So what if I fail?

So what if I fail?

Entrepreneurship | Judette Coward-Puglisi

July 5, 2008


12 months ago my company received its first loan. Not a small one mind you, but a significant one that will be used to invest in a cutting edge PR software package.

I must tell you though, just looking at the figure made me balk. It’s not that I am risk averse, but the amount created this niggling doubt in my mind, “What if you fail?” Naturally, I did my homework to ensure that my risks were minimised: due diligence on the software and its manufacturer, research to get customer insights, cash flow projections for the next three-five years.

Still the whispers of failure continued.


5 thoughts on “So what if I fail?

  1. This really touch me, honestly i have a big problem with personal failure, it affects my psyche greatly. Due to that, my principle has always been i prefer not to try something that I’m unsure about its success for fear of failure, obviously this is not the healthiest ethic whether for work or for life. This article just reminded me that, it is ok to fail and to try new things even if it isn’t successful in the end, it would be the only way i learn, grown and become stronger as an individual. I guess this article enforces the idea that living in fear of failure is no way to live……hmn…

  2. Firstly, I would like to apologize for my tardiness in commenting in your column, I was out of the country and I made up my mind that I would not touch a computer,
    much less access facebook. Much to say, my wife was relieved!

    Ha ha!

    Fear is one of the fundamental obstacles in achieving liberation!

    It is grouped with greed and anger in a trilemma. It is the conniving tools of the ego that confine us from seeing our true nature.

    One can also say that fear and ignorance are opposite sides of the same coin! In other words, they go hand in hand.

    In a practical sense, through trial and error, very much in a scientific method as you described, you discover the truth about your self, including your limitations.
    Yes, your limitations!. This is the stool upon which you sit to open the door to freedom!

    People feel ashamed and uncomfortable about their weaknesses and yes, their failures!

    But you must understand that if you have the correct attitude …one of personal perfection, then eventually the door would be opened.

    When this door is opened, then you are liberated, and there is no more limitation!

    Try it for your self!

    I hope my contribution makes a difference.

  3. A fear of failure can be debilitating… I experienced this first hand having to start out on my own as an ICT consultant. What if I cannot make enough to provide for my family? What if I don’t have what it takes? What if…
    So many "what ifs" I cannot say that I am one hundred percent over the fear but I can say that I now understand it, I embraced it and then let it go. And to do that I had to remind myself of how the success mechanism really
    functions… Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before he succeeded in inventing the light bulb. Every successful person I know has failed at some point in time before they reached "that place" Always keeping this in mind,
    armed with an insatiable desire to succeed and leaning on all the teachings of my martial arts of perseverance, self confidence and hard work, I pressed on. It is not at all easy, but its possible…

  4. Oh Gosh that’s great everyone.

    I have to say Brent even after 10 years in business I still get bouts of fear like when I experience a lull in business or if I make a move and it doesn’t pan out I begin to get the niggles of it. I am not like Raycy though the emotion or the panic never stops me.

    I opened my business a month after I had bought a new car and a Rover at that. I left a career in Boston to come back home with no job and I met my husband in Italy on a trip that I made by myself.

    All of these things brought me real pangs of fear but they have all panned out. Being a risk taker helps. Both in business and my personal life.

    I am interested though in the things that people do to overcome fear. Brent you mentioned martial arts, is there anything else that you readers do to get going even when you are feeling stymied?

  5. Seems like entrepreneurship runs through my veins. I grew up in a family business and continue to pursue my own business aspirations. Although I am 29, I do have at least 19 years of business experience. But unlike my brothers that are young entrepreneurs alongside my parents and are managing their own successful clothing businesses, I opted to enter the world of work. But the seeds are planted and I guess I do look at my career as my ‘own business’.

    Just a few things I would highlight from my experiences that are valuable to business or career…

    Enjoy getting dirty… There are no dirty jobs in business or in your career. You need to roll up your sleeve and get ready to get some grease on those hands. No job should be looked at as menial. Recently I met one of the leading international professionals in aviation. One of the main things he highlighted was ‘clean toilets’ as critical to the customer experience. Yes, we do need everything else but a critical test is cleanliness, the basis of hospitality. At work I am hands on for all aspects of a project. Although I am critical in the project development, I do have to get down on the ground and pack hampers for Christmas or get the hands ready for the task of packaging hundreds of envelopes. In your own business especially when you are a sole trader you are everything in one… ‘The cleaner’; the environment must be well prepared, ‘the baker’; the product/service needs to be developed and delivered and ‘the manager’; the decision maker and planner.

    Let the passion flow… Sometimes disappointment and fear disrupt this stream but you have to keep seeing the light in your job or business. I remember having to file tons of paper when I entered my organisation. Thoughts such as: ‘This is where my university degree has taken me’ but I turned around a mundane job and started creating strategies to improve the filing in the department, I mastered the art and gained an appreciation for this important role. In business, sometimes you have to take ‘small jobs’ but these do lead to big opportunities. There is so much to learn and enjoy from every experience. I believe in smiles and laughter and ensure that my colleagues and I share a hearty laugh daily and find creative ways to keep enjoying our jobs.

    Passion creates a desire to want and pushes you to work to achieve desired results and seek enjoyment from your actions.

    Creativity should sparkle… Generally in your life you need to be continuously creating new, different, bright, bubbly and the list of adjectives continue. As a home maker you could add new spices to an old recipe, as a dressmaker you could explore new patterns and as a manager you could look for new strategies to add buzz factor to your product line; from old situations you could create new results.

    Dream… Dream…. Dream… You must desire, have a vision, goals and work towards it but remember to work smart. Too much of us work hard but are not guided by strategy, tactics, mission or a plan. I believe your dreams grow and can change. My parents probably dreamt about having one good store but with experience and growing desires. Their dream not only became a reality but they were able to create one of the leading clothing retailers in the country.
    This is just a few but everything is situational, different recipes to create different banquets. Some have asked if I will jump into the family business, I am in it just differently; I love concepts, events and marketing. I enjoy from Aviation to Fashion.

    I think I broke some word limit posting rule but I was meaning to write something for some time.

    Kindest Regards,


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