When you started your small business, you undoubtedly had high hopes for its success. And since launching, you’ve undoubtedly experienced your share of disappointments.
In the world of entrepreneurship, it’s important to understand – and remember – that some measures of failure are natural and unavoidable. And while the weight of failure can at times seem catastrophic, it can actually be a blessing in disguise. But instead of letting mistakes and setbacks get you down, use them to fuel your future success. Just because failure is inevitable doesn’t mean it has to define you – or your business. Here are five reasons to embrace it.
It Means You Tried: Whether you ran an unsuccessful marketing campaign or a new product flopped, the silver lining of failure is that it means you’re taking risks and trying new things. The only thing worse than failing is simply not trying. Because being a small business owner is a risk in itself, you should feel proud that you and your team have the courage to think outside the box and try new techniques, no matter the outcome. Leaders take risks, and when you try something and fail it only solidifies the fact that you’re being innovative.
It’s a Learning Opportunity: In all areas of life, the best lessons stem from the blow of failure. The period immediately after failure is not a time to wallow, but an opportunity to figure out what went wrong and think about the next steps. Take some time to reflect on the previous project and create an alternative that addresses the areas of concern. Failure is without a doubt an emotional experience, so when your business and livelihood are affected, the lesson you learn will likely be one you’ll never forget. And, hopefully, the mistakes you make will never be repeated.
It Humbles You: Admitting you failed is no easy feat, especially when you’re the owner of a small business. However, by owning up to the fact that your project or idea didn’t go as planned, you’ll learn an important lesson in humility. When you feel humbled by an unfortunate situation, it becomes easier to accept that you’re not perfect. Indeed, a big part of being human is understanding that failure is a part of life – whether personal or professional.
It can Inspire You: When you don’t let the fear (or potential consequences) of failure hold you back from chasing your dreams and business goals, the desire to achieve them will inspire you in tremendous ways. Failing once or twice often makes you work harder and helps you focus on the big picture. In addition, it can be incredibly inspiring for your peers, employees and family members see you fail and get back up with the courage to try again.
Success will be Sweeter: Only if you’ve fallen down and felt the heavy weight of failure can you truly appreciate the full satisfaction of success. Reaching goals is great; reaching goals in spite of challenges, diversity and disappointments is indescribably rewarding. The next time you’re planning a new project, exploring unfamiliar territory or flat-out taking a risk, do not be deterred by the fear of failure. Instead, be motivated and inspired by the sweet, sweet taste of victory.