In all aspects of our lives, sometimes the best lessons are learned the hard way. As a business owner, making a decision that maybe in the end wasn’t the best choice can end up costing customers, money and in some cases, the business itself. What is important is to view any failure as a positive opportunity for the future.
Sure, this may sound like obnoxious optimism in the face of a tough time and a losing plan. If entrepreneurs throw in the towel at the first mistake or continue to make the same mistakes over and over, business may not be the worst of their problems. Take a step back, notice where the plan went wrong, and cross that approach off the list of future options.
Morphing a painful disaster into an opportunity is not as difficult as you may imagine. Dissecting exactly what went wrong will not only allow you to be sure that the mistake is never made again, but it may actually end up pointing you in a direction that will actually work. Did the plan fail because of bad timing, was the plan too extreme or not extreme enough, or was it really just a poor plan from the beginning?
There are three very important things to remember when faced with even the smallest of failed ideas or opportunities:
1. It is only temporary
You simply have to take the good with the bad. If owning and running your own business were easy, I promise you that everyone would do it. There will be ups and downs in life and certainly in any business. Remember that these knocks to the business are only temporary and not the end of the world. Things will improve if you are able to learn from the mistake and grow from it.
2. Do not take it personally
For most people, their business is actually quite personal. So when something does not go as planned, they end up taking it as an emotional shot to the stomach rather than an unemotional observation of cause and effect. Keep distance enough to truly understand that a failure in business does not make the owner or idea a failure as well.
3. It is an opportunity for a re-do
Not only is a failed plan an opportunity to try a different approach, it is a way to take that new approach equipped with more experience and information than you did originally.
Every plan can’t succeed every single time; it just does not happen. It is absolutely vital to remember not to let the unsuccessful ventures prevent you from making a second, third or fourth attempt. Keep at it, learn from your mistakes and grow from them. Your business will thank you.
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
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