Monday, February 28, 2011

Pushing Through: Go Daddy

"The temptation to quit will be the greatest just before you are about to succeed."  - Chinese Proverb

The temptation to quit was never more real than for Bob Parsons, the head and founder of The Go Daddy Group, Inc, just a decade ago. In a recent interview with Paul Anderson, writer of 50 Entrepreneurs, Bob Parsons revealed that he almost gave up on Go Daddy back in 1999. While today Go Daddy is the world's largest provider of domain name registrar's, in 1999, shortly after the dot com bubble bursted, they nearly ran out of money and Bob Parsons was left with a decision to either cut his losses or potentially go broke.

Parsons was confronted with the moment of truth so in an effort to sort it all out, he took a vacation to Hawaii to clear his head and make the ultimate decision on the future of his company. Something funny happened to him on that trip. While going through the deepest soul searching imaginable, he met a parking attendant who despite being Parsons age, was absolutely content with what he was doing. This man was happy and he loved his work. At that moment Bob Parsons gained his perspective. Describing the moment, Bob states, "And it hit me.  I said to myself, if this business fails, the worst thing that can happen is I'll be parking cars, right? It was in that moment I decided that I was going to stick with the business no matter what. I was broke before and happy as hell, I could be again, and I didn't need all that money to be happy." Bob stuck with it and within two years, Go Daddy's cash flow situation was much improved and they were well on their way to being the hugely successful company that they are today.

Throughout history, individuals have encountered the same scenario as Bob Parsons - whether to quit and cut their losses or to push on through and potentially accomplish something great. The fear of failure is often so strong that many people give up too early and are hesitant to take their ultimate personal risk. It is human nature to avoid negative and harmful situations so it becomes easier to choose the path of least resistance as opposed to the path might create a better life for you and others.

For Bob Parsons, a Vietnam veteren, he gained internal strength and learned how to overcome personal resistance in war. If you can accept that you might die tomorrow but yet are still able to push on through and do your job, then you are surely mentally equipped to face the prospects of a failing business. For most of us though the idea of losing your job, running a business into the ground or simply failing to achieve what you set out to can be so overwhelming that our mind tells us that it is the worst imaginable outcome.

To overcome this, we need to honestly tell ourselves what the worst thing that can happen truly is. Are you clinging to a job because you fear that you won't succeed doing something else? If so, how hard would it be to get back to the exact same position you are in now if all else fails? You've done it once so it should be easier the second time around.

Alternatively, you may be experiencing failure in what you consider to be your life's dream. Does this mean that you should quit because success seems bleak?  Think about Bob Parsons and ask yourself what is the worst thing that will happen to me if I fail? Can you get a job doing something else and still be happy?

Pushing through and taking risks require that you have a clear understanding of what failure means. For most of us, it doesn't mean your world is going to end. Setbacks are inevitable but the trick is to push through and do what we know in our heart is truly important. The trick is to remind ourselves that we can always park cars and still be happy.