Fail Forward on Your Journey to Veterinary Practice Ownership

Everyone has peaks and valleys in life.

Thirteen years ago, I was in a valley, and I was seeing a therapist to help me get through it. I remember sitting in my therapist’s office on a Friday afternoon feeling like my life was a complete failure. Tears were streaming down my face. I was grieving over the “bad” choices I had made in the past and wrestling with my current circumstances. As I was crying, my therapist said to me, “Tracy, you are not a failure. You have to be more loving and forgiving of yourself.”

The next day, I attended a church in my community, hoping to get some inspiration to lift my spirits. At the end of the service, a woman I had never met before approached me and said, “I believe God wants me to tell you something.”

Excuse me? No one had ever said anything like that to me before, especially a complete stranger.

While I was taken aback by this woman, I was also intrigued and curious about what she thought God wanted me to know.

“OK,” I said hesitantly.

“God wants you to know that you are not a failure but a strong and powerful woman,” she said. “He loves you, and you do not need to be concerned about what others are saying or thinking about you…”

She went on to say some other relevant things specific to my situation that were extremely impactful.

I was grateful that the woman had the courage to approach me, a complete stranger, and share this important message. It’s a message that still encourages me to this day.

That experience helped me realize that life is messy. It’s not perfect. If you want to grow and be your best self, you must put yourself out there. You have to take risks, explore opportunities, and take action. Sometimes those actions don’t go our way, and that’s OK. Failing is not a bad thing. On the contrary, failing forward and learning from it is one of the best things that can happen to facilitate personal and professional growth.

A friend recently shared a video on Facebook about this very topic. Check it out:

The most successful people in the world are often those who have experienced the most failure. For example, after filing for bankruptcy early in her career, Mary Kay Ash founded Mary Kay Cosmetics. Today, there are more than 1.6 million people selling Mary Kay products around the world, and annual sales exceed $2.2 billion.

Here are a few brilliant quotes on failure and fear of failure:

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” —Thomas A. Edison

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” —Jack Canfield

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” —Robert F. Kennedy

“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” —Coco Chanel

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” —Thomas A. Edison

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” —Winston Churchill

“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” —Robert T. Kiyosaki

 

Don’t let the fear of failure get in your way of becoming a successful veterinary practice owner. While every successful person has a story of failure, they also have similar advice for achieving success:

  • Do your due diligence and pay attention to detail — If you want to be a successful practice owner, you cannot fly by the seat of your pants. Know the legal requirements, follow the rules, and don’t take shortcuts.
  • Have a strong business plan in place — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Your plan is the backbone of your business, and your business won’t be able to eventually stand on its own without that backbone.
  • Surround yourself with experts and seek their advice regularly — You’re a veterinary professional. Don’t try to be an attorney, a real estate agent, an accountant, a marketer, a business consultant, an architect, a human resource expert, an IT expert, a practice manager, etc. Find the people who can do these things for you while you focus on developing the side of the business that you know best: the medicine.

Is your fear of failure getting in your way and preventing you from growing and becoming your best self? Is it stopping you from taking the leap of becoming a veterinary practice owner?

Just like that stranger (AKA: my guardian angel) encouraged me 13 years ago, I want to encourage you now.

YOU are a strong and powerful woman. YOU can do anything you set your mind to do. YOU are smart. YOU are capable. YOU have what it takes to be emotionally and financially wealthy.

Ready to conquer your fears and achieve true success? I can help

By | 2018-04-03T18:57:26+00:00 April 3rd, 2018|Veterinary Trends|0 Comments

About the Author:

Tracy Dowdy, CVPM, is a veterinary practice consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She is also the founder of the Relationship Centered Practice Academy, the most comprehensive online veterinary practice management course available.

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