Maybe it was when I booked the rooms for our first classes? Or maybe when I started paying out money for insurance, business cards, advertisements and teaching resources? It’s been creeping up on me for a while. The possibility of failure looms ever closer, as I take the steps towards launching Stacey College from idea, to service.
Maybe you are the eternal optimist and don’t have to face these thoughts. Most entrepreneurs though have to face the possibility of failure. Now I’m not saying Stacey College is going to be a failure. Stacey College is going to work, I have no doubt in my mind. But there is a very real possibility that the first two classes we are planning, and promoting, may get no students. My business partner describes it as eliminating options. Thomas Edison famously declared, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. While I am hoping that it does not take 10 000 tries to make Stacey College a success, I know that I must be prepared for this not to be an easy road.
Henry Petroski’s book argues that “time and again, we have built success on the back of failure–not through easy imitation of success“. Petroski is looking at the history of design, but his insights equally apply to so many spheres of life. As a bit of a perfectionist, I am not someone who has traditionally accommodated failure. And yet this new experience of entrepreneurship has freed me to take risks, to face my fears of failure, within an overall framework of positive thinking and determination to succeed in the long run. So as I stare possible failure in the face over the next few months, I will try to remember that this is part of the journey of starting something new.