Failure Is An Option: Learning From Mistakes On Your Way to Success

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Anna Wagenhauser
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While visiting my aunt and uncle in Florida this summer, they told me about their journey as business owners. They moved from Maryland to Florida on a whim. At the time they had little-to-no plan of what they would be doing with their lives (besides relaxing by the beach, of course). Now, almost 10 years later, they’ve avoided failure and created a successful rental property management business, with two office locations and around 20 employees.

One evening, I asked my uncle how they became so successful, and he gave me two pieces of advice:

Be as confident as possible in yourself and your abilities

Sometimes you must “fake it till you make it,” but you’ll come off as a more competent and successful person because of it.  Just think: if my aunt and uncle hadn’t had the confidence to move almost 1,000 miles to an unfamiliar place, they wouldn’t have the success that they have now.

Have the mindset that “failure isn’t an option”

We all know that failure is a possibility when we venture out of our comfort zones. My uncle made a clear distinction between the negative connotation attached to “failing” versus being “unsuccessful.” He said that it’s OK to be unsuccessful. At that point, you cut your losses, learn from your mistakes, and try something else. But even if your idea or business doesn’t work out, you can still learn something valuable.

It’s so easy to become discouraged or lose confidence when life doesn’t go as planned. As a student, we face the idea of failure on a regular basis in our classes, friendships, personal lives, and work environments. But whether you’re starting a business, trying to make it in the music industry, or wanting to maintain happy relationships, the key is the same: believe in yourself and your abilities, learn from your mistakes, and always move forward.



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