I believe in celebrating failure, redefining it as a positive, seeing failure as a sign of progress. Apparently, Scott Westcott at the National Federation of Independent Businesses agrees, at least a little. His article, The Fruits of Failure, explores some examples, and encourages giving failure awards, and I applaud him for researching and writing it.
Unfortunately, Westcott comes off as timid. Tom Watson’s admonition to double your rate of failure to achieve success worries him:
While doubling a failure rate could doom many small businesses, allowing for some strategic failures could end up boosting your business and employee morale.
I think Westcott is wrong on this point. Doubling the failure rate does not spell doom. Doubling the failure rate means doubling the activity rate for innovation. Unless there is something fundamentally wrong, that means doubling the success rate, too.
Rural entrepreneurs can’t afford to be timid. The enemy of small town businesses isn’t failure; it’s stagnation.
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