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Failure Is Not An Option: How To Overcome 4 Startup Fail Factors



I hate that dreaded gut feeling when you know something is going south and you think there is nothing you can do. You know, the feeling of failure. Yuck. The worst. But some people live by the “failure is not an option” creed. You know, winners. Those are the people who don’t let any perceived “failure factors” get in their way of the success of their startup. Sales guru Geoffrey James offers up his insight on what these fail factors are and how you can overcome them.


1. Boring Goals

Geoffrey says that most people picture a “thing” as a result of their goals: money, cars and women, baby! The problem is that most people forget that it’s the positive emotion we get from achieving our goals that we seek (not the actual “thing” itself).


Solution? Imagine what it will feel like when you’ve achieved your goal rather than being focused on the “thing.”





I want a new car. Boring. I want a new car so I can drive across the country and finally have the adventure I’ve always dreamed of. Inspiring!


2. Feelin’ the Fear

Yep, this is a biggie. Most people don’t have the cojones to take the risks it requires for success. Why? The fear that they will fail miserably and burn in a raging fire of unsuccessful venturers before them. OK, kind of dramatic. But really, quiting your job and salary or even networking is a risk many people are too afraid to take.


Solution? Geoffrey says see failure as a temporary (and necessary) set-back on your journey to success. Once you accept that things won’t always go your way, you won’t fear failure and you’ll learn from it and move on.




3. Afraid of Success

OK, this is a new one to me. It turns out that people are also afraid of succeeding, and, according to Geoffrey, this can be an even more debilitating fear. Think about becoming hugely successful with a hearty bank account and being able to do whatever you wanted. Now imagine how you would feel if all of that was taken away. Scary! I could see how this would cause a person to recoil.


Solution? Be truly grateful and happy for what you have now and what you may have in the future, no matter what happens. That should just be a general life motto, no?


4. Overcoming the Lulls

We all hit a point in our quest for success where we hit dry spots. You know, the point when–after you’ve made some achievement towards your goal – you feel like you’ve flat-lined. That’s kind of like me and my Spanish: I feel like I’m advancing quickly and then there will be a long period of… well… no progress. Same goes with business. Hit a dry spot and quit. Just like that.




Solution? Geoffrey says celebrate your achievements (even if they’re small). Plateaus usually happen right before an excellent breakthrough, you just have to stick it out and be… key word here… patient!


My friend had a Chinese proverb on his Facebook status today that said:


“The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”


So, in order to avoid these common startup fail factors, create inspiring goals, accept that failure is a part of success, don’t be afraid to succeed, and don’t let the lulls get to you. After all, no one really wants to be a failure now, do they?


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Author : Holly Hutton

Born in the Big Easy and raised in the Sunshine State, Holly has spent the last five years brunching in the Big Apple and bantering with Big Ben. As a wandering writer, techy-in-training, and avid alliterator, Holly has written everything from educational policy and political news briefs to web content and travel blogs. She is thrilled to be a part of the KS team and working with a community of smart, savvy, entrepreneurs on all things startup!

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