Power - Power Before Wisdom

  • How to Experience Big, Powerful & Epic Magick

    Water drop causing a ripple

    American's don't like to believe it, but great magick isn't simply about what you know and what you do, but it is also about where you are and when.


    Most of this website focuses on the parts of magick we humans can directly control. There is a lot of psychic study and understanding the “rules of magick.” However, up until now I haven't taught how to do the really awesome stuff. I've alluded to the fact that awesome magick tends to happen when our lives are in danger.

    The reason I haven't taught this yet is that I was resisting the obvious truth in my own life. Because of this resistance, the awesome magicks mostly happened in my life by accident. Sure I would talk about embracing the opportunities (Mostly Weather Magick Stories, and some stories of Spirit Work), but realistically I wanted to believe that I could have Awesome Magick Whenever and Wherever I wanted it. Lesson after Lesson tried to teach me about the where and when aspects.

    • Traditional Annual Magicks are always done at the same time and same place…

    • Story after Story of deep magick involving heeding a call to be at the right place at the right time…

    • An Old Mexican Witch Spirit Mocking me about being too white-stupid to Grow My Garden, Claim my Land, Study and Nurture the Magick of my Land, Plant in the right places, Harvest at the right times, prepare in the best places at the right times and cast in the best places at the right times.

    Nature Magick and Weather Magick has been one of the deeper confusions for me. When I've done most of the magicks that leave me awestruck it's almost always near effortless. I don't have to call awesome energies forth. I don't have to design a 42 step ritual with 15 tools and 40+ ingredients.

    The most awesome magicks are almost always this: Be at the right place, at the right time and do the right thing.

    I've had times when the right thing was simply to open an astral door which was closed, release an Energy which was bound or even simply to talk to a spirit of the land. Other times the right thing was to talk to a person, be present and chase off a thief, or go on a walk (which had incredible experiences as a result).


    The results in those cases were ALWAYS greater than my effort (sometimes terrifyingly so). I've likened this in the past to throwing a pebble to start an avalanche. Each time I spoke of this, I focused on my old belief that Magick wasn't usually about that. I believed that we needed to build power using spirit work, modern ritual and training to have magick be solid, reliable and available at our beck and call.

    Modern Ritual, Magickal Tools and (power building) Spirit Work are attempts to amplify our efforts. Semi-disciplined ritual work I've experienced can have effects 100 to 1,000 times as powerful as what we do in the moment. However I've had Natural Magicks many Million of times more powerful.

    After a particularly successful rain ritual (30 minutes of ritual resulted in 2 weeks of highly-intense and abnormal daily rain) I mentioned to a fellow mage that I was confused as to whether we had called the rain or if we were simply acting on a precognitive expectation of weather to come. His response was to list some of the cultures whose shamans recognized their tie to the natural world. They believed that they were an important part of the rains efforts to come. They believed that they couldn't make the rain on their own, but that they needed to help as sometimes the rain would only come if they called. This is the essence of co-creation.

    We Mages like to think we are capable of shaping the world to our vision. We spend a lot of time trying to do so. On the other hand Priests tend to try to shape themselves to our world. However what if what the world needs is a Mage willing to be part of something greater. We can know what we want AND be willing to listen to what the world wants too. If we have discernment then when both of those align, we get to be there to “push the button” if you will. Every part of the whole is important. Some things will not happen without a mage, just as other things won't happen without a builder or a financier and so on.

    My point is this. Choose to be the “Mage on Duty” and listen to the call of Destiny (To be in the right place at the Right time) and you will experience more regular, incredible and powerful magick.

    I'll leave the Cause and Effect debates to you.

    Scott

    P.S. - If you are wondering HOW to be on duty I recommend:

    1. Find a vision of what you desire and work for it.  (This shapes you into a tool with important talents and knowledge.  The world rarely had special need for a blob without a purpose, talents or knowledge... there are lots of those out there.)
    2. Have a disciplined practice of personal meditation and/or daily divination (Teaches you to recognize imagination vs spirit talking to you)
    3. talk to spirits on a regular basis to form healthy relationships (shocker... learning how to listen to spirits helps you listen to Spirit.)
    4. SCHEDULE times when you aren't distracted by life.  Time spent with a quiet mind.  Watching a fire, weaving a basket, painting, gardening, walking through nature.  In short... be a little bored.  (It will give you time to hear potentials which distractions block.)
  • Pathwork to Mastery: Mastery's place in Western Magick & Spirituality Part 5

    Silhouette stargazing

    How to use these understandings to have an awesome life:

     

    I personally choose to have a 30 year dream, a 7 year vision, a 1 year plan, 3 month goals and a 1 month schedule. This article will be about the 30 year dream and the 7 year Vision.

