The FWord

Mountain Climbers tend to accept, even embrace failure. They choose to look upon failures as priceless learning experiences, certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. They are able to spin utter disasters into educational experiences.

Charles Schwab had a drive-through animal park and a Music Expo falter before he ventured into discount trading. He chalked these failed businesses up as "priceless learning experiences." Richard Branson's autobiography Losing My Virginity describes the failure of his first business—a magazine called Student—as the need to "shelve my plans for the time being."23 Rather than wallow in despair, Branson simply chose to try something new.

A Mountain Climber's ego is an invaluable asset. It is often the armor that protects Mountain Climbers when in intense turmoil. So when a failure threatens their sense of self-worth, they redefine the situation. It's a kind of unconscious defense mechanism that allows them to continue trying when others would have admitted failure and been embarrassed to continue. As a result, Mountain Climbers are the most resilient of the three types of small business owners.

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