When it comes to money, I have had many failures. In the past, these failures were raw and I used to beat myself up. Initially, I am going to be writing about previous failures in the hope that you can learn from my mistakes.
I am very guilty of taking myself too seriously. With my competitive nature, I have a real fear of failure. It is my Achilles heel and it has held me back.
Part of my new addiction of self-development, I am learning every day and slowly but surely, my fear of failure is evaporating. In previous years, I used to be seriously pissed off with myself if I failed a test. I failed a HV switching course (that I needed for a previous job I was on) and I was devastated. I was embarrassed to tell my manager and I was embarrassed what my peers thought and even what Mrs. Duffy thought of my failure. This has changed and I put my new mentality into practice a few short weeks ago. I failed another course (COMPEX refresher that was intense over two days) and as I got my results, I did not have the usual negative emotions. I booked the re-sit within 2 minutes and was comfortable with my failure as I fail forward.
If like me, you have had similar experiences, listen to someone like Will Smith who is big on failing forward. Definitely, worth a listen (YouTube) and it could inspire you as it has me. When reading book after book on self-development, a common theme is that successful people are comfortable with failure. How many free kicks did David Beckham fire over the bar or into the wall before he hit a perfect free kick into the top corner? Too many of us let failure stop us in our tracks.
Back to money. I have had many failed attempts at making money in the past. Let me take you back 13 years when I was a 23 year old leaving the RAF with no money and no job:
Perhaps the most embarrassing of attempts at making money was my time when I tried to get into network marketing. I was leaving the RAF and I was seriously worried about money. How was I going to afford my new house? The new house purchased for £130,000 with profit in-mind. It never got valued above £120,000 so I had to move into it when I left the RAF. We (the Future Mrs. Duffy and I) spent 5 years in a house we did not want to live in but we look back fondly on our time there and it pushed me to work harder so I could get us a new house.
As well as looking for a new job as an Electrician, I was also looking at additional income to supplement my wages. This led me to network marketing and a company that sold Aloe Vera products. In my defense, I thought I was going to be selling gym supplements but I obviously failed to do my research. What I got was £250 of Aloe Vera products to sell on to family and friends. The products ranged from toothpaste to skin cream and a whole range of other products I would struggle to sell. I dreamed of making thousands of extra pounds as I read the Testimonies on-line. In reality, I sold £80 worth of the £250 products to family and friends. The rest of the products stayed with us over the 5 years we lived in our first house.
It was August 2006, and I had invited 12 friends and family. The people invited were my Mam, my sister, Katie’s Mam and 9 of her close friends. Everyone piled into our front room having a glass of wine as I gave a presentation on Aloe Vera products. It was very warm and close and there seemed to be a swarm of Dragonflies that were distracting me during the big presentation. My personality is shy and reserved. Not a good mix when getting up in front of 12 women. With my nerves and my monotone voice thrown into the mix, the presentation was a disaster. Looking back at myself stood with the tightest t-shirt known to man, sweating profusely and trying to get my words out brought with it very negative emotions. I put this experience firmly at the back of my mind.
Now a little older and wiser, it makes me smile because it reminds me of a younger version of myself giving it a go. It might not have worked out as planned, but it was a sign that I was willing to try anything to better my life and my current situation. I hope that you do not take yourself as serious as I did and you are fine with a bit of failure. If you do react poorly to failure, my sincere hope is that you learn from my experience.