     

    30 Year Dream:
    Why do I have a difference between dream and vision? Because you don't have to believe dreams can be real yet. They can be absurd and fantastic. One of my dreams is that in 30 years I will be standing on the early stages of a series of man-made floating islands ringed by floating storm walls and reefs in the middle of the Pacific Plastic Gyre. Around me Billions of Tons of Plastic Garbage floating in the water (lookup pacific garbage gyre) is quickly being collected and turned into Diesel, Gasoline, Natural Gas, Graphene and other exotic materials for construction.

     

    This DREAM is huge:

    • Giant Kites generating wind power

    • Huge Pumps pulling cold water and nutrients from the ocean floor to the surface for fresh water collection, power generation and eternal plankton blooms feeding a giant ecosystem of ocean fauna creating completely new fisheries which never existed before

    • A 22,000 mile long graphene ribbon lowered down from orbit and connected to an Island on the bottom with a space station on the other end. Machines regularly climbing this Space Elevator Cable making space affordable for humanity

    It is absolutely ludicrous... and yet it is mine. It wakes me up every morning and gives me a why. Some people are happy with dreams of a loving family and comfortable job. That's fine. The only thing that matters is this:

     

    Your Dream is your reason to keep living. If you lost your spouse(s), your parents, your kids, your job, your friends, your physical health and/or all of the above, your dream needs to be big enough in your heart to keep you going. It has to be so important to you that when your life it at its worst, you can look at that dream and decide that that it is still worth getting up and facing pain again and again to make it happen.

     

    Once you own your dream a funny thing happens. You start seeing the universe trying to make your insane dream become more and more possible. One example: I had a guy call me out of the blue for a certain reason, but somehow our conversation shifted and I found myself listening to exact technical knowledge I needed coming from his mouth. He spent 4 hours giving me advice on how to do stuff on this dream and where to find funding! This has become COMMONPLACE. I have had dozens of people say, “Dude... you should do this. I believe you can. I'd love to be part of that.”

     

    As crazy as this dream is I have held it for 3 years now and I'm starting to see a path toward success. I know where I can buy some of the ships it'll need. I have some business plans to make it viable economically. I know some of the ways to try to collect the plastic and convert it. I know how to convert some ships to having factories onboard. I know how to get countless tons of raw materials delivered to us. I know ways to get legal status as a completely new country... one after another this dream starts looking less and less impossible on its way toward insanely Epic.

     

    THAT is the power of a dream.

     

    Another purpose is that once you have your dreams (you will have more than one) you can measure your current life against them. If I received an opportunity to move to Kansas for a $60k/yr to sit on my ass and do nothing, I have a very easy way to choose. Which dreams does the job get me closer to and which dreams does it get me further from? Do I like those consequences?

     

    Not all of my dreams are so absurd. I have a dream of consistent support by trusted friends. I dream of loving relationships that I feel supported by in a lot of different areas. I dream of writing books, hosting events and performing. Realistic Dreams. Some of these dreams I already have. If I dream of having a Red Mustang and then buy it, the dream doesn't necessarily go away.

     

    7 Year Vision:
    In 7 years most of us change so totally that we become almost completely different people. While it is good to have a vision of your life, the fact is you'll change so much on your way to your 7 year plan that it will adjust mightily. After you make a 7 year plan, honor this change by reviewing and updating it once a year. Another great time is during a major transition (Relationship Change, Career Change, New Opportunity). Most of the time you will only need minor adjustments, but reviewing the Vision will be MORE effective as a rudder for your life than having a dream was. A Dream is so malleable it adjusts too quickly to change in your life. A Vision will adjust, but you'll maintain major portions of it through change. It can be the anchor you can emotionally hold onto in the heard times. Dreams may get you up, but visions will get you moving.

     

    In your Vision list your Milestones. Think of it like: By 2016 I want to be living in a 4 bedroom house I own. It is measurable, but you can't make a here to there plan. It is a destination you may not know how to achieve, but you probably have an idea of how to get a couple steps closer.

