The one thing every new entrepreneur fears is the prospect of working really hard at something in their business and then failing at it. However, if you’re familiar with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs and Ariana Huffington, then you know that the path to success isn’t linear or easy. Here are 5 tips to help you do just that.
Change the definition of failure
No one ever really enjoys failing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to embrace it. Changing the definition of failure means changing your attitude towards it by choosing to see every failure as an opportunity to learn. Every successful person who’s ever said anything about failure, always speaks about how it was their greatest teacher and perhaps it’s time we all looked at it that way. If you’re open to it, you can’t experience failure and not gain a valuable lesson from it.
We know that tough times are going to come - it’s inevitable. So why not be prepared? You don’t need to have a thorough strategy for dealing with every single type of failure, but you’ve got to be mentally prepared for these challenges and have some kind of contingency plan. It also helps to be flexible and resilient enough to handle change, even if it’s for the worse.
Learn from previous mistakes
The blow of failure can be a devastating one and you may feel a bit discouraged at first. However, it’s a good idea to retrace your steps and try to see what it is that you could’ve done differently before trying to fix the issue. For example, if a project that’s been in the pipeline for a while fails, then you might want to see which part of the planning and/or execution process was amiss. Could you have been more organised? Did you invest enough financial resources into it? Did you raise enough awareness, early enough? Once you’ve traced your mistakes, you can start to map out how you’ll come back from this setback.
Focus on moving forward
After you’ve traced the cause of the failure, there’s really no point in obsessing over what you could’ve done differently. Look into the initial vision and mission you’d set for the business and then, using the lessons learned, draw up a strategy to help you achieve this mission. It’s not going to be simple - but as long as your vision is workable and attainable, you can make it happen with enough planning.
Lean on your support system
It’s important to surround yourself with a solid, non-judgmental support system. Whether this is a group of friends, your mentor, or other entrepreneurs, it’s good to have people who’ll listen to you and motivate you when you need it.
Failure is the least exciting part of running a business, but it’s undoubtedly the best teacher. So, do yourself the favour of developing the right attitude towards failure from the very beginning, and you’ll be able to take every setback (major or minor) in your stride. And if you’re in need of something to pick you up while you’re plotting your comeback, you can always count on our Inspiration Section.