Embrace the Common Denominator of Success

Security Sales & Integration

The Big Idea with Ron Davis
June, 2009

Embrace the Common Denominator of Success

Pierson's great idea

It seems as though we’ve done a number of columns on this same variation about customers, and of course, you can never run out of ideas and material to write. As I interviewed Pierson at ISC West, I realized she is starting her third career in just the few short years that I’ve known her.
When first we met, she was president of the firm that she and her husband founded, Pierson Security. Then after we helped her and her husband, Hugh, sell the company, she went to work for the buyer, First Alarm in Aptos, Calif., where she was also successful. She is now starting her third career in consulting, mentoring, public speaking and marketing.

As I thought about Pierson’s career, I also started thinking about others in the industry who have changed careers on more than one occasion (including yours truly on four separate occasions!). That made me think about what happens to those who change careers and why they do it.
For some, it is simply because they failed at what they had done previously. I know that sounds harsh, but no one completely fails at something. However, for purposes of this column, let’s call it a complete failure. Conversely, some of the real successes in the industry have gone from one success to another. All brought the same attitude in everything they started — a positive expectancy, a great sense of humor, enthusiasm, a professional approach, and so much more.
The one ingredient I think is the most important aspect to bring to any new venture is something I call a willingness to fail. Please note, I didn’t say a “desire to fail,” but rather, a willingness to fail. What that means simply is that most successful entrepreneurs have this trait. It is the common denominator of success!
All leaders are confident and sure of themselves. They are willing to step up to the table and look anyone in the eye and say, “I believe in this so strongly that I’m willing to put it all on the line!” It seems to me that is exactly what Pierson is doing. She’s starting a new career by helping others build theirs. I’ve been where she is going and it’s a tough road to go down. She knows she can succeed, and she probably will.
But there is always an element of doubt and the possibility of failure. Now I suspect Pierson thinks about it occasionally and is frightened by the prospect of it. However, for the most part, probably 95 percent of the time, she is thinking about tackling the next project or the next teaching scenario.
That hidden element is most often misunderstood and not easily emulated, but is a precious key to success. Winners and leaders all have this common denominator of a willingness to fail in order to reach success. Think about it and think about what this may mean to you in the work that you do.

Ron DavisRon Davis is Security Sales & Integration‘s “What’s the Big Idea?” columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Group, a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates Int’l in the 1980s.