The reason most of us are so scared of failure is that it is so embarrassing.
It was embarrassing at school each time a teacher ridiculed our efforts to untangle quadratic equations, or to assemble a frog from spare parts. And even more so when Anne Waites, who we young men idolised, smiled at us in sympathy as she detailed the answer before swanning off with some fellow in Matric. Gorgeous and bright in front of a troop of besotted idjits.
After school we experience fewer embarrassing moments. By then steel shields inside our heads protect us from them. If we let our guard slip the fallout reinforces our paranoia.
By the time we become business explorers, nascent entrepreneurs, that caution paralyses us. Starting a business is a fast conveyor belt of choices to make without enough information. A cesspit of uncertainty. We’re so focused on keeping up the image of normal that we hurt ourselves.
When my fan hit the shyte in 1992 I hid away in the local Spur. They offered a bottomless coffee. They still do.
When I arrived that first day I told the young waitress I was broke, and that I would only drink coffee. For six hours. And that a few of my broke clients might visit. And that one day I would sing Spur’s praises, if I ever climbed out of the deep longdrop I was swimming in.
So, when you assure me that I can eat better elsewhere, you are right about the food. But I have never, anywhere in the world, received such a reception and such patience and, dare I say, such understanding.
During a bad week in Perth I camped out in a shopping centre with my notebook. On the third day the proprietor of a stall across the walkway stomped across to check out this commercial spy tracking his sales. And this while I paid for the refills.
Whenever life has hidden me in an eatery since then I have given tips that distress my mother. My brother once was so upset that he pocketed the note I left and replaced it with a coin. Although that might have just been his view from the bottom of another pit.
I raise this because the fear of embarrassment – not the fear of failure – is the real brake on our dreams.
That’s why I love this online lifestyle.
It costs nothing to start an online business. Which means it costs nothing to stop it. Try walking away from a lease for premises in a shopping mall and you might appreciate this.
Nobody knows what you’re doing until you are successful. Or until you’ve moved to Spain. Whichever comes first.
Isn’t life wonderful?