To be a successful entrepreneur you are going to experience constant failure. There is no way around it and there are almost no exceptions to this inevitable fact. Thomas Edison tried over ten thousand different experiments before he finally demonstrated the first incandescent light bulb on October 21, 1879. Bill Gates’ original company, Traf-O-Data, was a complete failure.These are just a couple of examples and if you were to interview any of the top entrepreneurs in today’s business world they would all say persistence is the key and failures are only lessons that must be learned to advance.
In my short time as an entrepreneur, I’ve failed more times than I can remember. I have also had my fair share of success, but these successes are not even close to the amount failures I’ve had to deal with in business. I don’t get discouraged though because I know that as soon as I stop failing, I have stopped trying to innovate which is critical for me. It’s the price of the business of being an entrepreneur, and of success in general.
If success was easy, everyone would be successful. It is crazy to think that every good idea that you have will result in a winning business venture. I have never heard an entrepreneur say “every single idea I come up with seems to work.” Much more likely, your bound to hear something like “I failed at my first four businesses before this one took off and made it big.”
Contemplate that for a second. Four businesses. Sometimes the number is two, sometimes it’s twenty, but the important thing to remember is that most entrepreneurs don’t hit it out of the park with their first Business. It really amazes me how many people have the persistence to fail four times and still start a fifth business? You have to be very confident in yourself to treat those previous four times as a learning experience for the fifth. And if number five failures, you have to do the same and move on to number six.
In my opinion, the most important determining factor for success is how you deal with failure. Once you accept that failure is inevitable, you are able to learn from your the sum of your mistakes and move on to the next venture. It’s easy to let the failure consume you because it can be very hard to see something that you poured all your resources into be ignored or rejected. You must come to the conclusion that your business is what they are ignoring or rejecting, and definitely not you. The earlier you do that, the faster you can objectively analyze why you failed and learn the necessary tools for improvement in the future.