It is no secret that failure is a very common occurrence in the world of entrepreneurship. No one is born with the knowledge to never fail along the way, as everything is learned through the process. Aaron Rodriguez, a specialist in the business sector, explains how entrepreneurs can use failures to their advantage.
There are very few cases of successful entrepreneurs who achieved success with the first business they started. If you have already failed with an entrepreneurial venture, you have something in common with Walt Disney, Henry Ford, or Steve Jobs. All of them were great businessmen who, in the beginning, went through several failures when they started their lives as entrepreneurs. The key to their success is that they did not give up.
For serial entrepreneurs, those who try over and over again until they succeed, “experience” is another word they use instead of “failure.” By labeling a failed effort as an opportunity to learn, you are putting it in a positive light that will allow you to approach it with optimism.
Try to always use failure as a steppingstone. After each failure, review where you failed, and what you did wrong, and internalize it so you don’t repeat the same mistakes. It is not common for a successful entrepreneur to get it right the first time. In fact, it is quite the opposite; the bigger they are, the more they have failed.
Rodriguez states, “Most entrepreneurs like to start their venture alone. But if you make a mistake by yourself, it will also be harder to make good self-criticism. Having a partner, you respect and trust can turn every failure into an opportunity to collaborate. A good partner can help you determine what not to do next time.”
Never seek to hide from what is going wrong. First, be proud that you were brave enough to take the risk. By being open about your mistakes, you open yourself up to more entrepreneurs to share their knowledge with you and give you guidance to avoid making the mistakes of the past.
“Change the focus and the reason you started the business,” Rodriguez suggests. “Evaluate your motivations, because many times, emotions prevail over logic. You must be clear about what you want because if you are clear about what you want, and how much you want it, the path you open from that moment on will be crucial to reach your goal.”
Separate business failure from your identity. The fact that you haven’t found the path to having a successful business doesn’t make you a failed person. These are two completely different things, but many people conflate these thoughts, which hurts an entrepreneur’s confidence and self-esteem.
Every failure teaches valuable lessons. Try to understand the reasons that prevented you from succeeding, but do it in an analytical way, leaving aside feelings like anger and frustration.
Digging into the causes of failure will not change what happened. On the contrary, it will only leave you trapped in an emotional state that will prevent you from moving forward. You can’t change the past, but you can improve the future. The faster you take a step forward, the faster you will leave failure behind.
“Part of our fear of business failure is rooted in our fear of being judged and losing the respect and esteem of others,” Rodriguez says. “Remember, what someone believes to be true about us is not always so. Paying attention to the opinion of others can dampen your passion and confidence in entrepreneurship, which will undermine your faith in the next business venture.”
Formal education (personal and professional) often leads to an unhealthy attitude toward business failure. One of the best ways to deal with failure is to change the way you perceive a negative view – “if I failed, it means I am incapable” – to a more positive one – “if I failed, it means I am closer to success.”
If you have failed, study the reasons and change your relationship with failure, now is the time to gain momentum and start again. And, if necessary, again and again, until success is achieved.