Why Failure Is the Path to Success
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
In baking and in business, you can’t be afraid to take risks.
There’s a famous quote attributed to Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 new ways that won’t work.”
Anyone who has so much as dipped a toe in the business world knows those words resonate with more than inventing light bulbs. Failure is as common in business – and in life – as chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies. We’ve heard the legendary stories of famous people who suffered crushing failures before they found success: Bob Dylan’s band lost a high school talent competition to a tap dancing act. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard. Abraham Lincoln lost many elections before he became president. There is even a Museum of Failure exhibition in Sweden that commemorates famous flops.
Stepping stone to success
Those high achievers who rise from the ashes time and again are successful because they truly believe that failure is not a step backward, but a stepping stone to success. These people know how to assess the damage, stand up, dust themselves off, and learn from their mistakes. They don’t spend a lot of time feeling sorry for themselves or believing the world is out to get them. They see failure for what it is: a solitary event that doesn’t detract from their ability to achieve their goals. In his inspirational book for budding entrepreneurs, Shake the World, James Marshall Reilly writes, “I consistently observed that those in the top tier of success don’t internalize failure in the same way that most people do. For them, failure is not a reflection of self. It is completely objectified and isolated, believed to be an experience from which to learn, a measure of the inability to accomplish one specific task at a single moment in time, or the result of variables that likely have little to do with the individual in question.”
Just like taking your first steps or learning to ride a bike, failing until you succeed is the path that leads to most milestones. Every time you fail, there is an opportunity to learn a lesson that brings you closer to achieving your goal. At Bakers Pride, we know that cakes collapse, bread doesn’t rise, dough sticks to your rolling pin, cookies burn, or the new pastry filling you concoct tastes awful. But the best bakers understand that the only way to fix these mistakes is to try again. No matter how prepared you are or how hard you work, the most delicious results are often created by trial and error, experimenting with flavors and techniques, and believing that if it doesn’t work out in the end, you are talented enough to find a better way.
Overcome your fear
When you overcome your fear of failure, you will find the courage to take those big risks that pull you out of your comfort zone and position you to reach new heights of success. Just like with baking, business success comes to those who don’t wallow in their mistakes, but seize the opportunity to transform them into something that’s deliciously wonderful. Our favorite example of this is a St. Louis legend: the Gooey Butter Cake. When a local baker mixed up the type of butter used in his cakes, rather than throw the batter away, he baked it anyway. The result? A new cake that sold so well, it became a sensation in St. Louis bakeries and now around the world.
Truman Capote once said, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” We wholeheartedly agree. For more than 25 years, Bakers Pride has found success delivering delicious seasonal specialties and perennial favorites daily in the St. Louis area. It’s definitely not a mistake to count on us for the highest quality fresh-baked goods and on-time delivery. Contact us to see how we can help you with your food service needs.