When failure isn’t the endSometimes talent and hard work just aren’t enough. Life gets in the way, as Jansen discovered, slipping and falling on the ice in both the 500m and the 1,000m events; shattering his dreams and the hopes of the medal he so longed for. After the loss of his beloved sister, he continued to train hard, more determined than ever to win that Olympic medal which he had decided he would dedicate to his late sister. At the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, Jansen was once again favourite for gold going into his events. Fate, once again, saw things differently and following bruising stumbles in both the 500 and 1,000 metres events Jansen went home dejected and medal-less. Despite winning world titles after the Albertville Olympics, Jansen was left frustrated at not reaching the goal he had set himself. With time running out he realised that the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, would be his final chance for the gold he craved. Once again he was favourite for the medals’ podium in the 500m event, as he had been in the past, but once again the dice had been cast against him and another slip on the Norwegian ice saw him finish disappointedly in eighth place. The 1,000m was not Jansen’s favoured distance and was accordingly omitted from the list of favourites to take the podium. However, after so many years of hard work, determination and disappointment Dan Jansen beat all the odds and won both the gold medal and the hearts of fans all over the world. Finally, he had the medal he had so long yearned for and which he dedicated to the memory of his sister and to the baby daughter – also named Jane – whom he held in his arms as he skated his lap of honour. Dan Jansen was finally a winner. There are lessons to be taken from the story of Dan Jansen, lessons which can be also applied to the world of business and to our everyday lives.
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently – Henry Ford
Learning lessons from failureThe lessons we learn from failure are essential to human cognition; to the learning process and to our ability to move forward after setbacks. Ultimately, these are the steps and the building blocks of eventual success. Regardless of your sphere of endeavour, be it entrepreneurism, sales, project management, literature, or music, you can be sure that the road to your success will be paved with failure and rejection. The real difference between success and failure is how the individual chooses to deal with it, and move above and beyond such impediments. One prime example of dealing with rejection, and more importantly, using it as a force for good, is – one of the most popular internet music streaming services on the market. Westergren’s success was born on the back of failure; firstly as a student of medicine, and then as a musician in a world where rejection is a constant companion. Having experienced over 350 rejected attempts to secure funding for his fledgling Pandora project, Westergren drew on his experience in the world of music. He strongly believes the mantra that, “No, is a part of life’s transactions” and as a consequence, he regards rejection as a normal process. Despite continuous rejection, Westergren firmly believes that if you pick something you really love, no matter how many times you fail, no matter how many setbacks you may face, you can always bounce back. In the world of business, and especially the world of sales in business, the same holds true. However, being well-prepared and well-armed the chances of failure will be greatly diminished. Using a smart Sales CRM, such as Teamgate, you can substantially increase your chances of success and profitability. Just like the training regime of a top athlete, the Teamgate Sales CRM can help you plan the whole process by which you intend to succeed. Teamgate will enable you to analyse your sales team’s process along every step of the sales journey, to plan accordingly or change tactics, in order to reach your goal. Being prepared and willing to adapt are key factors in success – even after failure.
Statistics:Historically – First-time entrepreneurs have less than a 10% chance of success. Those who have previously failed have a 20% chance of success. In a survey of small business entrepreneurs:
- 96% believed that prior work experience was an important factor for success.
- 76% said that learning from previous failures was important in present success.
- 73% cited good fortune as an important factor.
- 40% said having at least one failure was “extremely important”.
- 98% of small business owners feel potential entrepreneurs are only held back by ‘a fear of trying and failing’.