Understanding success and failure as an online business owner

Understanding success and failure as an online business owner

Entrepreneurship is filled with so much success and failure, especially when you are first starting out. Though we are always striving for success, we need to learn to reshape our mindset around failure as well so that we can continue to learn and grow as online business owners.


Welcome virtual visionaries, I am so excited to have you back for another episode of the Virtual Visionary Podcast!

Today I want to talk about success and failure as an entrepreneur. And I feel like this is a super important topic because so many of us judge ourselves and see ourselves as a reflection of our business. I know I definitely do, and even though I tell myself that my business is totally separate from me, it is hard to not see yourself in your business.

This usually means that when the business is successful, I feel really successful.

I’m curious if anyone else feels this way too? Like, when you sign a new client or make a new sale you are just on top of the world. You feel like, my business is a success and therefore I am a success – and it feels amazingggg!! It’s hard not to soak up that feeling, right?

But this also means that when the business is failing, it feels like you’re failing, right? Last year was super tough for my business. I went through so many ups and downs and there were a few times when I was so frustrated with all the quote on quote “failures” that I was experiencing in my business that I just felt like a failure and started to believe that I wasn’t cut out for this, or that running a business just wasn’t for me, and all this other negative crap. 

The truth is, the business failing did not mean that I was a failure, and the business succeeding did not mean I was a success.

It is important to learn to separate yourself from your business on both ends because it is easy to get into an unhealthy relationship with your business, and I was totally there last year.

And I had to do a lot of work to separate myself and really say, okay, the things that are going on in the business are just things. They are just things and I can make a choice – either allow them to sink my business or let them propel me to the next level. And that is really what happened. 

After so many failures last year – losing clients, failed launches, bad investments and so much other negative stuff that came along with 2020 in general –  I decided to not let it all define my success and, instead, let all of those failures mean something by teaching me lessons.

And honestly, that is exactly what happened. I learned SO much from going through all of those experiences. I learned that I am so much tougher than I thought I was, that I am capable of going through tough times and still come out stronger on the other side. 

Those experiences or “failures” forced me to get better at my sales skills, to get better processes in place, to get more clarity around my messaging, to raise my prices, to create different offers that my audience needed.

From all of that failure, I have turned things around and actually had the best year in business so far. I am now making way more than I did at my 9 to 5 job, I am working way less than I ever have, I have more time off, and more time to spend with my family. That is truly what I call success.

So all of that to say, I have had both success and failure in my business. And I honestly believe the saying, “failure is the best teacher.” If I had just started my business and had no struggles, I don’t think I would have the same mindset that I have today. I don’t think I would have done the mindset work, taken the time to do all the training, invested the way I did and seen the growth that I have if everything had been a walk in the park.

And yes, the failure sucked. It was not fun, and if you are feeling that right now in your business or if you have felt like that in the past, I know, it sucks and it is terrible and you just want to make it stop.

But, if you are able to say, okay, this isn’t going the way I want, how can I fix that, what can I learn from this? Those are the best questions you will ever ask when it comes to growth and setting yourself up for success. 

And while I dont believe failure is required for success, I do think that it makes the feeling of success feel so much sweeter. So if you can learn to flip your mindset around in tough times, I really believe that is what makes all the difference when it comes to being a true entrepreneur

The other thing I want to say about failure is that I almost feel like failure is part of the process, if you are wanting to get to your next level and play a bigger game in your life and business.

If you are a success at everything you do, I almost feel like you are capable of achieving more than you think. If you are succeeding all the time, you are either Wonderwoman and amazing at everything or you are likely staying in your comfort zone a bit too much.

Getting to the next level of success usually requires you to do things you have never done before.

Maybe you want to launch an online course for the first time, but you have never done a webinar. If you want to make those sales, you have to get on that webinar – and it is unlikely that your very first live webinar of all time is going to be the best one ever. It will likely not be very good, you might not have the tech all figured out, you might fumble a word, someone in the live chat may throw you off..but ultimately you have to be okay with that first try not being very good.

Business is just like any other skill, it requires practice and it requires you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. And yes, you might fail the first time, but that doesn’t mean you are going to give up. It means you are going to get better. 

If you have never experienced failure in your business, I bet that you have SO much more potential inside of you just waiting for you to be brave enough to go for it! Success and failure are equally important!

I get it, no one likes failing. I hate it. But looking back after failing so many times in my business, I can honestly say that it was the best gift I could have given myself because I learned so much from all of those experiences and I don’t think I would be the business owner that I am today without going through all of them.

And I have to say – being on the other side feels amazing because I can look back and see how much I have grown, how much I have improved, and see what I am truly capable of. And I want that for you too! 

If you have been letting fear of failure hold you back from getting to your next level, it is time to play a bigger game and allow yourself to reframe that idea around failure and let it instead mean that you are on your way to greatness and with every failure, you are getting closer and closer to your next level self. Your next level of business. 

I love the story of Thomas Edison and how he tried something like a thousand attempts at making the light bulb before it worked. Imagine if he had let failure mean something about him. Imagine if he had given up. He kept going and going and I bet with each unsuccessful try he improved and with each naysayer that said he should just give up, he toughened up and became ten times more determined to make it work.

That is the type of relentlessness I want you to have for your business, because your success is inevitable as long as you don’t give up on your dream. And since you are a virtual visionary here listening to this podcast, I know that giving up is not in the cards for you! So get out there and keep trying new things, pushing your limits, failing faster so that you can reach that next level of success! You got this!

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode today! If you liked it, make sure to come to connect with me on Instagram @kara_cahill. Take a screenshot of you listening to this episode and share it on stories and tag me so that I know you are listening, I love seeing people tune in!

Can’t wait to connect with you over on Instagram, and I will catch you in the next episode!


Come connect with me on Instagram: @kara_cahill

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