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To a large extent, success in business is all about your ability to handle the fear of failure. The more you take the initiative and take action, the more likely it is that you will succeed – although you will encounter failure along the way.

I have been involved in sales and marketing for over 30 years.

During this time, I have witnessed great successes and great failures. The millionaires I have worked with know that failure is a feedback mechanism. “OK, so that approach didn’t work out. Let’s try another way of doing this,” they respond.

If you are an internet marketer, you will know all about the fear of failure. High bounce rates, poor responses to email marketing, SEO results which keep on changing – the list is endless. Some things work, some things crash and burn. The important thing is to keep learning from the endless feedback loop which comprises the internet.

If you are selling professional services, you need to get in front of prospective clients. Do you have a CRM system? Does it contain thousands of contact details? Do you have a promotional mix which enables you to keep in touch with dormant, current and prospective clients? Are you picking up the phone and talking to people? Are you filling your diary with sales meetings?

Recently, I have been picking up the phone and talking to members of The Marketing Compass, which is a group  of small business owners who are interested in marketing. I have heard some amazing stories, regarding the recessionary years we have just been through (and are hopefully now emerging from). “I lost most of my clients last year,” a member told me. “I knew that it wasn’t my fault. So I picked myself up, dusted myself off and took your advice. I kept adding to my list of contacts and I kept in touch with them. I chose the ones I really wanted to work with. I kept asking them questions and I suggested helpful ways that they could improve their business. Two of them have now signed me up for on-going work. As you keep telling me Nigel: never give up.”

As the saying goes, it’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s how you handle what happens to you. Thomas J Watson Senior, the founder of IBM said that the formula to success is easy: simply double your rate of failure. Don’t fear failure: learn from it. I wish you great success with everything that you do.

If you have any questions about the fear of failure, just ask!

Nigel Temple

Nigel Temple

Nigel Temple BA (Hons) MCIM is a marketing consultant, speaker and trainer. He helps enterprises to find more customers and to communicate with them more effectively. Email: | Call: 01628 773128

One Comment

  • Diane says:

    Hi Nigel,

    I have just watched your interview. It ‘s given me some interesting and useful tips to enable me to go away and apply to my own business.

    Many thanks