Breakthrough ideas don’t exactly respect your deadlines.

Leaps in progress can’t always be planned.

And if you work hard enough to create and deliver something truly innovative and successful, your path was likely littered with significant failure. Over and over again.

Not everyone is so lucky, of course. Some stop trying. Some let fear keep them from attempting anything in the first place.

But, by definition, doing something that’s never been done before is extremely hard. And elusive. There is no blueprint, no direction, and very few signs that you’re on the right path (until you get there).

The path is lonely. Your friends think you’re crazy. Why put your life, your career, your family at risk?

This isn’t about risk-taking. It’s not about the rush of walking right up to the edge.

It’s about knowing you’re right, knowing there’s a better way, knowing where you’re going and having no idea how to get there.

Innovators understand. Entrepreneurs understand. When innovative people fail, others feel vindicated. Little do they know, each failure just puts you one step closer to success.

Flawless execution doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It means you learn from and improve on each failure. This is true in product development, marketing and countless other pursuits.

Failure is the only path to innovation. It’s hard, painful, lonely and long. Everybody wants to reach the end, but few have the discipline and are willing to put up with what it takes to get there.