Within the past decade, the culture encompassing the field of entrepreneurship has become increasingly failure-friendly. Whether that is the closing of an entire enterprise or a financially costly decision of a big name project, many up and coming businesses will have to accept these lows as an opportunity for their inevitable rise to success. This does not mean entrepreneurs enjoy failure. No one in his or her right minds likes to see a project fail, especially on a day-to-day basis. Instead, entrepreneurs are mentally prepared for all aspects within their businesses. That is what makes them so great. They are hardwired for success and will find ways to overcome the low points when they do arise within time.
So what does an entrepreneur do when the hit that obstacle? How can they leverage their fears and trepidations of a loss into something revolutionary and validating to help drive their business in the most optimal financial way?
To do this, an entrepreneur needs to first understand that success can only come from failure. Much like any inopportune situation, failures and downfalls set our expectation for success. It is through those situations where entrepreneurs are able to evolve personally and professionally within their trade. To help alleviate the pains of failure, you need to see failure as something else. For strong and successful entrepreneurs, they refer to those low situations as experiences or opportunities for change. By labeling a failed effort an opportunity, you are expanding your knowledge by embracing the moment as a positive experience. You are allowing those mistakes to add credibility as you become more seasoned within the field. But most importantly, you are accepting responsibility of those failures as a true business leader would within their company.
Once you have assumed the responsibility of your mistakes, begin to leverage those negatives as an asset and tool in how to improve the day-to-day operations of your business. Reflect and internalize what mishaps were made and what steps you could have done to prevent it from happening. Rather than be ashamed of the unfortunate result, be proud of the learning experience and how you were brave enough to risk it in the first place. By being forthright about your mistake, you will be able to open yourself up to learn the must needed improvements that your company and leadership management will need to undergo if you want to be successful in the future. For that to happen, acceptance will always be the first step.
While a mistake can be grandiose during its time, we should never confuse it for quitting. For many entrepreneurs, the fear of failure is rooted in the fear of quitting. Though there is some truth to that, to be a successful leader, you need to understand that there will be times where you need to just walk away. Not every situation can be fixed with a quick solution. Instead, some of them require a drastic change in direction. Take for example Steve Jobs movement with Disney Pixar. As much as Apple was his bread and butter, leaving the company for a short period of time gave the computer genius the must needed clarity in seeing success in a different field. Similar to Steve Jobs, such a change can infinitely improve your thought process and course of action moving forward in the future.
Now with the overall failure, you need to understand that it does get progressively easier, especially within the failure-friendly world of entrepreneurship. For novice entrepreneurs, the first failure will always be the most painful and regretful. The process makes you not only question your vision and goals for the company, but also question your ability as a leader. When this happens, you need to subsequent failure as teachable moments. This will help you evolve as an entrepreneur and as a business leader. At many points in your business, this will happen again and again. While you should not aspire to fail continuously, you want to of course understand the teachable moments that will make you better within your profession.
But what happens when it just doesn’t work? What do you do next when the business actually fails?
This has been a question for thousands and a fear for millions of entrepreneurs. While many businesses have failed into bankruptcy, you should never let that negative conception prevent you from pursuing your dream. But, if however, you were on the other side of the scale, you want to review and analyze the points in why the company was unsuccessful. This could be because of a number of reasons: financial funding, lack of organization, lack of public demand, or bad leadership. Whatever is the case, make sure you understand what went wrong. Continuously use that learning-mentality as an ability to grow for your next venture.