‘Failure’ means not doing something you must do or are expected to do. It can happen every day, in small ways, such as a dish you cooked that didn’t turn out the way you expected it to. Or arriving late for an interview. Or not getting a better price for a product you need. Everyone faces small failures every day.
Business failures are much the same. They simply mean that you didn’t do as well as you expected to. But business failures sometimes lead to a disproportionate sense of disappointment. This is for a couple of reasons. First, your business is your baby. It’s too close to your heart for you to even contemplate failure. But more important, business failure affects us so deeply because, perhaps, we have unrealistic expectations of success.
Even if you have every detail in place, failure is still a possibility. But failure is a teacher
When you set up your own business, you need to be realistic about the potential demand for your product or service, and your ability to meet that demand with high standards. You need a market survey to validate your ideas, and a hardnosed look at your ability to deliver.
But even if you have every detail in place, failure is still a possibility. It’s part of life, and must be accepted. Because failure is a teacher. It shows you where you’ve gone wrong, which means that next time, you can make things right.
Whenever you feel bad about a business failure – or indeed, any failure – remember these three points.
1. Success can only come from failure
2. Failure teaches you what not to do and what to avoid
3. Failure should not be confused with quitting
If you allow it to motivate you, you will find that failure makes you a
Eight years ago, I started a company called Any Surprise Any Place. I am still at it, because it’s what I love to do. Failure came to me when I tried to do my accounts myself to save money. Failure came to me when competitors came into the market with better pricing. Failure continues to come every time we try to scale up to a new level.
If you embrace it, understand it, and allow it to motivate you, you will find that failure makes you a better entrepreneur.
Perhaps, unlike me, you could not attend the startup conference organised by She The People. If you had, you’d have heard many inspiring stories from successful entrepreneurs, which all had one thing in common: theirsuccess arrived on the back of failure. Because they learned from their failures and did better next time.
Remember that whenever you feel like a failure.