You’ve probably heard the old sports adage “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” It speaks to our tendency, when considering some important action, to wait until conditions are ideal and our chances of success are nearly guaranteed.
We fear that if we try and fail, it will end our chances for success.
But the truth is exactly the opposite. Success is most often possible only after repeated failure. In other words, if there’s an accomplishment you dream of achieving, the more often you fail in the attempt, the greater your chances of ultimate success.
Joanne Rowling, an unemployed single mother, found an agent to represent her unpublished book manuscript about a boy wizard. But her novel was not well received by the publishing industry. After being rejected by twelve publishers, Bloomsbury decided to take a chance on the book and planned a small print run.
In a further vote of no confidence, they asked Joanne to adopt a more gender-neutral pen name. They were worried that the male readers of the 8-11 age group they were targeting wouldn’t be interested in something written by a woman.
Joanne decided on using the initials, J.K., in front of her last name. And her book about Harry Potter, that no one seemed to want, went on to become the best-selling series in history, with more than 600 million copies worldwide.1
Looking back, when Rowling was unpublished and unknown, it’s easy to forget how painful each of those dozen rejections must have been. And how she could have taken the sixth or the ninth as a sign that it was time to give up.
Business coach Stephanie Bogan tells her clients that the formula for bridging the gap between what you have and what you want isn’t working harder or longer.
It’s much simpler than that.
“If you want to accelerate your success,” Bogan says, “simply commit to taking imperfect action, in much greater doses.”
She explains that taking imperfect action allows you to refine, and perfect your skill through the only process that she’s seen work 100% of the time: practice.
“When you think about it,” adds Bogan, “it’s rather silly that we don’t act more often on our knowing that making mistakes is the path to greater success, not avoiding them.”2
In your career, in investing for retirement, and in life in general, it’s good to be reminded that nothing can be gained without risk. Whether it’s risk of failure, rejections, or loss. But when you accept appropriate risk and are willing to see temporary setbacks as a necessary ingredient in achieving your goals, it’s easier to persevere over the long-term.
If you ever have any questions about your investments or retirement plans, please feel free to give me a call at 801-545-0696.
Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc.
11576 S State Street, Bldg. 1002
Draper, UT 84020
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