     

    One aspect I would recommend listing in your Vision is your Mastery Milestones. By declaring a desire to reach a certain point by a certain time it drives you to live in such a way as to make the day to day efforts with will make mastery possible in a few years rather than... well... never.

     

    It will take:

    • 1-3 years to reach journeyman

    • 5-14 years to reach mastery / grand mastery (Depending on focus)

    My 7 year Vision as of the original writing: (2018 updates)

    • 2015: Achieve Journeyman Ifa Priest (Success)
      2015: Achieve Journeyman Tai Chi (Success)
      2015: Buy a House (Fail)
      2015: Make over $10,000/mo (Success w/ Gross Income, but not net income)
      2015: Weigh under 260 pounds (Complete Fail)
      2016: Journeyman Mage in non-Western system (Kinda... less of a goal now though)
      2016: Weigh under 220 pounds (Fail)
      2016: Make over $30,000/mo (Succeed, but not as I intended)
      2017: Achieve Master Magick Store Owner (Success)
      2017: Be living on Covenstead (Lost interest in goal)
      2017: Achieve Master Author (Lost interest in goal)
      2017: Achieve Peak Physical Health (Fail)
      2017: Make over $100,000/mo (Fail)
      2018: Island Dream: Buy and begin overhauling the Pacific Gyre Fleet (Found someone else doing it)
      2019: Island Dream: Put the Fleet in the Water, Collect Plastic and start converting Plastic into Oil 
      2019: Multi-Millionaire with investments increasing in value by Millions of Dollars per year
      2020: Island Dream: Graphene Winders churning out Giant Sails which are sold/gifted to Ocean Ships to reduce Fuel Use and Costs. Graphene Winders also churning out Large air filled bottles which will interconnect to form the foundation of island, reefs and storm walls. Best practice recycling systems purchased and being installed.
      2021: Achieve Master Tai Chi
      2021: Island Dream: Large Enough to Begin Building in (initial structures built deeper and deeper below water line).
      2021: Island Dream: Start new industry to import garbage, compost the biomass, and use cheap energy to profitably recycle imported garbage into raw materials.

    Visions change over time.  13 months have passed since my original writing of this.  My 30 year dream above is still cool sounding, but someone has designed a very good looking solution to the gyre plastic problem and is DOING it.  Thus I'm shifting my 30 year dream to forming economically powerful and socially responsible intentionally communities.  This also changes my 7 year vision as of 5-8-2016: (This whole article needs updating...)

    • 2016: Make 3 of my inventions.  Get one of them turned into a business making money.
    • 2016: Weigh under 250lbs
    • 2016: Get my Businesses Earning NET $10,000/mo (Gross of $30,000/mo)
    • 2016: Get Reno Magick making net $2,000/mo after paying labor. (Master Magick Store Owner)
    • 2016: Publish at least one new book.
    • 2016: Become able to take 2 weeks off work by hiring and training.
    • 2016: Flesh out, explain and debate Thrivalist Intentional Community Idea
    • 2017: Have 2 or more apprentices and multiple students who share my goals.
    • 2017: Buy a house (moved to 2017 because I need to improve my credit and save a down payment)
    • 2017: Become able to take 1 month off by hiring and training.
    • 2017: Make another 2 inventions.  Turn another one into a business making money.
    • 2017: Make over $100,000/mo Gross
    • 2017: Explore and Start "Car Club" Company.  Begin Building App with Algorithms.
    • 2017: File, Buy Property and start Thrivalist Intentional Community.
    • 2017: Weigh under 225lbs
    • 2018: Invest in Environmental Best Practices Company/Non-Profit (Possible Pacific Gyre based probably not)
    • 2018: Check in with Team doing Pacific Gyre work and support the project.  Review dream island fleet idea.
    • 2018: Become able to take 3 months off (every 2 years) all of my projects by hiring and training the right people.  If my projects can survive 3 months without me they are going to survive if something happens and I'm no longer involved.
    • 2018: Publish 2 more Books.
    • 2018: File, Buy Property and start 2nd separate thrivalist community.
    • 2019: Multi-Millionaire with investments increasing in value by Millions of Dollars per year
    • 2019: Thrivalist Community Comprises 30+ people running 10+ businesses and owns assets worth $5+ million without counting my personal assets.
    • 2019: File, Buy Property and start 3rd separate thrivalist community (different region).   Document processes. Invite and support clones and competitive communities.
    • 2019: Build 2 more inventions and Publish at least 1 more Book
    • 2019: Purchase Automated Cars and expand "Car Club" Company with them.
    • 2020: Aid Plastic Gyre solutions to be operating on all Gyres.
    • 2020: Foundation to document Thrivalist Community processes and lessons.  Form "standards" documentation to try to empower inter-community cooperation without blocking evolutionary individuation.  Guide that "Thrivalist" communities should have someone document their variations from the standards so that Thrivalists from other communities can quickly understand what is different about a specific community they are visiting or working with.
    • 2020: Study Walton Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others to learn what I desire to emulate and what I desire to transform.  Research partnership options.
    • 2021: Personally managed assets cross Billion Dollar Valuation
    • 2021: Form Foundation to leverage managed asset power for social, legal and environmental reform.
    • 2021: Expand "Car Club" to more markets
    • 2021: Personally aid 4 more Thrivalist Communities in different regions.  2 of those regions should be 2nd or 3rd world countries where the economic power could create major political, social and environmental change on a national level.
    • 2022: More than 3 Thrivalist Communities formed through splits and investments of prior communities.   Thrivalists communities leveraging $20 million plus in annual income to serve their communities, grow local economies, heal local environments and lobby for socially and environmentally beneficial law changes on local and state levels. (Not counting my personal assets)
    • 2023: More than 10 Thrivalist Communities formed through splits, social interest and investments of prior communities.
    • 2023: 10+ thrivalist communities operating in 2nd and 3rd world countries.

