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Embracing Failure: The Key To Business Growth

Do you take your failures personally? In this episode, Shannon Waller and Dan Sullivan discuss the ultimate entrepreneurial challenge—turning setbacks into stepping stones. Learn how to embrace failure and acknowledge the valuable lessons it teaches for maximum business growth.

Here’s some of what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • You're either winning or you're learning. Failure, learning, and improvement are all interconnected, and we need to embrace failure to move forward and experiment in new territories.
  • The impact of a culture that avoids discomfort and failure, and how it creates fragility and limits growth.
  • By transforming failures, we can become more capable in the future.

Show Notes:

  • Entrepreneurs and the military are the fastest learning groups of people in the world, but there's just as much failure as there is success. The emotional response to failure needs to be transformed into learning that will set us up for a more successful future.
  • If you're not failing, you're not going into new territory, experimenting, testing, or trying stuff out, which means you're not moving forward.
  • Transforming failure is a choice.
  • The desire to be protected from failure and uncomfortable situations leads to fragility and restricts our future capabilities.


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Episode Transcript:
Shannon Waller: Hi, Shannon Waller here and welcome to Inside Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan.
Dan, in a workshop yesterday, a really interesting conversation emerged out of talking about 10X jumps over the past year, and one of our very dear clients mentioned something about 10X learning, and it was from something that did not go as planned. And then what happened out of that was a whole conversation about failure. And I thought, “Ooh, I can’t wait to talk to Dan about this,” because, Dan, you’ve talked about “We’re either winning or learning,” but I think people can take their failures very personally, feel the setback, be stressed about it, feel like they’re not good enough. People can go into a little hole or whirlpool about it emotionally, but I know that you have a very, very different take on it.
So let’s talk about “entrepreneurial failure,” and I’m putting that in quotes because I think experimenting and testing is just how we do things.
So the question is, what is your take on failures in entrepreneurial life?
Dan Sullivan: Yeah, it’s really interesting. There was a survey done by someone, you’ll probably remember his name, but he was sort of a researcher and he lived in New York City and he was a freelance, but he got big projects with big magazines along the lines of Forbes. I forget what his name was.