Failure is a part of life, but having experienced it many times doesn’t always take the sting out of having to go through it one more time. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, seem to thrive in the face of failure and despite multiple setbacks while trying to build companies that are near and dear to their hearts, they have an unrelenting passion for getting up and doing it all over again.
There are some who believe that you aren’t a true entrepreneur until you’ve failed because it’s such a big part of the learning process: you become a better business owner by falling up than falling down. If you are thinking about starting a company or getting into business for yourself, there are a few things you could stand to learn from those who have come before you, fallen on their faces, and decided to get up and go for it again and again. Wondering what you might learn from failure? Read on.
You’ll learn so many lessons every time you fail that if you look at those failures the right way, you’ll start to see that they aren’t failures at all: they are lessons. And no, we are not sugar-coating anything here: if you decide not to take anything away from falling on your face, then that’s on you. But if you get up and examine the situation and try to take something away that leaves you better off than when you started, you’ll be able to keep moving. What you’ll find as you carry on is that momentum breeds success. But that momentum is not easy to find or maintain all the time so you need to fill in the low moments with opportunities to pick yourself back up. If you approach entrepreneurship with a learning perspective, you’ll be able to figure out how to keep going.
Time Won’t Wait
Getting more specific about the lessons you will learn as an entrepreneur now, you’ll need to quickly come to terms with the fact that time won’t wait for you. It waits for no one. You either take the plunge and get on the wagon going in the direction of your dreams, or you stand on the sidelines waiting for someone or something to push you. There is no motivation coming down the line. You need to create it. And if you aren’t feeling motivated today, who says you will tomorrow? It’s best to just find a way to keep going on your own merit and goals. Motivation is one of those pesky made-up things that humans like to hold on to and use as an excuse for why others are following their dreams and you aren’t: “I have no motivation to do anything today” is an excuse. Learn that lesson early on and you’ll be cooking with gas.
Any experienced entrepreneur will tell you that the direction of your business is going to change a hundred times before you finally settle on the path you’ll travel for a long time. And even then , you need to remain open and nimble to other changes that might need to happen in order to keep your business thriving instead of just surviving. As you carry on your entrepreneurial journey, you can stand to learn a lot from those who have come before you on this particular lesson: don’t carve your plans in stone. Things will change whether you intend for that to happen or not. Just know, though, that change comes from all sides, so you better be ready for it and accept it when it comes. However, make sure you pay attention to how change is being initiated by you: are you inflicting change in one area of your business so you don’t have to do hard things? Are you copping out instead of getting down to business? Anyone who has been in business long enough will tell you that most of the lessons they had to learn were about the thoughts and actions they had or didn’t have: “I don’t want to do this” wins out more often than not so people use “pivoting” as an excuse to not go down an unknown path in favor of something more acceptable to them.
Ask for Help
If there’s one lesson that you can learn from failed entrepreneurs, it’s that you need to know when to ask for help. Many people will tell you that they waited too long to consider funding options, reach out for guidance, or that they let shame or embarrassment get in the way of their progress. Remember that your business is not about your shortcomings – it’s about doing great things in the world. Don’t deny people the chance to interact with your products and services because you worry what others might think. Get the help you need when you need it, and even before you think there is a real problem, so you can keep on trucking and making progress toward your goals.