Only the courageous know failure

One of the most powerful words in the English language is courage; it’s also a characteristic unique to humans.

The reason courage is a uniquely human trait is because it is typically demonstrated for something other than self — a cause, a country, another human — which is abstract thinking, also unique to humans. And courage usually manifests itself after the courageous has had time to think about it. The great silent movie actress Dorothy Bernard once said, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” If you’ve had time to pray, you’ve had time to change your mind.

Courage is certainly not unique to entrepreneurs, but it is a characteristic very much in evidence in our world. And the abstract that we are willing to fight for is our vision.

When you start a small business you demonstrate courage. When you persevere in the face of entrenched paradigms and small-minded naysayers, you demonstrate courage.

And what about failure? If you fail — nay, when you fail — welcome to the rarified air of the courageous. Since you can’t fail if you don’t try, only the courageous can know failure.

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