Wednesday, 15 February 2017

“I haven’t failed; I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work”

How do Entrepreneurs handle failures?

“I haven’t failed; I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work” – Edison

Failure is a scary word. Especially for an entrepreneur who has put his/her money, idea, energy, time and hope into a venture, a failure can be a terrifying scenario. Nobody hopes for a loss but if it comes, you have to be ready to face it, to confront it and to overcome it. That is what makes a successful entrepreneur. In fact, a look though the lives of accomplished entrepreneurs and leaders would show that it took multiple attempts for most of them to achieve the realms of success that they are in today.

Success in business, is not dependent on whether you make it to the top in the first attempt. It depends on whether you have the courage to get up from the fall, brush off the dust, learn from your mistake and make your failure a stepping stone to success. Behind every success story, there is at least one, and possibly many failures. Failure allows you to learn and grow. It helps you to move towards a successful future. How can you turn your failure into a life lesson? Here are a few key points how successful entrepreneurs have handled failure and converted their defeat to success:
·  It is necessary to do your best to avoid any downfalls but you should also be mentally ready to accept any setback. If you are scared to fail, it will hold you back from taking the plunge. And most of the time, the biggest successes are possible only by taking the biggest risks. Be prepared to embrace failure.

·  Analyze what went wrong and where it went wrong that led to the failure of your business. You need to find out the causes of the failure and the steps that you might have taken to avoid the setback.  As you analyze, don’t forget to consider your assets too. Consider what worked for the business. Was it your employees, your leadership style, networking, client relations or your intellectual property?

·  Taking responsibility for your actions is an essential ingredient in handling business failure and turning it into a success. Do not try to pin the blame on someone else. If you were bad at certain aspects of management, admit it. If you took a bad decision that affected your venture adversely, admit it. Do not be embarrassed by your errors. Instead be proud of the things that you did right, the positive steps you took and the courage you displayed on starting the venture. Once you admit your mistakes, you will be open to learn from them.

·  One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself after a setback is ‘What have I learnt from the experience?’ Unless you are able to answer this question clearly and candidly, you cannot climb the rungs of success. Because it is the lesson you learn from the failures that will be the foundation on which you are going to build a next successful business. Analyze the lessons you have learnt before you go back to the drawing board to start over for the next steps.

·  What sets apart successful entrepreneurs from others is their positive mindset. They never, ever give up. If you have failed in your venture, you can either leave it, or, get up and start the next journey again. If you are taking the latter path, remember, you have the lesson you learned and the experience of a failure to guide you in your path forward.

Most importantly, if you need anything to get a business off the ground, it is perseverance. Don’t allow a failure to be the end of the story. Rise and work harder each time you fall. As the old adage goes “Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a part of success”.


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