Failures: The Best Learning Opportunities

Failure is simply a part of business.

We try to have “teachable moments” with children whenever something goes wrong.

We give them an allowance in exchange for chores to try to teach them the value of money. We break up sibling fights and tell them about peaceful conflict resolution. After consoling a kid who was teased, we try to explain that not everyone is going to like you and you have to ignore the haters. We allow them to choose their own haircuts and say no to hugs so that they learn body autonomy.

But what about as adults? Especially business owners? No one sits you down and talks about how that missed deadline and the loss of a client is really going to drive home the importance of organization, prioritization, time management, and meeting deadlines.

Photo by Jean Gerber on Unsplash

No one tells you how creating the wrong pricing structure is going to eventually benefit you by showing you what doesn’t work.

No one explains how undervaluing yourself and stressing out about not having any money is a great lesson about your own value and your time and what you’re providing to your clients.

Unfortunately for entrepreneurs, as much as you may try to learn and research and write about, think about, talk about, and dream, sometimes you will fail.

You’ll fail a little teeny tiny bit, like when you flub a pitch and lose out on a new client.

You’ll fail a medium amount, when you under-price yourself and didn’t realize how long something would take, and you eat ramen for a couple nights.

You’ll fail big.

It happens.

It really does. That’s a cliche because it’s true!

It’s not about failing, because we all fail. No one is perfect and everyone has missteps, mistakes, failures, stumbles, whatever you want to call them.

Every failure is a learning opportunity. They’re the best way to learn, really. Is there any better way to beat a concept into your head than to have real life stakes and emotions invested into it?

Failing at something does not define you.

How you react to failure does.

Do you pick yourself up and dust off and learn from it? Or do you cross your arms and pout and tell anyone who will listen how it’s not your fault?

Do you attack the problem from a new angle? Or do you insist everyone else was wrong and you were right and can’t comprehend why it didn’t work?

Are you the type of person who will really look at what didn’t work and figure out why it didn’t, so that you can succeed next time? Or the type to give up and quit since ‘it didn’t work anyway’?

What type of entrepreneur are you and what type do you want to be?

We all fail. Big or small, failure is a part of business and life. Failures cannot define you or your ultimate success. How you react to your own failures and proceed forward will determine your success in life.

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