Risk is the spice that gives the bowl of life you’re sucking down at dinner some actual flavor. Everyone likes to talk about success, but let’s face it, we all fail. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t taking risks, and if you’re not taking risks, you’re not truly trying.

“Fail” – it’s the four letter word that most people avoid as they grow up. You don’t want to fail a test in school, or fail to make the team, or perhaps it’s failing to get that date with the guy or girl you’ve been stalking on Facebook for the past few months. Regardless of how you define it, failure is something that successful entrepreneurs embrace.

I can’t tell you how many projects I’ve started only to hit a dead in – a fail. As Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”Well, as business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, we fail a lot. Some of the best ideas come from those failures and allow us to grow successful businesses.

Here are a few of my epic failures: Failure - Doug Holt

  1. Invested thousands of dollars into a website geared to lead generation for health and wellness practitioners. I was running multiple businesses and didn’t have the time to even write the content for the front page, let alone sell the business. Result: I went into debt setting up a business that I was sure would make me money. I made Capitol One money instead.
  2. Spent countless hours developing a business model that would allow people to compete against one another in fitness competitions online. Result: the site never even went live. (still think it’s a great idea and I hope someone reading this does it!)
  3. Converted my business from independent contractors to employees in a very short period of time without giving the staff, in retrospect, enough time to adjust to the new system. Result: lost most of the staff, a ton of money, and a lot of heart ache.

The point is that I bounced back after all of these, and way too many others to list here, and am still swinging for the fences. An MBA instructor once told me that business is about a series of singles, not homeruns. I agree to an extent. Every once in a while you have to let that bat rip and try to knock one out of the park. It makes those times that you have to bunt much more bearable.

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