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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Alex Jeffreys Shares Why You Have To Fail To Succeed

The biggest cause of failure is a fear of success — at least that's the subconscious reason why most people self-sabotage according to internet guru and marketing pro, Alex Jeffreys.

Much like the proverbial deer caught in headlights — frozen in the moment — the fear of failure can freeze us in place. While frozen, we lack the ability to progress, thereby guaranteeing the failure that we had feared in the first place.

Alex Jeffreys explains that this fear is often subconscious, stemming from a need to be perfect. It's human nature to want to stay within your comfort zone where you understand the rules and expectations, and have likely practiced the skills you need to do well in that zone.

“They’re scared they’re not perfect, so they don’t get started — but people don’t realize we have to fail to succeed,” Jeffreys states.

Overcoming Fears to Launch a New Venture

In entrepreneurship, that fear of failure can stifle you not just socially, but also financially. As stress mounts and this fear begins to overwhelm, many will begin making excuses such as their low expectations of the venture in the first place. Expecting instant and successful results can lead to a downward spiral, allowing discomfort or failure to lead towards lower and lower results.

Alex Jeffreys points out that much of this stress is created by unrealistic expectations. People will research extensively before starting out any venture. Planning details down to the minutiae, they will create a roadmap that sets expectations for 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year down the road.

If these expectations are not met, the sense of failure sets in, creating additional setbacks that can affect your new business bottom line.

But no plan will ever be perfect.

“You can’t learn to ride a bike going to a seminar,” Alex Jeffreys said. “You have to make those mistakes and failures.”

All the planning in the world can't replace your real-world experience, and while research is helpful, you will have to learn as you go for many situations.

Taking Actions for Success

Alex Jeffreys confesses that one of his biggest mistakes early on was creating unrealistic expectations of his time, which he attributes to not understanding how much work he could accomplish in a single sprint. This mismanagement would create additional opportunities to fail at his goal until he figured out better ways to take action and work smarter.

“I wouldn’t work on the main tasks first based on fear because I was scared of success,” Jeffreys notes. He would often spend time on easily achievable, but ultimately inconsequential side tasks. The main tasks would become casualties of procrastination, creating stumbling blocks towards his larger goals.

Alex Jeffreys describes this process as, "mistaking activity for accomplishment". In order to avoid failing at these larger items, Alex Jeffreys would focus on details that seemed productive but stayed close to his comfort zone. Unfortunately, new clients and customers were currently sitting outside Mr. Jeffreys' comfort zone -- and without new clients, his ventures were doomed to fail.

A key turning point came when Alex Jeffreys realized that the business world would never be safe and comfortable. “Business is not natural – it’s like two magnets going together – it repels you,” he said. “You have to go through that magnetic field to push through it. Everything will try to stop it.”

Don't Fear Your Success

That fear of failure may never go away. When you launch a new venture, there will always be risks. There will also always be mistakes made along the road to success.

The key to overcoming your fear of failure is to work through that fear, learning to adapt to the unexpected and overcome the obstacles before you. Take decisive actions towards the goal you have set, and keep moving forward.


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