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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Failure Guaranteed - Getting it wrong is the way forward

I doubt many people in the world see failure as a success but start-ups and new business leaders need to change their mind-set to accept this. Some of the biggest and most successful business people in the world have made some fantastic mistakes. Who remembers Virgin Brides or Virgin Cola? Sir RB certainly made howlers along the way but he is championed as one of the gurus of our time.

This week we look at assessing risk, failure and reward in a melting pot of business decision making.

Be afraid of the dark

Imagine starting a business without carrying out any market research, assessing the competition or even calculating the costs of your product. Sounds crazy? You would be surprised. Would you walk into a pitch black room and expect to make it to the door opposite without any idea of what pitfalls are in the room? You could get lucky but I doubt it.

Failing is acceptable IF the failure was unavoidable. Do not be scared of failing but make sure you take all proper precautions to reduce the risk.

Learn to Fail

I doubt there has ever been a successful entrepreneur who hasn't failed. There are plenty of failed entrepreneurs however. Learning to fail is one of the key mind-sets you have to accept as part and parcel of working for yourself. Thomas Edison once said "I haven't failed, I have tried hundreds of ways which didn't work". Be resilient, stay focussed and above all accept failure no matter how big or small as part of your learning curve.

One door closes, another one opens

This motto should be on the wall of every start-up. Every failure is an opportunity to move forward. Without being too philosophical, you can use failure to your advantage. It shows other businesses and contacts at the very least that you are brave and not afraid to take chances. You can earn respect from your peers by simply failing. Use this as an opportunity to re-evaluate and work out where is went wrong.

Your Comfort Zone is Your Worst Enemy

People who work for companies on the whole stay in their comfort zone. They do not have the desire or motivation to progress, take risks or generally make waves. They know at the end of each month they get paid. If they work at 99%, you need to work at 101%.

There is a fine line between the Comfort Zone and the Danger Zone. Be brave but do not be foolish. Can you do the job? Is it stretching your finances too far? Always assess the risk v reward aspect but remember to be Mr/Mrs 101%, it is your business after all.

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

I hear so many people throw this saying around in life that it seems to have lost its meaning. Failure is failure but it is not the end of the world or your entrepreneurial career.

Stay positive, if your business has failed, brush yourself off and find the next product/service. It is incredible how much easier your second business will feel to setup and get started. You already have your contacts (accountants/service providers/clients) so 90% of the hard work has been completed through "failure".


It isn't how hard or how high you fall, it is the manner with which you get back up that makes you different.