Adapting to failures in entrepreneurship

Failure is a term that evokes sometimes fear and sometimes awe. Few of the spectacular failures eventually led to success. Michael Faraday could not complete his education in school. The father of electromagnetism had to teach himself. Walt Disney was rejected many times by studios. Albert Einstein did bad in school as well. Failure is essential part of life. We fail many times after the moment we set out to do something. As a result of failure we may sometimes give up completely. As an entrepreneur , we face failures more often than others who are into regular jobs and predictable lifestyles. Failures lead to disappointment which may become an obstacle if we want to start something new. Failure gives us more vigour to do new things but repeated failures may also bring us down. Repeated failures may often dent our self image and cause us to stop taking action. Actually failure is a false test of success. Because we are determined by parameters of success that even in the entrepreneurial world are determined by society. Don’t believe me on that ? You think that entrepreneurs break social barriers ? Yes they do, most of the time. But entrepreneurs are part of a group where successes are measured by how much spectacular they were. They are determined by how much money raised and how a few entrepreneurs are buying yachts and big bungalows. But rarely someone picks up a pioneer in a field or an idea that was ahead of time. The spectrum of entrepreneurial success and failure is large. However a great takeaway is that there are a large number of people at every level and most of them are raring to go despite occasional failures. Failure is not a bad thing. In fact it is the only thing that teaches us to be humble and persuade us to learn more . If there were no failures, there would hardly be a progress towards doing things in a better way. People in job rarely learn outside their area of work. Entrepreneurs cannot afford doing that. Here is my take on failure
  1. Failure is inevitable
  2. Failure gives us time to rethink our strategy
  3. Its better to fail early rather than late ( late failures may be costly)
  4. Use failures to adopt to new situation
  5. See failure as a system restore point ( in a computer for example). Return to it to start again
  6. Be tough
  7. Use failure to advantage by for example exploring new markets, creating new products
  8. Be motivated and motivate others
  9. Build on experiences from failures
  10. Enjoy failures
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /