
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” John Maxwell
These are just the beginning. The more you fail and learn from them, the more you will be prepared in the future. Meaning, do not let setbacks hold you back for too long. We recommend this book to anyone striving to succeed despite all odds and needing some inspiration. Failing Forward can be applied to your entire life and not just to business.