So, you took the bold step, put everything on the line and much to your disgust, failed miserably! Now what? Keep crying or move on, with ever greater zeal and vigor? It may be quite easy to prod you on to your next failure or to embarrass you even further till the time you surrender yourself to destiny. Unfortunately, that is exactly what most of us experience in our daily lives anyway. There are more people willing to shoot us down than the ones offering a helping hand or a sage advice.
I am not asking you to take my unsolicited advice nor do I intend to sprinkle salt on your wounds. I promise you I am not here to lick them either. Instead, what I can and will certainly do is offer a beacon of light. It is not necessarily the end of the tunnel, though. You can use this light to brighten your path a little more and remove shadows of doubt, fear, rejection, and ridicule.
In my dictionary failure signifies the learning curve. Your first failure is your first attempt at learning. I am not implying here that this will be the last either. Some people learn from one mistake while others go this route multiple times. The ultimate winners are those that gather the courage to learn from their failures and not repeat the same mistakes ever again. They show continued improvement at each attempt with the help of risk-elimination initiatives.
So, what is it that your failure is trying to teach you? In simple words, failure is the mirror that shows us, in crystal clear fashion, our shortcomings from different angles. It is up to us to take a broader approach and disseminate the information as it reaches our psyche. Let us not get hurt by the loud and clear message and start to berate our own self or even our intelligence. Instead, take such messages in the right perspective and do a detailed analysis of various components that went into your failed project.
✅ The most pressing reason why you chose the project that failed?
✅ What strengths and capabilities made you an ideal candidate?
✅ Did you do proper planning before launching it?
✅ Did you gather all the necessary resources?
✅ Did you seek experienced help/guidance?
✅ Was your overall timeline realistic?
✅ Did you train well for it?
✅ Were you well-funded?
✅ Lack of TEAM spirit?
✅ Wrong target market?
✅ Lack of Leadership?
✅ Political scene?
✅ Wrong team?
Another oft-seen reason for failure is sudden, unmanageable growth. There are times when an idea creates a major revolution in the market and hits the charts beyond the promoters’ dreams. The unearned glory leads to an unavoidable over-confidence in ownership. Rather than hiring a more experienced management team, the original owners give themselves a pat on the back and become overnight sensations throwing caution to the wind. Alas, they fail to see the vultures making rounds in the market-place that steal unprotected ideas and come up with identical and/or better offer/s within no time. This is where the inexperienced and/or under-funded/unseasoned entrepreneur faces his/her first failure.
All successful individuals give credit of their success to those on whose shoulders they rode the turbulent waves of uncertainty and made their mark. You should be no exception either. What makes me say that? Let us go by the normal human behaviour. No matter how loud we may proclaim that we know everything about every industry, all the ins and outs of doing business and all the wisdom out there, the facts prove otherwise. No wonder, businesses thrive on TEAM spirit where cumulative talents help establishment, survival, sustenance, and growth of the enterprise.
A great Founder/President may not be equally good at Human Resources, Training, Hiring & Firing and/or Operations in their entirety. No matter how much money he/she puts in the business, lack of proper management will certainly doom it into oblivion. On the contrary, an entrepreneur with the foresight to cross-check the above-mentioned cautionary signs will focus on eliminating risk as far as possible so the vultures never get to smell his/her blood.
Once you have understood the basics, the failure coming your way will quickly help you identify the weakest spot/s. You will be empowered to take appropriate steps prior to relaunch and eliminate risk in favor of assured success. It does not take a rocket scientist to succeed in business. If it did, all businesses run by ordinary individuals like you and I would have shut down a long time ago.
Given a chance at business, take your plunge BUT look out for the above danger signs prior to jumping headlong into the vicious world of competitive open economy. Put your safety gear of job-related training, proper planning, and team development to test before making bold moves. It will only help create the much-needed safety net against oncoming challenges.
TRY IT, YOU MIGHT LIKE IT!
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