One of my favorite movies of all time is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I love the flying car, the singing, the whistling candy and all the crazy inventions that don’t always work the way they are supposed to. What I love the most, is the positive attitude the movie reinforces. The title of this piece is a song line from the movie and I know that it is true.
Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” When I look back on my business and personal life, some of my biggest successes came from a failure. One day I looked up from my desk and realized I had let go, or had resign, all the technical staff. Bigger problem was I had weeks’ worth of projects booked with clients. I had two options at that point; I could say I was a failure and close the doors or I could figure out a better way of doing things. I’m not one for staying in the ashes, I prefer roses.
I chose the option of figuring out a better way of doing things. I had not been happy with the way things had been going for a long time but it was easier to just keep things going rather than rock the boat. One day I realized that rocking the boat was really the only option for me. That is why I was sitting there with no technical staff and lots of work.
I called on a lot of friends at that point to keep things running for my clients while I rebuilt the company. Within a few shorts years we went from low six figures and no recurring revenue to seven figures with recurring revenue and shortly after that we sold the company.
Success comes from being willing to take risks, step outside your comfort zone and make the hard decisions. It also comes from knowing what you want for yourself and telling yourself you deserve it. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who believe they are a success and that they deserve all the great things that their hard work brings to them. Companies often fail because the owner and/or staff don’t believe in themselves and don’t have a common goal for the business. The other reason they fail is because they don’t change the business as the needs of their market change.
If the owner and the staff aren’t working towards a common goal, the business will be a hit or miss success. Business planning, marketing planning and resource planning are all important aspects to ensure that there will be fewer ashes and more roses of success. Decide what you want. Plan how you are going to achieve it. Implement the plan. Modify the plan as needed. Have fun and when you have ashes, plant roses. What are you stories of ashes to roses?