How to Learn From Failure in Business

Posted by XO Accounting on Apr 24, 2019 9:06:00 AM


How to Learn From Failure in Business

Any successful business owner will tell you; failure is an unavoidable part of your journey to greatness. In fact, almost 20% of businesses will experience failure in their first year, with many folding before their fifth year of operation.

In truth, building a successful company is a long and hard road. Not every decision will bring success, and as such not every proposed idea will be a winner. However, mistakes made can be looked at as a learning experience. Something to utilise along with hard work, that eventually will lead to victory.

The following is how you can stay in the game to win, while making the most of your failures along the way.


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Beginner’s mind

Would your business operate differently if you saw an opportunity to grow with each challenging situation?

Poor cash flow? A disappointing launch? A partner parting ways?

Having a positive outlook can make all the difference. You'll be able to produce creative solutions when those unavoidable bumps come up.


Keep a journal

For many, it's an easy thing to focus on things that didn't go the way we'd initially planned, and miss celebrating the unexpected surprises and small wins that move us closer to our goals.

Keeping a gratitude journal so you can celebrate both large and small successes of your business. You can recognise these key moments more regularly, the will lead to your proudest accomplishments.

Another benefit is that you can see the bigger picture, putting any disappointments and "failures" into perspective.

An under appreciated benefit of failure is it can point you toward new unforeseen opportunities; plans B, C and D that could lead you to success. Additionally, review and alter your plans often to better reflect the trajectory of your business. As a general rule, this should occur at least once a year, but why not commit to more frequent revisits?

If a potential project falls through, it's the ideal time to reflect on what could've been done differently and how you can plan to avoid similar mistakes the next time.


Final thoughts

Don't fear failure - instead strive to make "good" mistakes, so you can enjoy the reward your hard work brings.

Think of it as a series of experiments - careful decision making has no guarantees and results can't always be controlled.

Additionally, fail in new ways - you are committing to innovation rather than attempting the same thing and hoping for different results each time.



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