5  Powerful Business Lessons You Can Learn From Failure

Although there are more than 5 business lessons you can learn from failure regarding your business, I will just stick with these 5. First let’s look at the definition of what failure means. 

  1. a falling short : DEFICIENCY
  2.  a fracturing or giving way under stress
  3. omission of occurrence or performance

specifically : a failing to perform a duty or expected action

I believe when most people hear the word failure or they fail at something they immediately internalize it as they are in some ways are not good enough.

When the truth of the matter is failure is not a bad word when you put it in its proper place. 

Lesson 1 Regarding Failure

When you look at this word from the standpoint of being a student in grade school, high school or even college and you take a test which determines whether you pass or fail, this grading system is based on what they believe the student has learned regarding the material studied to receive a passing grade. 

The truth of the matter is everyone has different learning styles and some systems have been set up to measure an individual’s pass or failed results through a criteria that doesn’t always mean that the individual doesn’t understand the material.

What this system has done is create a mindset that if I fail I’m not good enough, when that can be so far from the truth, and this has caused many entrepreneurs to reach for perfection and the fear of failure has caused them to become paralzyed because they believe failure means they are not good enough.

How many times do we hear about successful companies such as Walt Disney and how many attempts he tried to see his dream actualized? He didn’t even consider the many times he tried to see his dream come to fruition as a failure, he kept trying and preservering until the vision was born. How many millions of people have Disney World on their bucket list, but it wouldn’t be an option if he gave up on his dream to entertain the masses.

Lesson 2 Overcoming The Failure Mindset

When you are approaching your business for the first time all of these apprehensions will arise and if you’re not careful you will begin to compare yourself to the success that other entrepreneurs are achieving and you will begin to play those tapes of the times you believed you failed at something in your life.

Overcoming a failure mindset means that you are not looking at something you set out to do and it didn’t go as planned as a failure, you are being very strategic and you are journaling what steps you did, you’re asking yourself questions: what information do you need to reach your desired goal? 

I don’t know where or why this word was even created because in life no one gets it right when you are attempting something for the first time. When I first got my drivers permit, I studied so much and tried to remember what I believed would be on the test. When I went to take the test, I missed it by 2 questions and the reasoning behind that is that I knew the answer but I second guessed myself.

How many times when your intuition is telling you something but you second guess yourself, or worse you allow someone else because you believe they have achieved some level of success in their life or business that their input is more important than what your gut is telling you? Although I didn’t pass the test the first time doesn’t mean I was a failure, I knew the answer, my inner-voice was there to tell me I knew it, but I allowed those tapes from past failed attempts to speak.

Lesson 3 Failure Isn’t Failure

So when I look at the word failure and what it means to me as an entrepreneur, I look at it as a word that teaches me lessons it gives me a sense of setting out to accomplish a goal or a task and when I come short of that goal I ask myself these questions.

  1. Did I have all the information I needed to perform the actions.
  2. Did I make this attempt because someone who said they achieved great results (but I didn’t consider how many times they tried it before it worked for them)
  3. Did I put in the work needed to get the results I desired.
  4. Did I measure/monitor my progress to see where changes could have been made to garner favorable results?

As an entrepreneur you have to erase the tapes of past failed attempts and tell yourself these were and still are learning experiences and life has a way of repeating experiences until you have learned them or mastered them.

Lesson 4 Turn Failed Attempts Into Successes 

Let’s take the current climate that we are living in, the pandemic and so much chaos that is going on in the world today.  I’ve said this in past blog posts adversity brings out who you are under pressure because then you become who you were destined to be all along. You just needed some pressure to push you to that next level.

You may have had an idea to start a business but because it didn’t go as planned and you gave up. That to me is the real definition of failure, throwing in the towel as though life is over and that’s all folks.

Look at how many businesses have come out of chaos. I know we don’t want to walk around with masks on all the time, however it brought forth a surge of creative entrepreneurs in many industries. Who would’ve thought masks, hand sanitizers would become big business. 

Although the current climate is uncomfortable and unpredictable this is what we’ve been handed and your job is take what has been given to you and make something great out of it, You and I have to adapt to it and learn that failure is just an opportunity waiting to be explored.

Lesson 5  Identify The Failed Attempts In Your Business

The key to this last lesson of the 5 powerful lessons you can learn from failure is to go back and revisit the failed attempts and begin to ask yourself these key questions.

  1. Is this truly my dream and passion?
  2. Have I done everything within my power to learn how to make this business successful?
  3. Am I willing to put in the hardwork to see my vision actualized?
  4. Am I willing to ask others for help along my journey?
  5. Am I willing to invest time, money and resources into reaching my goals?

When you can answer these questions then you have created a roadmap to see your business move forward in a powerful way.

My last piece of advice is this is your journey: you’re not in competition with no one else but yourself so set your pace and keep moving even if it’s baby steps in how you begin, just don’t quit. 

Michele Riley

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