I've failed. Yep, I admit it. It's happened more than once, and I'm glad it did, each and every time it happened.
Because it was those failures that made me grow and learn as a self-employed business person.
I've never publicly disclosed this... like, ever. But I was fired once from a job. It was done as "nicely" as possible, where I still had a reference for my resume, and despite the fact that I knew it wasn't because of my skills (or lack thereof) but more of a difference in personality between myself and management, it was the single most significant thing that has happened in my professional career.
At first it was devastating. I think I even went into a bit of a depression because of it. I felt humiliated and angry. But I worked through it. It became my driving force to succeed. Even though I may have wanted to triumph for the wrong initial reasons (haha... REVENGE!), being fired from my job gave me a new perspective on things. I was no longer going to doubt myself. I was always going to go with my gut. And I would never let another person make me second-guess myself.
While this can't be said about my personal convictions (I can't help it... I'm a people-pleaser), the "Business Jenn" is a different side of me, maybe even a different person. "Business Jenn" stands up for herself and her beliefs, she doesn't back down, and she knows her worth. And "Business Jenn" is a result of my failures. She learned from all the mistakes that personal Jenn made, from trusting people to shying away from speaking her mind.
And without failing, I don't know that "Business Jenn" would have ever reared her determined little head.
Don't let failures in business get you down. Take those valuable lessons and learn from them so that you don't make the same mistake twice. Always look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself, how can I become a better business person because of this setback? In the end, you'll quickly learn why failing could be good.
Jennifer Cox is a regular Suburban columnist and blogger, and writes for daily newspapers as well as national magazines. She's a social media guru, a Suzy Homemaker wannabe, and the mother of a 3-year-old son.