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?