This is Not a Failure to Success Story.
Nor is it a story about succeeding and then failing. It’s not even a story illustrating the quaint but annoying panacea: Success is not final; failure is not fatal.
It is, however, a story to which every entrepreneur can relate. It’s a story for anyone who feels or tolerates the idea that his or her life has been defined by a failure. And it’s a story for anyone who needs to hear from someone who gets it.
Meet Tamara Johnson.
Tamara’s an entrepreneur who sunk her whole life into building a business that failed after seven years . . .
She gets it.
Why is it that we tend to emphasize the failure rate of small businesses rather than the success rate?
If you own (or owned) a small business, you’ve heard about the failure rate of small business in America. Economists and well-intentioned friends quote them frequently. You may even know them by heart:
- 20% fail in their first year.
- 30% fail in their second year.
- 50% fail after five years.
- 70% fail in their 10th year.[i]
But what we don’t often hear about are the success rates of small businesses whose owners refused to give up.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Employment Dynamics, cited by Fundera, of the small businesses with employees[ii]:
- About 80% will survive their first year.
- About 70% will survive their second year in business
- About 50% will survive their fifth year.
- About 30% of businesses will survive their 10th year in business.
While the original report is a bit dated, here’s the interesting point: The Small Business Association reveals that the rates are consistent over time and across industries[iii].
That probably wouldn’t surprise Tamara, who believes that as long as you keep getting back up, you will eventually find success.
A real-life approach to a real-life failure
Tamara is as real as it gets. She’s straightforward, honest, intelligent, and won’t hesitate to tell you how it is. She’s also funny, joyous, and lifts up those around her.
In this episode of Stay Paid, Tamara shares her story of finding her passion, doing the research, quitting her job, investing her life’s savings, and doing the hard work required to build a business that went belly up after seven years.
But Tamara wants you to be inspired by her story, even as she pulls no punches talking about living in a friend’s basement, eating Ramen noodles, and swallowing her pride to chauffeur intoxicated people from bar to bar.
However, the point is not to dwell on the details of her story; she wouldn’t want that.
Rather, it’s the bigger picture Tamara values, and she hopes you do, too. It’s why she agreed to speak with Luke and Josh—her bosses at ReminderMedia.
Listen to this episode and we guarantee you’ll feel much better and, hopefully, walk away with a different perspective about whatever challenge you may be facing.
There’s only one key point in this episode, and it’s the one that speaks most to you.
Write a letter to yourself and describe what your future looks like. If you can visualize it, you can make it happen.
[i] Georgia McIntyre, What Percentage of Small Businesses Fail? (And Other Need-to-Know Stats), Fundera, Updated July 20, 2020, https://www.fundera.com/blog/what-percentage-of-small-businesses-fail#sources.
[ii] Georgia McIntyre, What Percentage of Small Businesses Fail? (And Other Need-to-Know Stats), Fundera, Updated July 20, 2020, https://www.fundera.com/blog/what-percentage-of-small-businesses-fail#sources.
[iii] Small Business Administration: Office of Advocacy, Do Economic or Industry Factors Affect Business Survival?, Small Business Facts, June 2012, Retrieved August 3, 2020, https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/Business-Survival.pdf.