     

     

    Ok, if you read this list and you thought: BULLSHIT, I would recommend you go read a book called “The Miracle Morning.”

    Consistent and purposeful effort with a distinct vision in mind changes the definition of a realistic goal. When people dedicate to their goals with a drive and get a little bit closer each day, success is basic math. Bicycling 100,000 miles seems impossible. Say I bicycle 30 miles/day. In 1 Week I'll have gone only 210 miles. In one month I'll have gone only 840 miles. It would be tempting to see those numbers and just never try, but here is where committed and purposeful effort bears fruit.

    In only 9.13 years I will have bicycled 100,000 miles. The circumference of the earth is only 24,901 miles. That means that in 9.13 years of bicycling 30 miles a day I will have “gone around the world” 4 times.

    If someone told you that in next 10 years they were going to bicycle around the entire planet once you might consider it an incredible feat, but what if they did it 4 times?!? That seems downright impossible.

    Consistent and purposeful effort toward a distinct vision... Incredible success is simply basic math.

    Coming Soon: Pathwork to Mastery: Mastery's place in Western Magick & Spirituality pt 5 (1 Year Plan, 1 Month Schedule)

  • Receiving an Initiation

    initiation ceremony with a large pit fire

    The name of this website has become a bit of a joke. Power and Wisdom come very much hand in hand. Most teachers will try to guide a student to wisely handling power they will be receiving soon. This is the smart/safe way to teach as by the time the student obtains power they have been guided through the teachers experience and knowledge to avoid the most common mistakes. To give someone power before giving them wisdom can be like handing detonators and C4 to a classroom of kids.

    When I started writing Power Before Wisdom I was like a kid who had survived the experience of playing with C4 and detonators. I had this incredibly destructive mindset that people should have the opportunity to learn through risk and blood and originally intended to pass out the C4 and Detonators to anyone willing to take them. At the time I didn't understand that the wisdom of people's higher self would likely result in people who couldn't handle the risk either not understanding what I was sharing or just plain not finding the material. For a while I got to watch people come to the site, and the few that learned expressed the power I shared noisily and excitedly. It was a LOT of fun.

    I had earned the wisdom of experience, and I watched people around me studying all kinds of crap with what I considered useless teachings and warnings about stuff the teachers had no clue about let alone the students.

    Only in religion is it possible to have so many layers of protection that people forget the core reason for the earliest layers of protection. I actually encounter people who believe that the law of silence is about some sort of secrecy oath and that they will die if they break silence about the “secrets” of their traditions. While some traditions DO have oaths with juice to hurt you for breaking them, I can't understand a person in a magickal tradition not knowing that the law of silence is a rule that supports successful magick.

