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I am afraid to fail. 

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been an overachiever. Yes, I was one of those. Learning came naturally to me and I devoured every bit of information that came my way. To be honest, it’s served me very well in life. Having the ability to grasp things quickly and learn more than the average person has always helped me gain an edge over the competition. As you beat out competition, you realize that if you make the extra effort, you’ll go places. So I did. I’ve always gone above and beyond on everything. 

These qualities – hard work and enthusiasm – has led me to a fair amount of success in everything I’ve done. I don’t have the Midas touch or anything. It’s just that I know how to work for what I want to achieve. It’s also taught me to be quite stubborn about getting what I want. 

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing. I have failed at things in the past. Now I realize that those were small failures. And, where it mattered – my job, my family and making money – I was quite comfortable with my achievements. 

Yet when I started my own business, I came to grips with the harsh reality of what it feels like to fail at the big things. It was like a tight slap in the face on a cold day. No amount of psyching yourself out can prepare you for that. 

Failure is a real part of life. It’s not like I never knew this before. But, what I didn’t realize is how bad it can get. It obviously didn’t help that my life didn’t prepare me for that. The qualities that make you good at school or good at work are not the same qualities that you need to start a business. I learned that the hard way.