How to overcome failure in business

How to Overcome Failure in Business

An interaction between my wife and daughter yesterday made me think of a lesson I learned a while ago about failure.

Daughter: Mom, I want candy.

Wife: No.

Daughter: Please Mom, I want candy.

Wife: No, you had candy yesterday.

Daughter: (More forceful and hostile) I want candy!

Wife: I said no.

Daughter: (Now angry) I want candy now!

Wife: You can get angry, but you are not getting candy.

Daughter: (Now crying) Mom, I want candy. Please give me candy…..

Wife: Sorry, you can’t have candy today.

Daughter: (After a while, stops crying and abandons the idea). Most probably thinks to herself, “I don’t want candy anyway.”

Head And Shoulders Shot Of Upset Girl At Home

This is a perfect example of the natural progression of what happens to a person when they face failure after failure en route to their goal, and unless you’re aware of it and know how to address it, success becomes a lot more challenging.

We’ve all experienced disappointment in our entrepreneurial journey. And we’ve all seen quotes on the order of “never give up” or “the only failure is to give up” etc. But it doesn’t leave you with a practical approach as to how to overcome failure in business. This article will give you tips to remedy that.

If you have ever given up on a goal and you feel bad about it, or you feel like a loser, let me assure you that you are NOT!

As entrepreneurs, we often encounter challenging moments that test our resolve. Resistance leads us to experience different emotions. We also start withdrawing from our endeavour more and more as we become increasingly convinced by external factors that we cannot possibly win.

It’s vital to maintain perspective and draw inspiration from our setbacks. Networking with fellow entrepreneurs and leveraging social media platforms can provide valuable insights and support.

Inevitably, businesses face obstacles, but it’s how we navigate these challenges that define our success. By accepting failure as part of the journey, we empower ourselves to persevere and develop effective strategies for overcoming setbacks.

Analyzing failures can yield valuable lessons and insights. Just as companies in the healthcare industry continuously evaluate standards and resources, entrepreneurs must assess their strengths and weaknesses to adapt and thrive.

Customers’ feedback and financial metrics offer objective data to inform decision-making. Embracing emotions and remaining passionate about our objectives fuels innovation and drives us forward.

Every employee plays a crucial role in the success of a business. By fostering a supportive environment and encouraging creativity, companies can harness the collective strengths of their team.

Successful Entrepreneurs Who Have Overcome Adversity and Disappointment

Examples abound of successful entrepreneurs who have overcome adversity and disappointment to achieve their goals. Their stories serve as inspiration and remind us that failure is not the end but rather a stepping stone to success.

Steve Jobs: Co-founder of Apple Inc., Jobs faced numerous setbacks throughout his career, including being ousted from the company he started. However, he returned to Apple and led it to become one of the most valuable companies in the world, revolutionising industries with products like the iPhone and iPad.

Oprah Winfrey: From a troubled childhood marked by poverty and abuse, Oprah Winfrey rose to become one of the most influential media moguls in the world. Despite facing challenges and setbacks, she persevered to build her own media empire, including the successful “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and OWN network.

J.K. Rowling: Before becoming one of the wealthiest authors in the world with the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling faced numerous rejections from publishers. She overcame financial struggles and personal setbacks to eventually bring her magical world to millions of readers worldwide.

Jeff Bezos: Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos faced scepticism and failure early on in his entrepreneurial journey. However, he persisted in his vision of creating an online bookstore that eventually evolved into the e-commerce giant Amazon, fundamentally changing the way people shop.

Colonel Sanders: The founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Colonel Sanders faced rejection from over 1,000 restaurants before finding success with his fried chicken recipe. He didn’t achieve significant success until he was in his 60s, proving that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams.

These examples demonstrate that setbacks and failures are often integral to the entrepreneurial journey. By persevering through challenges and learning from failures, these entrepreneurs turned adversity into opportunities for growth and ultimately achieved remarkable success.

Tools You Can Use to Overcome Failures

Let’s get straight into failures and the tools you can use to turn your failures into victories.

