My failures

By Younas Chaudhary

Want to know how I failed and got back on my feet? Not once but multiple times.  I know you are curious to hear about my failures.

Younas Chaudhary

Before we begin, let me tell you that you can read a million books on this topic from “How to overcome failure” to “Six steps to avoid failure”, and so forth. The truth is, unless you have personally experienced failures yourself, none of these books will help you. Self-help books will provide you temporary relief, but they won’t teach you the secrets for overcoming losses and beating failures.

I’ve had colossal failures and made big mistakes, but I continue to learn from them and try to improve myself to avoid such failures in future. One of my biggest failures happened in the early 2000’s when a large multimillion dollar oil company was up for sale in West Texas and oil prices were low at that time. The firm’s lender was also my banker. My banker really liked the deal and encouraged me to buy the firm based on my working relationship and offered to extend a loan to purchase it. My team, headed by a CPA, started the due diligence work.

However, my accountant started having difficulties understanding their accounting system. He convinced me that it was not a worthwhile deal. My gut feeling was that I should buy it, despite his recommendations. However, I didn’t proceed in a timely manner to secure that great deal. A few months later, another oil company purchased it and with the increase in oil prices it has almost quadrupled in value.

What went wrong? Was it overreliance on people around me that led me not to secure this deal, or was it fear? Did I get immersed in the voices and opinions around me and forget to go ahead to proceed with my gut feeling?

The answer is that I paid too much attention to the noises around me instead of listening to my own gut feelings. I missed a huge opportunity.

The bankers were on board, but I thought the purchase would become a liability. Above everything, I felt that if I gave my word to the lenders, I would have to honor it, and at the time, I felt like it was a risky deal. It was a great deal, but I couldn’t put my arms around it in a timely manner, and my inner fear took over, so I missed a lucrative deal.

The lesson I learned from my mistake was that sometimes overthinking, inner fears, overreliance on the advice of others, and avoiding high risk will keep us from getting anywhere. Instead, we should perform our due diligence and research, listen to our gut feelings, go for it, take calculated risks, and see where it takes us.

Positive decision-making is critical for countering failure, and if we can get positive thinking, we can overcome most of our inner fears and avoid failures. Our minds can be trained for it, but we only use a small portion of our brain and heart when we take decisions, and we fall prey to decisions without adequate research or emotional ones without logic.

I believe that failure has to be experienced unintentionally. Failure and success are always intertwined. Success and failure are part of life. With every failure, I’ve come back with more success. The more failures I’ve had, the greater successes I’ve enjoyed. Blessings.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.

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