By Michael Gunther

I was recently listening to a NPR morning show and they had a female business owner from Uganda speaking about the steps her communities were making to support new women owned businesses. She discussed the challenges and the opportunities, but mostly she talked about the fear many people had in taking the first steps in creating their own enterprise. I was truly inspired when she stated – “you have to take risks and face your fears.” At the end of the day, you are either going to have a great success story or a great failure story to share. Either way you will have a great story about what you learned to share.

She took the fear of failing out of the equation. She converted the thought of failing to be okay – not as right or wrong. It was a paradigm shift she taught other individuals she was mentoring. It inspired her and thus, me.

This got me thinking, why are we afraid to make changes or take risks? Are we concerned what others might think? Are we afraid of changing or shifting the status quo? Or maybe are we afraid of the unknown?

I reflected on her comment that we only pass through this life once (unless you are Shirley MacLaine). At the end of our days, what stories will we be sharing?  Stories of regrets for those things we wished we would have done or will we be sharing stories of our successes?

I am not sure why her comments struck such a cord within me. Maybe I am nervous about a new education journey that I am about to embark on. Will I be able to keep up with the others? Again, I question why the heck I am doing this at this stage of my life? Or maybe it is because I have pushed myself and my team this year to new levels, and hope we can continue our growth pattern.

For myself, I have to constantly remind myself to face my fears or push myself to a new level. I realize it would be ‘easier’ not to try to achieve new knowledge, skills, or goals, but will I be happy at the end of the day? I hope that I will have a life full of great stories to share. Some of my successes, but more importantly stories of my failures and what I learned from them.

Bottom Line

Don’t let fear of failure stop you from making changes in your life or business. Take the first steps to change and whether it works out the way you want it to or it doesn’t – you will have a great story to tell. In addition, you will live your life without regrets.



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