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Angie Dixon : If You Knew You Couldn't Fail...

An Open Mind

If You Knew You Couldn't Fail...

By Angie Dixon

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? I know you've heard this question before, but please give it some serious thought, and decide what you'd actually do if you knew you couldn't fail.

Got it? Ready?

I get various answers when I ask this question, but they're usually something in the creative sphere.

A lot of people say, "I'd write a novel." Or a short story, or a play, or a song, or paint a mural.

There are people who say, "I'd open my own business, doing..." or, "I'd get a job with...."

What's your thing you'd do if you couldn't fail? Did you really think of one? If not, please stop and think of one now.

Is it creative? Is it something you really want? Mainly, is it big? Really big?

Once you've got your thing you'd do if you couldn't fail creative enough, important enough, and big enough, let's ask another question.

Why aren't you doing it?

I'm not trying to jab at you here. This is obviously something you'd be doing, if you knew you couldn't fail, but you're not doing it. Probably you're pretty sure you will fail. So let's look at why you think that.

Money is one of the biggest obstacles, especially when it comes to something like starting your own business. We've all heard the nightmare statistics about how many businesses go out of business in their first year.

First, let me tell you I've read, in some pretty reliable publications, that those statistics are skewed and not really true at all.

Second, let me ask you how you could start a business without taking out a loan. Could you do it on the weekends? Could you arrange with your boss to take on an extra project in exchange for use of copiers, computers, or other specialized equipment you might need? Could you sign up as an apprentice to someone else doing what you want to do, and get paid while you're learning?

But suppose your obstacle isn't money, or at least not primarily. You want to write a novel, or paint a mural. You have the supplies you need, even if that only means you have a pencil and some paper, or some paints and a brush. You're not worried about affording it. You're worried about finding the time.

Believe me, I am not taking this time issue lightly. I constantly struggle to find time to do things I want to do, need to do, or need to want to do. I understand. But let's look at some ways to find more time.

How much television do you watch? I choose this first because I read in the media that most people watch a lot of television. I watch hardly any, so I don't know how accurate that is. But do you watch a lot? Now, of what you watch, how much of it is "appointment television?" How many shows do you regularly make time to watch, no matter what else is going on? Let's leave those alone for now. How many shows, in a week, could you skip? How many hours could you pull out of your television schedule? One? Two? Six? Just an hour a week would mean so much to your project, and to you because of the way you'd feel about yourself.

But let's assume that, like me, you don't watch much television. Surely there is somewhere else you could trim fat. With me, it's the time I spend reading. I could cut half an hour a day and get a lot more done, without hurting. Some people could surf the web a little less. Others could spend less time on the phone. There's always something.

But the critical question here is: Would you really do it if you knew you couldn't fail?

We have to learn to think of failure as "just-not-yet." There's no such thing as failure, as long as you get back up and keep going. I know this from long experience. I haven't gotten where I want to be yet, but I will. I am.

Now. What will you do since you know you cannot fail? •

Copyright 2006 Angie Dixon. All rights reserved.

Angie DixonAngie Dixon is the alpha Jill of All Trades, author of "The Leonardo Trait," and runs a web site for multitalented multitaskers. More »

5/23/06