You will make mistakes and fail along the way and that’s okay.
No one likes to fail. So much so, that most people avoid failure like the plague.
It turns out, though, that if you want to be successful, you should dive right in and embrace the times when everything goes wrong.
Entrepreneurship is not a straight line. All of us fail. Successful people fail often, and, worth noting, learn more from that failure than everyone else.
Unfortunately entrepreneurship has been sold as this rose-tinted road that if you follow the manual of how to be an entrepreneur, you will be okay.
You will fail. The idea is not stop failure, but to ensure that your success is so great that it compensates for your struggle moments.
I have failed so many times, I think it’s fair to say that I have failed more than most people, and I’m super proud of that.
Part of the rules of the entrepreneurship game is, the person who fails the most wins.
But I don’t want to romanticise failure just like we have romanticised entrepreneurship as being easy.
It is important to know how to fail.
Here are my two lessons on entrepreneurship failure:
- Don’t fail for the sake of failing;
- Fail forwards, fail cheaply and fail quickly.
Failure is a skill. You can do it successfully, or you can fail at failure.
If you fail too big, you don’t get to fail anymore. If you never fail, then you haven’t done anything.
If we learn something from failure, it is not a failure. It is just a building block for our success.
The pain and the hurt should resolve us to make us stronger. But if we allow ourselves to wallow in guilt and sorrow and allow it to repeat, well then perhaps we have failed.
If you are failing consistently in a way where you get to keep playing, that is pretty cool. Fail yourself to success.
You have to get to the point where you say, this is what I’m going to make. And if some people don’t get it, that’s ok… sooner or later they may get it. In Van Gogh’s case, they did not get his art until he was dead. But that is part of the deal. The inventor of Coca Cola, John Pemberton died before seeing the commercial success of his invention.
Off-course work hard enough to avoid failure. Plan, prepare, test, poke, launch, correct, fix, reflect and relaunch. Play to win.
If you do fail, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and face the world. The sky won’t fall because you failed.
Success doesn’t come overnight. One has to work hard to achieve it. Sometimes we may stumble. It is alright if we stumble occasionally. However failure should not become a habit.
Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t aim too low so that it is easy to succeed, Instead, push against your own limitations in pursuit of real victory.
The question is not “what if I fail?” The best question is “What then after I have failed?”