During this past week, through various conversations and events, I was reminded of an important idea. We can easily feel that failure is the end of the road, but that is only one perspective to consider. Throughout my years in business, being an entrepreneur, and working as an accountant, as well as a Sensei in a kickboxing environment, I have seen more good things come from failure than from winning. If I constantly win, the things I need to work on are never revealed to me. This means I never grow, because I never learn new lessons.

Here are a few ideas and scenarios to reflect on from my past experiences:

  1. A new door cannot open if I am not willing to close the one that should have been closed already. A business venture is not meant for you if you need to lower or let go of your values and ethics.  Let go. Follow your gut. It is stronger and wiser than your intellect. Letting go is difficult, especially if there is monetary value connected to it, but I will never rise to better possibilities if I always cling to the past or the unwanted present.
  2. Winning is only winning when I enjoy the process. Winning in something that I don’t enjoy or that is against my values is, in fact, losing. Following my joy, even though I might not be winning in the eyes of the world, makes me a winner. Following my joy is more important than the opinions of others. Too many of us pursue the road that seems to promise the most money, or the road our parents or society laid out for us. I see this a lot in the accounting industry, and in industries like medicine, engineering, and law. These are fields that people tend to look up to as big money options. Many are brainwashed to follow this route, only to be unhappy working for many years in a specific industry. They may make good money, but they are truly dissatisfied with their work. My joy is more important than all the money in the world. A lot of us follow the unhappy route and then medicate ourselves with too much alcohol or other substances or bad habits to ease the pain. I understand it is not always easy to simply pivot, but once I raise my awareness, I can prepare for a better tomorrow. Unhappy at work or with your income? Start an evening part-time course to educate yourself in a field that will make you happy. Once done, start to provide your services and build a reputation over time. It’s always a process, but if I don’t start today, I will be unhappy with my position for the rest of my life. Act today, please.
  3. Losing teaches me a lot more about myself than winning. Losing is the best teacher. It provides valuable lessons to grow and develop. Winning never teaches the winner anything. It’s easy to keep pursuing the same goal on the same route because it’s the road most clear to me. The alternative, where I let go of the known and sail into the rough seas of the unknown, is more daunting and feels more dangerous. But aren’t acts of calculated risk the best way to grow as a person and in business? Go where your competition is not willing to go. Do the things that others say are impossible.

Last thoughts

Winning and losing are two sides of the same coin. While winning brings joy and satisfaction, losing provides invaluable lessons that pave the way for personal and professional growth. Embracing failure and viewing it as an opportunity rather than a setback allows us to learn, adapt, and ultimately succeed in more meaningful ways. Remember, the journey and the joy we find in it are far more important than the destination or the accolades. Act today, let go of what holds you back, and pursue the path that aligns with your true values and passions.