    Because of my experience seeming more effective than most of the crap I saw others sharing, I started teaching and sharing. However along the way, People's questions helped me understand that there were a lot of details that I had missed. I learned that there was a lot more I needed to learn to help them... and suddenly a lot of the “crap” I'd seen others teaching started making more sense. When I went back and studied their “crap” in conjunction with the power I already had, I became much, MUCH more effective.

    The Place of Lineage in Personal Growth
    In the end I learned lineage can share power, wisdom to avoid self-destruction and techniques/perspectives to enhance the effectiveness of the power received.

    Think of lineage this way:

    • Chance, a teacher and a lineage can all teach you to make nitroglycerin (Give you power)

    • Experience, a teacher and a lineage can all show you that nitroglycerin is explosive.

    • Both a teacher and a lineage can tell you that mixing it with diatomaceous earth can stabilize it.

    • Only a Lineage can tell you that small amounts of nitroglycerin taken orally can stabilize an erratic heartbeat.

    By now you should know that spirit can actually give you all of this, however the more subtle and of limited use the knowledge is, the more likely you won't notice it without being taught it specifically. It's not that you'll never find the subtle understandings and techniques. You probably will find a few. It's just that you are more likely to not notice them as you live your life whereas a lineage can help point them out when you come to a point in your life where they may be helpful to you.

    In the end these subtle understandings and techniques are often more helpful than the primary value one finds in a new technique/tool; however without a series of teachers and students working together there will likely never be a large enough conglomeration of these “special uses” to be of major value. A healthy and experienced tradition still connected with its power can offer people both the experience of their teacher AND the lessons of the teacher's teachers and their teachers... and so on.

    What does this have to do with receiving an initiation? Mostly as a why. Why would you associate with the old/smelly/ugly/mean/other-bad-stuff “master” when you can just take the power and run?

    Because they know ways you can avoid hurting yourself, they know intricacies about how to apply it and they have experience with many of the unexpected consequences that you can either learn for yourself through pain and loss or learn through someone else's experience.

    Imperfect Teachers / Masters
    Western culture has this misconception that the someone has to be perfect in order to be a teacher of spirituality or mysticism. I can't tell you how many times I've watched people either quit working with a teacher upon learning of personal issues they have, or lie to themselves about the flaws of their teacher as if somehow admitting they weren't perfect meant the teachings had no value.

    I have had teachers who couldn't hold down a job, who couldn't handle money, who had sex addictions, who had chemical addictions and more. In the end I took what could help me and let go of worrying about the rest. I recommend you do the same. No one person is perfect and nobody knows everything, but a good teacher will help you through experience, perspective, connections and lineage.

    Seriously... imperfection is NOT an excuse to ignore your teachers. Listen to them. Like everything else, weigh their words. Don't follow their advice if you are sure they are wrong or dangerous, but if they are asking you to do something you've never done before and you don't have a better plan that is different from the last time you failed to overcome the challenge you are facing, give their idea a shot. You will be tempted to assume they are wrong because their idea doesn't seem perfect, but if an idea is 10% better than your idea (that didn't work) it is still an improvement.

    Magickal Initiation and Ceremony
    Ok... now that I have helped you avoid the most common destructive mistake that would lead to you becoming like 99% of the half-trained gits out there, let's go over the magickal aspects of initiation.

    There are two aspects to an effective initiation. First is the ceremonial ending of one aspect of ones life and the beginning of another aspect. It could be as simple as a handshake which signifies the end of ones life without a teacher and the beginning of ones life with one. It draws a line for us subconsciously and allows us to accept the new reality. This opens doors in our thinking that weren't open before.

    The other aspect to a successful initiation is the “Transfer of Power.” Most people think that this is some sort of astounding ceremony where they suddenly find themselves in control of new powers of the universe they didn't have control of before.

    The fact is that this is a very internal transformation. This part of an initiation is about tickling understandings by helping you experience the other person's understanding of it.

    Initiations can be as subtle as deepening or fleshing-out your connection with something you already have, as defining as introducing you to someone/something you hadn't encountered before in this life, or as intense as breaking through barriers life experiences or social conditioning put into place.

    High Energy Initiations and Glowing
    Initiations are SERIOUSLY fun to be involved in on both sides. While the breaking-through-barriers-initiations tend to be explosive and painful in the process, most initiations leave people incredibly joyful after completion. People express SO MUCH energy that it feels like they have experienced enlightenment... which in a way they did. They gained more light (aka connection to source/their higher self) and they did it so quickly that they are glowing due to not quite adapting to handle so much yet.

