Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Failure Averse

with 7 comments

It was a radio exposé about a successful yogurt entreprise. I wasn’t really listening to it, but the interview droned on and on as I wandered around the house doing a variety of other things. I noticed the initial comments about how difficult the early days of the business were and figured it was just a typical worst-to-first tale that one would expect to hear on the radio or television.

When I came by the kitchen again later, I was surprised they were even still talking to this same guy, but then I realized they were still drilling through the worst years before the big victory in the end. Not having listened closely, I didn’t grasp how he was even still in business at that point where he was describing the level of debt that had amassed and scope of his scrounging for cash to get by each successive day.

That’s when it struck me. When Cyndie and I dipped our toes in the world of starting a business venture, we weren’t willing to go into debt to see if it was possible to eventually come up with a financially sustainable operation in the end.

It seems that most stories of wild success include a fair amount of previous failures that came first. I expect there are more tales of failure in the world than there are ultimate successes, but it occurred to me that energy spent avoiding failure probably inhibits overall outcomes.

Obviously, it doesn’t make sense that one should then plan to fail, but I think it does point to the importance of willingness to dance with increasing levels of risk and endure the challenges associated with it, long enough to eventually reach the dreams envisioned.

In our case, neither of us are comfortable with shaky finances. We signed documents of commitment to pay our mortgage every month, and we hold it a priority to be able to do that.

We have accomplished that financial stability throughout our lives thus far, but with that as our primary priority, there wasn’t much additional risk-space available for two non-celebrities launching a new-age horse assisted health and wellness learning venture an hour out of town to have much of a chance.

Honestly, I don’t know how people like the yogurt guy on the radio pull off their rags to riches accomplishments, but I’m glad they do. I’m too failure averse.

I wish I would have listened close enough to find out the name of his company. I’d like to go buy some of his yogurt as a hat-tip to his feat.



Written by johnwhays

October 6, 2019 at 10:20 am

7 Responses

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  1. Hi John…kind of reminds me of nothing ventured…nothing gained. I, too, have been inhibited in my lifetime. I tend to dip a toe into the waters and when it becomes time to jump in I have every reason why I shouldn’t. I have a sibling who is the complete opposite…takes risks in huge ways and sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. I realize that if we want the big reward we have to be willing to take the risk.
    And at that point failure HAS to be a learning experience…not the thing that proves our inhibitions correct!
    Sending best wishes to you both. Listen to that voice inside because if it is something you MUST do…then you will do it!


    October 6, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    • Yes! The failures should not be viewed as proving our worries correct. It takes strength of conviction to survive and thrive on lessons learned. When it comes to financial concerns, I’m not all that brave.


      October 6, 2019 at 7:16 pm

      • Me either, John! I feel I need to explore this…especially as there are a few things Coming up that will demand a decision.
        Have a great week!


        October 6, 2019 at 8:19 pm

      • Thanks! Good luck with what lies ahead for you!


        October 6, 2019 at 8:26 pm

      • Thanks John…you guys too!


        October 6, 2019 at 9:24 pm

  2. I’ve never been willing to take that much of a risk either.

    Jim Parker (@drjparker)

    October 6, 2019 at 11:18 am

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