“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”, thus, legend has it.
Failure is an integral part of a man’s existence and a bridge that must be crossed on the journey of success. Hitting rock bottom at some points in our personal or business lives is inevitable. However, the lessons we learn from mistakes and failures is what helps us to become better while strutting through subsequent trials.
Noteworthily, one must deeply acknowledge that failure is not a sign of incompetence, weakness or inadequacies, but evidence that we are humans and sometimes things don’t just fall in place.
Indeed, episodes of failure damage our self esteem and the self trust we had before venturing into a cause or into any business. Expectedly, everybody starts a business with high hopes of success and considering the time, energy, and financial resources committed into such businesses, it feels very difficult to start again when we fail. Many successful business men and women had a taste of the bitter pill of failure in their struggle to build their brands and businesses.
Arianna Huffington, the founder of Huffington post, had her book rejected by 36 major publishers before it got accepted for publication. Oprah Winfrey, the host of Oprah Winfrey show, one of the highest rated talk shows in American history, was fired from a local television station where she worked as a producer who felt she wasn’t fit for a television personality. Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, one of the most used car brands in the world, did not succeed with his first business, but his third. His first company – Detroit Automobile – went bankrupt two years after it was founded while the second – Henry Ford Company – had a major fallout with his financiers and he had to walk away with only the rights left to his name. Abraham Lincoln, an all-time icon of patience and perseverance, lost eight elections, failed twice in business and suffered a nervous breakdown for six months.
Failure in business or whatever venture one takes up, is never the end, but the beginning of a new phase. To bounce back from the effect of failure, here are five things you need to do:
ACCEPTANCE – Accept the failure as a temporary setback
That you were unsuccessful at your last attempt doesn’t mean you are a failure. Not failing at anything is proportionate to not living at all. Seeing and accepting your failure as a temporary setback will help you bounce back quickly and focus on other productive things rather than wallow in the pain of your failure. Do not give up on yourself as a result of the setback suffered, rather, dust yourself up and start again.
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing”- Denis Waitley
ASSESSMENT – Assess the situation
It is very important to objectively access the circumstances that led to the collapse of the business. Carefully analyze how you started, what possibly went wrong, how much has been lost and what you would want to do next. Ask yourself critical questions such AS – “Was the failure as a result of bad product launch, wrong location, lack of market acceptability, lack of adequate finance, industry snag or human resources?”. This will enable you put things in the right perspective and prepare better for your next big step.
LEARNING – Learn from your failure
We all make mistakes and experience failure sometimes. Failure is the greatest teacher because we learn a handful of life-changing lessons when we stumble and fall. Failure gives us a firsthand experience about a situation and prepares us for the challenge ahead .It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, taking the lessons learnt each time and turning them into opportunities will help you become better. Living in self-denial about the reality of the situation could jeopardize your chances of bouncing back indeed, while admitting your errors or mistakes could recycle the discouraging experience to become of great worth.
“The only time a mistake is truly permanent is if you don’t learn from it” – Charles Orlando
SEIVE CRITICISM – Don’t give in to critics
Don’t drown yourself in the criticism of others. Everybody gets criticized at some point, no matter what you do. Do not let the opinion of others affect the way you see yourself. Most people who criticize you for falling in the business do not have the courage to start anything at all. So rather than accept their own failures, they massage their egos by making you feel you could have done something differently. Be sure to put your passion and satisfaction first in whatever you do, rather than hinge your happiness on the approval of others.
Quite harder than it may sound; truth is, there is more to life than a failed business. Every failure is an opportunity to reinvent yourself and pick up the pieces for a better future. There are a thousand opportunities waiting to be explored and your ability to move on as quickly as possible shows your resilience and doggedness as a true entrepreneur prepared for success.
You may want to take out some time to ruminate on the events and that’s okay; but dwelling on your failure for too long might plunge you into a state of depression, low self-esteem and generally change your perception of who you are.
“Just because you haven’t found a successful way to do something doesn’t mean you are a failure”- Susan Tardanico.