Once you decide what you are going to pursue, you must realize one fact – you will not be successful right away. The road to your dreams and aspirations is filled with potholes of failure. Failure is a right of passage to ultimate success. However, you should embrace the resulting lessons. Failure is a necessary investment. Failure in pursuit of a dream is not failure in life.
The executives of Decca Recording Company were not impressed during The Beatles’ first record audition. One of the executives said, “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out.”
In 1944, Emmeline Snively director of the Blue Book Modeling Agency told Norma Jean Baker, an aspiring model, “You’d better learn secretarial work or else get married.” Norma went on to become Marilyn Monroe.
In their book, Switch – How to Change Things When Change is Hard, Chip and Dan Heath recount the following story about failure. In the 1960s an IBM executive made a risky decision that ended up in a $10 million loss. Today that’s the equivalent of just over $70 million. Can you imagine losing your company that much money? That would be a great incentive to pursue your dreams, because you could probably forget about your job. The CEO, Tom Watson called the executive to his corporate headquarters office. According to journalist Paul B. Carroll, here’s what happened next:
As the executive cowered, Watson asked, “Do you know why I’ve asked you here?” The man replied, “I assume I’m here so you can fire me.” Watson looked surprised. “Fire you?” he asked. “Of course not. I just spent $10 million educating you.”
When you begin to pursue your aspirations, don’t worry about whether or not you will reach the mountain top right away. No one succeeds immediately. A good professional makes his job look easy, but making it look easy takes hard work and many failures. Go ahead and fail. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next Marilyn Monroe.