Failure itself is not the secret to succeeding. Learning and improving by trying and doing, or learning from failure, is the secret to succeeding as an entrepreneur.
If you are not trying new things, your business is stagnating. Of course, not everything you try will work. Some efforts will be a big hit, and some will be a big miss. So you have to be ready to fail if you want to succeed.
That’s easy to say, but how do you actually learn from failure? How do you get past the stinging feeling that comes with failure? Brad Bollenbach has written a landmark article about Learning from Failure, and he takes on some of these very issues.
Success is really just a checkpoint on a road graveled by mistakes.
Thank you, Phil Gerbyshak for pointing me to this article.
How have you learned from failure?
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Sandra Sims says
I totally agree – failure can be such a great thing if viewed as the learning opportunity that it is.
Have you ever seen Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America? He goes in to rescue totally failing restaurants. Some of the business owners who learn from their mistakes and embrace the changes become wild successes. The ones that stick to their old ways often end up closing their doors.
Anyway, to your question, one of my previous entrepreneurial endeavors that I learned from was a retail candle business. I bought them wholesale and then sold at craft shows and malls. I learned a lot about competition and supply and demand. When you try to sell in an over saturated category it can be tough to be profitable. I also sold some of those candles online which was a foreshadowing of my online business adventures. ;)
Becky McCray says
Sandra, Ramsay is a great example. It also points out how hard it can be to not just learn, but act on what you learned.
Like you, I’ve learned a bunch from previous business endeavors. Somehow, experience is a much better teacher. Get in there, try, do. That’s the way to find out.