No one likes to fail. No one talks about their failures in great excitement or pride. If anything, failure is something we all keep a secret, ashamed of what we didn't accomplish, instead only sharing our successes. However, talking about our failures shouldn't be one of shame, it should be one of reflection and rejoicement. That's because we took a chance, we leapt when we didn't know what might be on the other side. So what if it didn't work out, we eliminated one more what-if in a world of unknowns. That should be something to celebrate, especially if we didn't give up!
"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." - Henry Ford
Chances are, if you're a small business owner, you've achieved a great success in your life; however, there is an equal chance that you also have a lot of failure behind and around you OR you want to take a chance, but are afraid you might jeopardize it all.
We, as the entrepreneurs and business owners of the world, should talk about failure and how to learn from it instead of keeping it a secret.
Here are some best practices for failing:
1. Lend a helping hand
We all know from experience that failing is hard. And it never gets any easier, does it? So, when you see others experiencing a failure or getting into trouble, be sure to offer your help and guidance. More often than not, they will thank you for it. And who knows, maybe they will be the ones that save you one day when you're facing a problem!
In a world that punishes failure, be someone that celebrates it. When we fail, there are all sorts of penalties, I-told-you-so's, and sly looks from enemies. Instead of focusing on those negatives, focus on the fact that you TRIED, which is a lot more than most can say.
Going off of the last tip, don't just celebrate and not discuss the failure with someone. Make sure you talk about it with your business partners, your team, or a business advisor. Discuss what went wrong, what you could have done differently, what worked, what ultimately fell short. This is probably the most important component of overcoming failure, because without this step, how do you get better and try again. If you don't discuss your failures, you are more apt to make the same mistakes over and over again, and that's no fun!
Fourth, you should learn from your failures. Learning goes hand-in-hand with talking about your upsets, because without discussing the problems, you can't learn how to fix them.
5. Try again
Finally, my personal favorite- TRY AGAIN. Like Henry Ford said, "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." Don't give up so easily. Stand back up, figure out what to change, and GO FOR IT!
Remember, if you're experiencing a failure or fear of failure, talk to someone. A business advisor, like Out of the Box Advisors, is a great place to start for businesses ready to discuss next steps and new directions!