Entrepreneurs are some of the most passionate, driven and hard working people out there. Why? They’ve followed their heart, they love what they do, and they’ve taken on the day-to-day grind of business ownership. They’ve taken a risk and are ready to give it their all. Although entrepreneurship is one of the most rewarding paths you can take, let’s face it: it’s a winding road of ups and downs, peaks and valleys, a win here and failure there.
Yes. We said it. The “F” word. Failure.
Everyone is bound to take a wrong turn along the way. And guess what? That’s okay. In fact, it can be a very good thing.
Consider this Harvard Commencement Speech J.K. Rowling once delivered. In front of some accomplished graduates, she focused not on success, but on the benefits of failure. It may seem like a strange angle to take, but her message clearly conveyed how failure is a crucial part of the journey. Rowling shared, “some failure in life is inevitable, it is impossible to live without failing at something…failure taught things about myself that I could have learned no other way.”
How can we apply Rowling’s wisdom as entrepreneurs? Here’s a few insights that we share with our clients at Guildstreet.
Recognize that failure isn’t a bad word.
It’s natural to feel down when we face a failure. Learn to re-frame your understanding of the word. Yes, mistakes will be made along the way, but every mistake, every “failure,” results in growth.
Remember that everyone faces failure at some point.
Take a deep breath. You’re not the first person to make a mistake and you won’t be the last. Look closely at the mistake: Is there a business opportunity buried in the mistake? Is this a way to change the quality of your business offerings? Can you provide a business offering that will help other entrepreneurs avoid their mistakes?
Own up to the mistake.
Mistakes happen and sometimes even when we have the best of intentions, we fall flat. Don’t sweep it under the rug, one of the most important things we can do is own up to it and take action to set things straight.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
No one can be expert at everything. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and bring in the pros when they’re needed. Chances are someone within your network can help you out, or at the very least they can refer you to someone who may have the answer. And perhaps think about using the mistake as an opportunity to expand your network.
Identify where change is needed.
Take the time to analyse what happened and what part of your process ultimately led to the mistake. This will prevent you from repeating the same mistake in the future and set you up for success. Did you know that Guildstreet offers business optimization services? We can help ensure your operations are running as efficiently as possible and help you apply any changes needed to get you there. We love questions and we love working through mistakes and challenges because we believe that these hiccups feed business improvements.
Failure does not define who you are and no mistake will be with you forever. Failure is only another word for opportunity. Now the most important part of the journey is to move forward with new knowledge and understanding.
You’re bound to take at least one step in the wrong direction. However it is because you arrived at your “failure” that you will come out of it with some new tools in your kit, setting you back on the path to success.
Think you’ve run into a roadblock and not sure how to move forward? We’d love to chat and help you and your business reach new heights. Contact our team today!