    People will eventually stop “glowing,” which can feel like the effect of the initiation has gone away; however the glow is literally a consequence of pushing oneself and manifesting more strongly than one normally does. When people stop glowing, they simply have either adapted to expressing more energy/light in their day to day lives or reduced the amount of energy/light toward more normal levels, usually a bit of both.

    The glow can be experienced on a regular basis by pushing yourself to express more energy/light/connection to source than you normally handle. However, it will rarely feel as impressive as a powerful initiation due to the amount of energy input and life changes involved in a well crafted high-intensity magickal initiation.

    Don't get addicted to the excitement of the energy high... or at least don't make the mistake of thinking that an Energy High is an initiation. If you want to be an energy high junkie, do us all a favor and admit your drug of choice without needing to try to claim that you are doing a ton of personal growth with every high you go find. At this point addiction to magickal energy is one of the least stigmatized aspects of magickal practice so there is no real excuse to try to hide it. ;-)

    Recognizing an Effective Initiation
    The true judge of an initiation is how your life changes. Take note of how your life was before and after an initiation. I have experienced initiations that seemed minor and yet my entire life changed. There are a lot of techniques for fun/interesting and powerful initiations but in the end they are all simply a means to the goal of a transformation of self.

    One of my favorite things about the Path of Ifa (African Divination/Orisha Tradition) that I initiated into, is the efficacy of the initiatory process. Without telling secrets, all of the elements of excellent initiation are put together. Ceremony, Altered states of consciousness (Which make connecting with spirit, accepting risk and change easier), Lots of Physical and Metaphysical Energy and a very effective process for the Transfer of Power. Additionally having to travel somewhere new and different from our home resulted in the idea of change being an easy one to connect to. Not all aspects may be necessary for a single person's initiation, but having so many tools in one place greatly improves the chances of the understanding being received by the initiate.

    At this point you understand why you might want to initiate, why a teacher is a good idea and some ideas on how to maintain the relationship, and enough about the ritual process to support it without confusing the situation with more information than you need. Believe it or not knowledge is one of the biggest hurdles to effective initiation. A master of the process of initiation will learn how to delay analyzing the experience even though they know all of the why's, what's and hows.

    It is incredibly important to be in an open or questioning mindset when receiving initiation so I'm not going to burden you with the challenge of too much understanding of the details yet. Please experience the process of receiving an effective initiation before you study the process of giving one. All of the knowledge in the world will not help you truly understand the experience until you have gone through it. Some things just can't be said with words.

    Failing to Initiate
    It is possible to fail to initiate. You can choose NOT to change the perspective or understandings that the initiation was meant to impart.

    The most common mistake throughout religious history is to:

    1. Receive teachings

    2. Fail to initiate into where the value of the teachings become obvious and useful

    3. Teach the concepts to others without the ability to initiate the others into the power of the tradition

    This is where runaway traditions come from. The place where people take holy scriptures and bring forth unholiness in complete contrast to the original idea.

    When an idea has no connection to spirit to make it valuable or useful, it is easy to be twisted by mishearings and reinterpretations. A couple generations of that and you'll have a spaghetti pile of broken concepts and confused retellings with nuggets of true wisdom hidden within.

    Let me be clear. If someone tries to teach you religious concepts that make no sense, than you are dealing with either:

    • Lessons you have to potential to initiate into.

    • Complete bullshit that was passed onto your teacher and they are simply forwarding as well as they can.

    • Cultural Confusion based on ideas/concepts that made sense from the perspective of the persons living in the culture at the time of the writing/oral transfer.

    I strongly recommend that if you find yourself in possession of these nonsensical tidbits that you avoid trying to reteach them with any sort of dogmatic sense of importance. Maybe you will want to share them as interesting notes that might possibly become useful to someone in the future, but please avoid filling the world with more dogmatic bullshit than there absolutely has to be.

    Good Luck and Have Fun.

  • Starting and Running a Business: Why you need to Make Peace with Failure.

    Starting and Running a Business: Why you need to Make Peace with Failure.

    Your business is going to fail, fail again, fail again and fail again. This will continue over and over and over until suddenly, one day, you won't fail. If you're smart, you will figure out what you did that didn't fail. Then you will try to do that over and over in new and creative ways until you learn lots of different ways you can succeed.

