I recently saw an interview with a successful American entrepreneur who was asked the standard question, “What’s the secret of your success?” Her answer was fascinating.

She told a story of how when she was growing up, her father would regularly ask her over dinner time, how have you failed this week? He wanted his children to overcome the fear of failure we all have latent within us. So he encouraged them all to constantly try new things, and get used to failure as a fact of life, as something necessary for learning and growth.

In fact, he celebrated their failures, and got them excited about them. So each week they would each tell stories of ever more elaborate failures. And as they did so, they lost the fear and the stigma of failure. They took on huge challenges, and they learned more. And so one daughter became an incredibly successful entrepreneur.

So how have you failed this week? What will you go out and try, in order to lose the fear and stigma of failure… in order that one day further down the line you’ll be wildly successful?

Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s a lay preacher and leader within the Methodist Church, author of a biography on John Wesley, and currently researching for a biography on William Wilberforce. He enjoys good films, good food, praying for London, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna.

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