The road to entrepreneurial success is usually a challenging one. There will be several points along the way to launching your start-up and branding your business that you may consider failures. You may have fallen short of your expectations, lost an important contribution, or experienced a setback in your timeline. Whatever it may be, these issues occur in nearly every start-up, and there is a right and wrong way to handle these events.
You’ve probably heard advice along these lines at several points throughout your life: focus on your successes rather than your failures. As an entrepreneur, you must be willing to disobey this mantra and intently focus on your shortcomings. Through this introspection, you can use your failures productively and manufacture success from the lessons you learn.
Inc. recommends that you not only acknowledge, but also embrace your failures. To get in touch with your company and what it does right and wrong, you can’t ignore weak areas in your business. Always look for ways to improve upon what you do on a daily basis – complacency has no place in small business. As soon as you stop being afraid of your failures and learn to address them, you can begin improving everything about your business and eventually ride those changes to greater success.
This starts with being honest with yourself and your business. Many people have trouble objectively analyzing how things are going, and while optimism is not a flawed approach, too much of it can derail a project just as easily as overwhelming negativity. Remember, you need only embrace the failure – you don’t have to accept it as a permanent fixture. In other words, new issues will constantly present themselves, but you shouldn’t repeat the same mistakes you’ve already made.
Expect and plan
When managing your small business, know that no matter what you do, you can never be perfect. By all means, strive to fix every problem you encounter – but at the same time, you must be willing to accept that things will rarely, if ever go entirely according to plan. To reference another age-old cliché, expect the unexpected. For any given project’s timeline, literally schedule in time for mistakes to arise. This will give you more flexibility in handling a tough job and can often produce better results overall if you allow yourself or your employees to see what works and what doesn’t. Through this, you learn more about what you’re doing and how you can build on it. Ultimately, both you and your client will be pleased with the higher quality of work you produce.
View every failure as an opportunity to improve upon what you do, even if you already do it well. Ultimately, you shouldn’t be encouraging mistakes to happen so much as you should allow for them. It would be nice if things could always go smoothly, but you should concede the fact that this won’t always be the case. The reason you should let certain things go wrong is so that you can recognize procedural inefficiencies before they produce significant problems. If you realize there’s a serious issue with your work after you’ve already presented it to a consumer, it’s too late. This could come back to hurt you in a number of ways, from losing that customer’s business all the way to a potential lawsuit.
Making and correcting mistakes is a surprisingly effective way to proof your products for the open market. After all, the recognition of errors is an excellent way to prevent mistakes from occurring in the future. Always learn from what you do wrong, and soon you’ll get a lot more right.
How do you convert your failures into success?
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