Learning How to Fail in Business
The word “failure” has terrible connotations. It gets a bad reputation, but failing can actually be a positive thing. Henry Ford said that “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” Indeed, if viewed with the right attitude, failure can be a learning experience that helps your business succeed the next time around.
Check out the following real-life cases, from Mс Essay that show us that failure can lead to success:
1. Abraham Lincoln
Our 16th President experienced business failures in 1831 and 1834. He was defeated politically in 1832, 1838, 1843, 1846, 1848, 1855, 1856, and 1858—eight times! It was only in 1860 that he was elected the President of the United States.
2. Jacuzzi Brand
Everyone has heard of Jacuzzi in this day and age. But did you know that in the 1950s the Jacuzzi brothers invented a bath for treating arthritis? Of course you don’t—it was a huge failure. Only when they remarketed the bath as a luxury item for younger, upscale buyers did it meet with success.
3. Microsoft Brand
Yes, that big corporation has had its fair share of failures. Among its failures (which turned into successes) are the following:
• Wasted years working on a database called Omega that ultimately failed…and then led to the development of Microsoft Access.
• Operating system Windows NT was born out of a discontinued joint operating system project with IBM.
• The development of Microsoft Excel came out of a failed Multiplan spreadsheet.
So how can you learn from your business failures? The key to learning from your business failures is analysis and plan implementation.
1. Analyze your mistakes
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you before you’ve had the chance to really analyze your mistakes. Take some time to sit down and think through the failure that you’re facing. Why did you decide to go about things the way you did? Is there anything you could have done along the way to prevent failure? Where, exactly, did things go wrong? Was it as early as in the planning stages, or did things turn south after certain ideas were implemented? The only way that you can learn from your mistakes is to face them through analysis.
2. What to do with what you’ve discovered
After your thorough analysis, you’ll have some ideas as to where things when wrong with your business. Was it because of bad timing or inefficient implementation? Whatever you came up with after your analysis, you’ll know what you need to improve upon the next time around.
The important thing is to realize that just because you’ve encountered this failure doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to a lifetime of failures. History is riddled with people and companies that faced many obstacles and mistakes in their journey to success—you can be one of those people, too!