Students spend hours studying in order to ace a class. College graduates carefully plot career tracks in hopes of circumventing any possible downfalls. Even parents do everything in their power to make sure that their kids experience a wide range of successes. With the seemingly unending stories of people who made it big in life by making a plan and sticking to it, did anyone notice that the focus on failure started to disappear?
Failure gets a bad rap from most people. Of course, no one really likes any type of failure when they are in the process of it, but not everything that is valuable in life is automatically pleasant. Far too often, new entrepreneurs set out for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with virtually no expectations to fail, and, when it inevitably happens, some people never get back up again.
As a society, we have forgotten — or intentionally neglected — the valuable and beneficial aspects of experiencing a failure first hand. Still not convinced? Here are just a few lessons that failing can teach:
- Perseverance: Sure, your first business or maybe even the first five will flounder and ultimately fail, but that sixth one? That might just be the sweet spot.
- Caution: The red alert that you ignored last time that led to a spectacular failure? Pay attention to it next time and do not be afraid to listen to your instincts.
- Insight: So your business failed because of x, y and z. In your next venture, keep those stumbling blocks off of the business plan and set yourself up for a better chance of success.
Learning to embrace failure and the lessons that it imparts is by no means an easy task, but is an important one. When the shame and embarrassment that surrounds failure is finally ripped away, entrepreneurs can begin to build the foundation of a successful business by building on the failures of their pasts.