    When talking about starting a business most people start with the last part about finding success. I chose to start with the first part because this is where most people quit.

    In business this process is repeated again and again. Every time you want to offer a different service, reach a different audience, use a different marketing campaign or any other expansion or growth you will be following this fail, fail, fail, succeed process.

    The biggest difference between an experienced entrepreneur and a novice is that we have learned how to study other people who are being similarly successful to how we want to be successful to help us figure out how to try. Our experience helps us go from failing dozens or hundreds of times to only a few or even a couple. Then once we find success we are better at guessing and testing the boundaries of that success. The problem with this experience is that we will sometimes write off a valuable opportunity because past evidence indicates it won't work. However circumstances change. Trying something which seems dumb sometimes yields incredible results. Here is where the painful frustration of being a beginner can bear the best fruit. Trying what nobody else will try will eventually make your name!

    Each new business will always feel like the hardest yet. You will almost assuredly spend months working absurd hours for far less than minimum wage. If you are smart you will surround yourself with other entrepreneurs who help you know when to hold, when to fold and when to bet everything.

    Your first income will be like a few drops of rain in a desert, but little by little you will find ways to earn more and more efficiently. Your hourly pay will start climbing and eventually you will be earning enough to hire someone else.

    Here is where you will have a huge decision to make: Do I keep this income source for myself? Do I hire help and expand? Do I sell to someone else who wants to hire?

    I have normally chosen to seek to automate more and more to minimize how much I need to hire help. I disliked training and felt frustrated at the pace most employees learn and work. However, I'm shifting that little by little. Over the last few years I've hired contractors for larger repetitive projects, and little by little I’m training consistent part-timers to help with the absurd number of tasks and projects on my plate. I will eventually be teaching them to be a “mini-me.”

    Your early successes will be strongly tied to you. YOUR customers. YOUR vendors. YOUR network. The reason I mentioned this question is that it will take time for you to learn how to adjust your business to not rely on YOU, but instead rely on your team and your business processes.

    I lost 50% or more of my customers nearly a half a dozen times trying to make this transition in my computer and website businesses. This is where people start seeing you as being a “sell out” or becoming a “soulless corporation.” Your new business will attract a different kind of customer. Sometimes its a good choice… sometimes not. There are a lot of people willing to trade “good enough” service/quality for the personal touch. If you remove some of the personal touch they value, your necessary quality and service will need to improve a LOT. Sometimes no matter what you do it won’t be enough. For some customers personal relationships are mandatory, and if you stop being as available as part of your growth, the customers will find the next new person who’s willing to be available.

     

    Back to failure. This is why you have to be willing to fail. You think I was warning you to be willing to fail at the beginning? The biggest warning is to be willing to fail AFTER you succeeded. Nothing forms a jail cell like success. When you find something that works for you its tempting to just keep doing it. Heck if you’re happy doing so then go for it!

    But then there are serial entrepreneurs like myself and others. We crave change, growth and adventure. After years of exhaustive struggle, success seems peaceful. We finally have what we were struggling for this entire time. We settle in for a while and bask in our rewards, but then the bug hits us. We see new opportunities. We feel the need to work for something new.

    If we are wise we will make plans and strike off, but this is where the fear of failure hits hardest. We know the hardships we are signing up for! We have success. Its peaceful waters allure us, offering simplicity and comfort.

    If you are hearing the call though don’t allow yourself to be distracted. What seems like a simple choice is anything but. Once we hear the call to growth and change our comfortable little world is already doomed. The more we avoid the call the more our lives will fall apart. What once seemed impressive and wonderful starts to feel small and confining. Money isn’t enough, prestige isn’t enough. When the development toward the next stage is the primary calling nothing other than heeding the call and moving forward will suffice.

     

    Make your peace with failure. Strike off and work for the change and growth with a passion. Accept that you may lose much or everything of what you’ve already found, but that along the way you have transformed. You have become someone who knows yet another way to succeed. If you fail mightily you will be able to use your old skills, knowledge and relationships to pick yourself up before you try again.

    By accepting failure we become someone dynamic. We allow new opportunities and lessons into our lives and understand our personal power in greater depth than most will ever understand. This advice is true for all of life. The most powerful person isn’t the one who found success and held onto it. It is a person who learns the lessons both failure and success offer and keeps moving forward.

     

    Be Powerful,

    Awo Fa’gbemiro

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