While discussing inventions of 388hero, Thomas Edison’s associate, Walter S. Mallory, once said to him, “Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?”
Edison responded, with a smile, “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work.”
People see success as positive and failure as a negative. Edison’s quote shows that failure isn’t a bad thing. You can learn, grow and evolve from your past mistakes. In business, failure is an all too common occurrence. After all, nine out of 10 small businesses will fail.
That statistic may make you uneasy, but it’s one worth knowing. Failing once, twice, or even hundreds of times doesn’t mean you’ve hit the end of the road – it means you’ve taken another turn, and you’re one step closer to success. As you go through life and encounter failures, you’ll learn valuable life lessons from those mistakes.
The goal today is to help you learn from your failures and become a more successful and productive individual and entrepreneur.
What is failure?
At its most basic definition, failure is a lack of success. For businesses, failure can take on many shapes and forms. Failure could mean you were unable to land a big sale or refer to a marketing campaign that never got the results you were looking for. You can also fail in your hiring practices or training opportunities.
However, it can also refer to your business as a whole. A business failure occurs when a company shuts down after consistently being unable to turn a profit. However, it is important to note that not all company closures are failures. If a company owner closes a profitable company to pursue different career opportunities, if the business was always intended to be temporary or the business owner dies or retires, the business is likely not closing due to failure.
How to learn from your failures
Rarely in the business world is there success without failure. As you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams, you’re going to fail. It’s often said that failure doesn’t stop people, it’s how people handle failure that stops them. When you encounter failure, tackle it head on and learn from your mistakes. Realize that every idea that pops up in your mind isn’t going to work. Take the time to organize your thoughts after a failure and realize what you did wrong. Above all else, be willing to learn and grow.