We all fear failure. Success is the prize and we want to win it. We don’t want to fall and break our ankles before we reach the finish line, we want first place. But, unfortunately, you’re not always going to succeed, especially in business. And I honestly don’t think failure is such a bad thing.
In fact, I think failure is important for entrepreneurs. Obviously, it’s something you want to avoid.
You’ve worked hard and invested your time, money, blood, sweat and tears in your business venture. But that doesn’t automatically result in success.
Here are some reasons why it could actually be a good thing.
If you succeed too many times, failure will cripple you
When I was younger, I knew this girl who was a great athlete. There wasn’t a race she didn’t win. She became used to walking away with gold and had never received less than a silver, not once touching a bronze. But then one day she failed. The other kids got better and she didn’t even make it to the top three. So, she quit.
The moral of the story is that she became so comfortable with success that she couldn’t handle the failure. In business, if you succeed too quickly and too often, you become cocky. If it’s smooth sailing all the way your boat won’t be able survive rough seas.
Your failures teach you what not to do
This is pretty simple and common sense to most people: you learn from your mistakes. There’s no way you can go through life without having setbacks and making errors. Sometimes those errors will be small and easy to overcome but others will be huge and you’ll have to start from the bottom all over again. But each time you’ll have gained new knowledge and be more prepared for the future.
For example, if you make a massive financial mistake that leads to the failure of your business, you won’t go that route a second time. You gain insights each time you fail and quickly learn what not to do.
Failure isn’t the end
Failing is a setback and not a life sentence. It’s not a dead end you can’t return from but rather all part of the journey. You can pivot your business model and find new ways of doing things. You can come up with new ideas and processes.
One (or even six) failures does not mean you are a failure, it simply means you haven’t succeeded yet. You should let your mistakes guide you and motivate you to do better in the future.