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A Sense of Desperation


Many of our greatest successes began as failures. Thomas Edison might have been the greatest inventor in American history—and yet he experienced plenty of failure in his life. But failure didn’t stop him. It drove him to try even harder the next time. “I have not failed,” he famously said. “I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

We are all going to experience failure and disappointment in our lives. The key to success, including in business, is reacting the right way. You could see failure as an obstacle, something that gets in your way and prevents you from ever succeeding. Or you can see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve, to take your next step toward success.  
The right outlook on difficulties is a strong foundation for better decision making in the business. A defeatist perspective can be self-fulfilling, while seeing failures as learning opportunities can lead to better thinking and bold decisions.
Failure is a great motivator even beyond the things you can learn from it, though. Fear of failure is a great motivator, something that will keep a business owner working through anything and everything. You have to be desperate to succeed, and willing to go through any obstacles. A failure is nothing permanent; it’s just a temporary setback on the ultimate road to success, because desperation refuses to allow you to fail.  
We all need that sense of desperation, that driving motivation to do whatever it takes to make it. We need to feel a little uncomfortable and use that as a spur. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to face life-or-death desperation to succeed. But even a taste can be enough to know that you don’t want it! You want to avoid it and keep trying, always moving and thinking and attempting new things.
Always desire to be better, no matter how good you are. There is always something to do better, some way to improve. You can’t get comfortable. Use that discomfort, and turn it into desperation, and drive yourself to new heights.
Published: March 27, 2013

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Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton is an entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer, and the founder of Tarkenton Companies. Successfully starting and running more than 20 companies spanning a wide range of industries, Fran is a passionate advocate for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The product of all of Fran’s experiences is Tarkenton, which has partnered with major enterprises for more than two decades, bringing a combination of strategic thinking, operational excellence, and fast-paced action to complex business problems. Fran is the driving force between GoSmallBiz.com, Tarkenton Financial, and Tarkenton Private Capital.

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