We have heard it time and time again: to achieve any sort of huge success, we need to get comfortable with failure.

The road to genuine achievement should never be easy. It will be littered with obstacles, set-backs and sometimes even disaster. Life can be cruel as well as kind. And often there are no well-defined answers despite all those experts vying for the number 1 guru spot. The real question is:

are you game for the challenge in all its messiness? Or will you simply sit timidly in the wings wondering at what could be?

For any entrepreneur worth their salt, true success is hard-won but well worth the fight. Human nature is such that we do not appreciate the wins that come too easy. Think of the countless stories of those winning the lottery overnight only to blow the entire jackpot soon after.

Most people are desperate for the quick wins at the expense of diligently mastering their business craft. They would rather be validated by others over adding genuine value to humanity. Many people take advantage of the current attention economy by catering to peoples worst instincts in place of their own self-mastery and authenticity. It creates a generation of weak-willed fickle blow-hards who simply can’t stomach the struggle needed for genuine success. You can observe this lack of backbone in their empty voices and flashy smiles.

It is the difficulty inherent in reaching our goals that gives our lives the meaning we crave. We may get repeatedly knocked back but we pick ourselves up regardless, championing our purpose over the expedient. Even when our faces are mired in mud and our spirits feel broken, we somehow find the willpower to drive forwards. This continued battle nurtures our grit and grows our substance. Eventually we become a force to be reckoned with.

In all truth, you could give up the entrepreneurial life tomorrow and find a cosy corporate job with a stable pay-check. You could dedicate yourself to someone else’s goals, driving their company to the next level whilst keeping your own dreams on the backburner. To cope with this sacrifice, you could quietly count the minutes to the weekend when you finally escape the office prison and can numb out like all the rest. Then you get to start the whole charade again come Monday. Welcome to the rat race.

Those who do take the leap into entrepreneurship are brave. You have to commit to the long haul and work consistently with absolutely no guarantee of success. You have to relinquish the moderately secure financial future of the corporate world and try to make it on your own for much greater potential return. And you have to dig deep into your own resources to develop the mettle to persevere.

Leading your own company into the marketplace is tantamount to leading an army into battle. The market isn’t pretty. It doesn’t care about you or me. And only the best fighters win.

Self-doubt is a universal affliction. Most of us will tragically waste our precious lives worrying that there is something fundamentally wrong with us. We will relentlessly obsess over our mistakes and fear getting it wrong in case we are met with the disapproval of our peers. It’s a hard habit to break. The fact is, we are all emotionally hard-wired to fit in and our greatest dread is rejection from the tribe. But we have to recognise that this programming has passed its sell-by date and its only purpose now is to rob us of our passion.

How can we ever become a true leader with an original voice when we are lost in this eternal follower mode?

And how do we even begin to tackle this?

It starts by taking full responsibility for our lives, both business and personal, even when life feels beyond our control. We get radically present so that now we are the ones who decide the direction of our business and lives.

So few people dare to live in the present moment. It can be scary and unpredictable. But when we speak, behave and conduct our businesses from that place, we become infinitely more poised. In a world full of pretenders, we stand out.

The rarest of people delight in challenging the status quo. They don’t care for approval. Instead they question, defy and excite. For them, failure isn’t deemed so bad. In fact, they invite failure in, knowing that the difficulty inherent in the struggle puts them in a stronger position to win long-term.

This is a radical entrepreneur. This is a force to be reckoned with.

Are you such a person?