In Order to Succeed, First Try

Do you feel that half the things you do turn out all wrong? If so, take heart, because today we will discover how to fail successfully.

After over 45 years in business, we consider ourselves pretty successful. The company started by Lou and Diane Tice in their basement is in over 60 countries, and the education that Lou once gave to small groups of teachers and coaches in the early 1970’s now reaches millions of people around the world. Many of these recipients are world leaders and corporate executives.

But one of the reasons we are successful is the same reason that Ty Cobb, one of the greatest baseball sluggers of all time, was as good as he was. If you look in the record books, you will find that Ty Cobb’s lifetime batting average was only .367. That means he got a hit once out of every three times at bat. It’s the same story for baseball greats Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and for virtually every other successful person in the world.

We need not be afraid to try nor should we be afraid to fail. In fact, the only real failure is in not trying at all. It turns out that people really don’t remember the times Hank Aaron swung and missed, only the times the ball sailed out of the ballpark.

For the most part, we learn more from failure than we do from immediate success. It is in learning what not to do “the next time” that provides for greater success when we do try, the next time. And, “the next time…” is critical, because it is a direct connection to our persistence and resilience, and our personal or organizational efficacy.

The fact is that successful people try more things more often than average folks do. Whether it’s playing baseball, building an international business, selling a new product, or solving safety issues at the job site, if you try enough things, you’re going to succeed – a lot. And if you don’t try anything, your “batting average” will end up at .000.

Yes, there is always going to be some risk involved. But there is risk involved in nearly everything that we do, and we can plan for some, if not most of those risks.

So, what do you really have to lose?