I recently spoke to a small class of entrepreneurs at an Arts and Design College. I could have spoke about planning, or marketing strategies, or even time management. All of these would have been great topics and provided great benefit for them. I chose to talk about failure.
I simply told them, “You’re all going to fail.”
It sounds pretty bleak, I know. Unfortunately, it’s the truth. Let me rephrase that; FORTUNATELY, it’s the truth. I owe everything I know to my many failures over the past decade or so of starting and running my own businesses. I feel extremely fortunate to have failed as many times as I have, because with each and every failure comes the opportunity to learn something new.
If you ask any successful entrepreneur, they’ll gladly share stories of failure with you. It is not a subject of embarrassment; in fact, most of these stories seem enjoyable for them. The simple truth is that without those failures, without those challenges, and without those moments of almost giving up, we would not be the people we are today. You would not know what you know today, had you never made a mistake in your life.
But lets be honest, it still kind of sucks when we fail. You work so hard on something. You make tough decisions, put in long hours, and have such a clear vision of where you’re going. And then…. boom; rock bottom. You slipped up. You trusted the wrong person. You picked the wrong color for that design. You priced too high or too low. You lost a client. You somehow forgot that one important piece of the puzzle. You failed. And it hurts.
So how do you deal with it?
The answer to that question will have a larger impact on your success than almost any other aspect of your business. What you do with your challenges and your failures will determine whether you win or lose.
When that failure inevitably hits, rather than dwelling on the mistakes you made, try these 3 things instead.
- Learn From It.
Take a step back and look at what happened.
Figure out why the mistake was made and implement a plan to ensure it isn’t made again.
Seize the opportunity to grow.
- Get Over It and Move On.
Don’t beat yourself up. Making mistakes doesn’t make you any less of a professional. It simply makes you human.
- Realize that this Failure Was Required for You to Grow.
If you’ve never failed, you’ve probably never gone after anything worth chasing.
Dream big, work hard, and don’t be afraid to fail.
Failure is not an option. It is required for growth. Embrace it.
Comment below and let me know how you’ve embraced failure and grown from it.