Failure can be an extremely scary thing. By the time we've reached college age, we've had it imprinted deep into our brains that failing leads to dropping out of school and a lifetime of horrible consequences. When you have your first job, failing might mean a loss of income, unpaid bills and the inability to participate in your favorite social activities. When it comes to the world of creativity and business, however, to fail can be a blessing in disguise.
Tony Robbins, Donald Trump and Bill Gates are three extremely well-off, successful businessmen at the top of their respective fields. One thing the three of them have in common other than millionaire status is that they have all failed royally as least once in their lives. These failings took the form of collapsed businesses or bankruptcy and lesser men might have seen these problems as insurmountable. They weren't. They were just temporary failings. All failures are temporary unless you choose to make them permanent.
They understand the most important aspect of failing, that all great men and women seem to get, which is that you can learn a lot more from a complete failure than you can from a mild success or breaking even. Instead of thinking of a failing as a stopping point, they simply labeled it as a step that didn't quite pan out. It was a step to learn what didn't work. Sure, it may have been a step that cost them a lot of money and reputation, but it was not cause for them to give up.
I have failed majorly a couple of times in my life. My biggest was a $30,000 loss from a television show I tried to will into being with my own credit cards. Losing all of that money was definitely a bummer and since my yearly income at the time was less than I had lost, I feared for the worst and came close to bankruptcy. I persevered and put more effort into this website and eventually into my self-publishing pursuits. I learned a great deal from my failures including more about myself, the power of optimism, hiring the right people, producing things for less, living on less and the amazing power of turning what you've already got into acres of diamonds.
Think of failing as a setback, not as an endpoint. When I run into a big, fat fail, I try to think of Thomas Edison's hundreds of efforts and missteps to create the incandescent light bulb before his final prevailing success. If he had stopped one attempt short, who knows the dark world we'd live in. Don't stop short. Keep moving until you find the success you were made for.
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.