No one starts a business thinking it's going to fail. That would be potty. ( Although not quite as potty as the adult in car potty with the accompanying slogan of WHEN YOU CAN'T STOP, BUT YOU'VE GOT TO PLOP).
However, somewhere in the back of their ever-whirring minds, enterprising souls know the dispiriting facts.
Yet like smokers who reduce their lives by 28 minutes with each pack of cigarettes puffed and drinkers who live 8 years less by glugging back more than 21 units a week, they choose to ignore the statistics.
Never mind that 20% of small ventures go under in the first year and 50% don't make it past their third birthday. This is presuming the owners of said companies haven't smoked or drunk themselves into an early grave before then, thanks to the gigantic amount of stress involved.
For budding Branson's, the motto to adhere to is plainly 'Hope for the best and prepare for the worst'.
Oh God! I make being in business sound akin to relatives gathered round an ailing family member's bedside waiting for the inevitable to occur.
Obviously though if the worst does happen and all your long held aspirations and dreams go floating down the Swanee, there's no point in wallowing in your misery, despair and depression. At least not for too long. There's a period of mourning that goes hand in hand with the loss of a company and it's nowhere near as lengthy as that experienced by Queen Victoria when Albert passed away.
The reality is that there really is nothing wrong with failure. Most tycoons - no matter how successful they end up becoming - experience it at sometime or another. And never do they think to themselves 'never again'.
Neither should you. For heaven's sake, you're British, aren't you? As a nationality we don't merely embrace failure. We hug it. We kiss it. We treat it as a one night stand. We take it for an inordinately expensive dinner that would give the creditors a coronary. We then drive it home, make passionate love to it and come the morning, we bid it a fond farewell. OK, perhaps we make it breakfast.
For guidance on what to do next, there's unquestionably only one person whose wise observations can make you want to relook at commerce with renewed vigour and enthusiasm.
I think you know who I mean.
Move over Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, John D. Rockefeller, Estee Lauder and Jeff Bezos. Stand aside Philip Knight, Ted Turner, Howard Schultz, Warren Buffett, Howard Hughes and Mark Zuckerberg.
Welcome into the spotlight (has she ever been out of it?), Ginger Rogers.
"What, as in Rogers and Astaire?", you ask incredulously.
The very same. In the 1936 film, Swing Time, she gave what could be considered the best piece of business advice that's been spoken (sung, if you're being pedantic) in nearly 80 years.
Here, if you're not familiar with it are four verses.
Nothing is impossible I have found
For when my chin is on the ground
I pick myself up, dust myself off
Start all over again
Don't lose your confidence if your slip
Be grateful for a pleasant trip
And pick yourself up, dust yourself off
Start all over again
Work like a soul inspired
Till the battle of the day is won
You may be sick and tired
But you'll be a man, my son
Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off
Start all over again.
Seldom have there been more inspiring words to help one cope when Plan A doesn't quite go according to, well, plan.
They were even used by Barak Obama in his first inauguration speech in 2004 when he said to an expectant country and a hopeful world the following: "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America".
Fortunately we were spared the President and First Lady dancing.
I know for certain that should I fail, and I surely will, in my future endeavours, the voice of Miss Rogers will be ringing loudly in my ears. May it always ring as clearly in yours.