Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. You’re chasing a dream, finding investors, managing your team, grinding every day–no wonder you’re at high risk of burnout.
Even after all your hard work and preparations, you’re inevitably going to fail. Not overall, but certainly at a project, a new process, or even an entire venture. Fortune reports that 9 out of 10 startups will fail on their first attempt.
This doesn’t have to spell disaster for your entire career! Here are three ways you can learn from your failures to launch you into success.
Remember: Failing Is a Rite Of Passage
If this is your first failed project, don’t panic. It’s a rite of passage in the startup community. That Fortune statistic is so high for a reason; it’s just plain difficult to become a successful entrepreneur.
“Fail fast” is an industry-wide mantra for a reason. You can’t get too attached to a particular idea. If it’s fallen through, dust yourself off and move on.
Do this by embracing a growth mindset. Rather than panicking over mistakes and giving up on bigger dreams, “you want to change your life…you want to become more than what and who you are now because you know you can.”
It’s time for the next project. Get creative and see how you can leverage your current data, findings, and experience into an idea that will work out for you.
Figure Out What Didn’t Work
It’s ok to fail, but it’s not ok to not learn from your failures. You need to fully understand why your plan went sideways, or you’re going to repeat the same mistakes.
Take this time to understand where your plan went wrong. Reopen your data, look over your books, and dig into the details. Hopefully, you should be able to spot a pattern to reveal your blindspots. If you don’t already have one, start a business log. You can be as detailed as you’d like here, but keep track of new leads, investors, opportunities, and setbacks.
Now is also a great time to ask customers for feedback. Sending out a survey is a great way to find out exactly what you need to change in the future. For customers with serious complaints, ask them for a phone call. It might be a difficult conversation, but it’s one you need to have to move forward.
Know Who to Rely On
One of the unexpected benefits of failing as an entrepreneur is you’ll know who you can really rely on.
This might not seem like a substantial benefit, but it will make a huge difference in your day-to-day. It’s easy to have a lot of friends when you’re successful and reaping the benefits, but at the end of the day, you need to have people you can rely on.
The people who stand by your side during your failures are worth their weight in gold! If you have a mentor, now is the time to lean on them. Bring your notes, data, and own conclusions to a meeting with them, and lay it all out. See what they have to say!
Also, if you have investors, make sure you have meetings with them to talk through their current and future investments. Adjust the findings you gathered and discussed with your mentor, and present them as an action plan to move forward. Remember, your investors believed in you for a reason! Give them a new reason to support you.
Don’t Let Failure Bring You Down
When a venture fails, it can be devastating. However, don’t let it take you down too far! If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to embrace a growth mindset, learn from your mistakes, dig into your data, and lean on your friends.
No matter how big or small your failure was, it’s not a loss. It just means you’re better prepared to succeed in the future. Don’t give up!
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