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CEOs And Business Owners: Failure Is Not An Option

Many times business failure or failure of any kind is just not an option.

For those who remember Apollo 13 this doesn’t take any explanation, but for those who don’t remember, Apollo 13 was a mission to the moon. At the time of Apollo 13, the Apollo series of missions to the moon had become so routine no one paid much attention to them.  Network television had stopped broadcasting the moon missions and news conferences from the space capsule.

Halfway between the earth and the moon, while the astronauts were going through a normal housekeeping procedure of stirring the oxygen tanks, there was a spark that created an explosion which blew out one side of the spacecraft. Very quickly mission control and the astronauts realized before long the spacecraft would be dead with no oxygen, no electricity – and their lives were in serious peril.

Failure was not an option.

Failure not only meant failure of the mission but failure also meant three astronauts who wouldn’t survive. Here is the most important statement the NASA flight director, Gene Krantz, made: “Gentleman, failure is not an option.  We are not losing these men on my watch.”

So the team at mission control rolled up their sleeves and did incredible things. They had to rework the entire system. Electricity was in short supply. Oxygen was running out plus numerous other technical problems. They essentially had to throw away the manual and start all over. The carbon dioxide was growing in the cabin. Mission control had to devise a way of lowering it so the astronauts wouldn’t pass out. Every procedure was invented out of desperation. All the engineers and staff at mission control thought of ways to get the spacecraft home that had never been used before.

If you don’t how the story ends… Everyone returns to earth and lands safely. It was considered the most successful failed mission ever.


As a CEO, president or business owner, when looking at your business and things are difficult don’t think, don’t even consider, there is nothing you can do to turn it around.

Business failure is not an option. 

Your business has a serious impact on your life and your lifestyle. Don’t tell yourself it’s impossible.

Don’t focus on what you can’t do. Focus on what you can do.

Keep moving forward step by step; day by day.

I’ve talked with CEOs, presidents and business owners who were in great peril of losing everything but understood it was much better to dig in, face the challenge, and change whatever needed changing rather than lose the company, their house and all of their assets.

If you are having business difficulties and challenges you can do this. You can work through whatever the challenges are in front of you.

If business isn’t as profitable as you would like, dig in and make it better.

It’s up to you.

Keep telling yourself: Failure is not an option. 

Keep asking yourself:  What do I do now? 

Don’t hesitate to talk to business professionals including the accountant, an attorney, a business advisor or business consultant. Clearly express to them you want to stay in business for the long haul, determined to make it and how nothing is going to stop you. Tell them you won’t even consider failure. Ask how they can help you through the following three stages to turnaround your business and get it back on track:

  1. Survive
  2. Stabilize
  3. Become profitable again


Remember: Business failure is not an option. Never give up!


To your success!


Ready to improve your business? Talk with Howard! – 888-738-1855 – Howard Lewinter guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners across a wide variety of industries to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress.

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