Does The Opposite of Success Have To Be Failure?

I had a discussion some time ago with my DMC team-mates about the failure rate of women in business.

One of my favourite phrases is “You don’t know what you don’t know”. It comes into play here, and everywhere statistics are spouted.

Six years ago I gave up a great career, moved cities to care for my aging mother, and created my own brick and mortar business, a B&B. The bricks and mortar were my own home which meant my mother was on-site.

Within 18 months of opening, my business was really starting to take off. I was moving up the Google ladder in searches and was pretty well paying my way.

My mother, however, was not doing so well. As dementia claimed more and more of her brain, her behaviours became more and more random. Whether railing at me, her care-giver, for imagined transgressions, or invading the personal space of my clients with her stories, or crying for me in the night as her environment felt less and less understandable, it became more and more stressful for me to run my business.

I could not always be in the moment to run interference with my guests; it was hard to explain to strangers that your mother’s accusations were the result of a demented mind, not reality; and it was impossible to charge exclusive B&B rates when sleep had been interrupted by a wailing senior.

So I closed my business. My first priority was my mother. It was a no-brainer, and I had Plan B and C and D in my back pocket.

In closing my business, was I failing? Not at all. I was still making choices; I was still in the driver’s seat. I did not fail; I just didn’t succeed. The difference, however subtle to some, is important.

You need to keep this concept in mind as you develop your business.  Sometimes you will try something that you soon learn is not going to move your business forward.  Instead of waiting until you need to jump off the sinking ship, take the initiative to move on from the endeavour to something more promising.  Before you “fail”, accept you cannot succeed and change gears, or lanes, whatever is necessary to keep your business developing.

Of course, an easy way to avoid the discussion of success or failure is to not try at all.

What’s your choice?


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10 Responses to Does The Opposite of Success Have To Be Failure?

  • Hi Agnes,

    This one is a must share for my community.

    And I just recently had a similar experience. I chose to care for my grandmother until she passed and put everything on hold except serving my private clients.

    Some people didn’t understand my decision but I know what really matters and I am soooo glad I was there for her so she could remain in her home.

    Thank you for sharing TRUTH and helping others get off the ship before it sinks with them on it. As a matter of fact, this post was my third confirmation of a ship I need to send on its way.

    Happy Dance time for me!
    Dr. Linette Montae recently posted…How are you using “water” to market your business?My Profile

    • Yay, Linette. Making one’s own choices and decisions precludes us from having failure thrust upon us. You sound like someone who can make tough choices!

  • Excellent advice and never thought about it in that way. Thanks for sharing.
    Merle Gibbins recently posted…Pure Leverage W The F… [Naughty!!]My Profile

  • I agree Agnes. We should not think in terms of failure, but in terms of a change in course. When we can plan this change rather than be forced into it, we will feel much more in control of our destiny.
    Helen Willsher recently posted…How Having a Positive Attitude Can Lead to SuccessMy Profile

  • Great post. I did a post on quitting today too so great minds etc

    I love “You don’t know what you don’t know” – I use that all the time, especially when it comes to exams and interviews. Sometimes cramming the brain makes it worse!

  • Agnes
    Another great post. I am one of those people that doesn’t mind change but sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees in your own business to know what is or isn’t working.
    Maybe time for a few tweaks on the old compass for me too!

  • I don’t think you failed at all. You were smart and created an environment which suited both yourself and your mother. One of the reasons I’ve created an online business is to be able to spend more time with my mother. Eventually, I want to make enough money to take care of her so she doesn’t have to work.
    Keri Kight recently posted…Indecisive? Write Down What You Don’t WantMy Profile

  • Yes important to change course when you are not seeing the desired outcome or obstacles arise that have you decide on a different course.

    Love this quote, “Before you “fail”, accept you cannot succeed and change gears, or lanes, whatever is necessary to keep your business developing.”

    Thanks for sharing,
    Evey recently posted…What is in our beef?My Profile

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