The first tool is to not pay attention. You’re probably thinking that I’ve lost it, but bear with me, I will explain!

What I am saying is to not pay any attention to your failures. I know we, as passionate entrepreneurs, tend to often ignore the good things we accomplish and focus on our faults. It is exactly the same when you are having failures in business. We’ve seen that even when we are doing a little bit better or we have had some gains in our business, we are prone to put our attention on our shortcomings. Let me give you an example. If you have ever been in a relationship I am sure that you know at the beginning of the relationship, when you are all in love, you just think the other person is amazing and you mostly ignore their faults.

Now, what would happen if you took your attention off the wonderful things about the person and you just directed most or all of your attention to their faults and the bad stuff they do or are not good at? Well, I can make a pretty good guess that you’d think less and less of them and you would eventually want as much distance as possible between the two of you.
Now, what would happen if you took your attention off the wonderful things about the person and you just directed most or all of your attention to their faults and the bad stuff they do or are not good at? Well, I can make a pretty good guess that you’d think less and less of them and you would eventually want as much distance as possible between the two of you.

At this point, you might be thinking, “That doesn’t make any sense, you can’t just ignore your failures completely and pretend they are not there!” Well, you will still be aware of them, but you don’t need to put your attention on them the whole time. Sure, you can learn from them by seeing what caused things to go wrong. But other than that, simply ignore them.

Instead, put your attention on the goal you are trying to achieve and the good things that you are accomplishing.

This will make the problems and barriers you are facing seem less overpowering and keep the goal in sight. It will help you to keep going in the face of barriers and failures that might crop up along the way.

There is a time also to look at the problems and barriers, but when and how you do that will be taken up next.

Think of your failures as laboratory experiments

We have just looked at where we should direct our attention when we have failures. Now I want to go over a tool you can use to turn the failure against itself.

So I want you to think of your failures as laboratory experiments. In a laboratory, scientists get an idea that a certain reaction will give them the results they want. They go ahead and try it. Once they have, they analyse the result to try and learn something from it.
So I want you to think of your failures as laboratory experiments. In a laboratory, scientists get an idea that a certain reaction will give them the results they want. They go ahead and try it. Once they have, they analyse the result to try and learn something from it.

Female Scientists Examine Plant Working In Genetics Laboratory Study Research, Two Women Analyze Scientific Experiments In Lab

Don’t get too serious, just look at your result and work out systematically what you can do next to bring the result closer to the desired result. I know this is easier said than done, and you’d have to know what to do next to improve it. You might not always have the answers, but you can dig and look or even pay someone who does know.

In today’s world, information is very accessible and there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have faced the same issues you have and can help shed some light on possible solutions.

Even superheroes started somewhere…

Enjoy the journey, it’s very unlikely for most endeavours to just be successful from the start. When you speak to those who have succeeded and even if you look back at your successes, you will see that you had to fail and learn. Everyone has to start somewhere.

To sum it all up, there is a fine balance to strike here. Don’t fixate your attention on your failures. Rather focus on the things you are doing right and the goal. Then, when you do look at the failure, approach it with a mindset of what you can learn from it and how you can use the information that this failure has presented to turn the failure into a victory.

Oh, and remember to have fun!

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

1. Reflecting on the examples of successful entrepreneurs overcoming adversity, what common traits or strategies contributed most to their ability to turn failure into success?

2. In the context of the article’s advice, how can entrepreneurs strike a balance between acknowledging and learning from failure while also maintaining a positive focus on their goals and accomplishments?

As you reflect on the journeys of successful entrepreneurs and the strategies outlined here, remember that failure is not the end of the road but a stepping stone to success. Embrace the challenges, learn from setbacks, and keep pushing forward towards your goals. Now is the time to apply these insights to your own entrepreneurial journey. Take action today, armed with the knowledge that overcoming failure is not just a possibility but a pathway to extraordinary achievements. Start implementing these strategies, stay resilient, and let your determination propel you towards your desired success.

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