Failure is an inherent part of life, and for many entrepreneurs, it's a rite of passage on the road to success. While no one starts a business with the intention of failing, setbacks and disappointments are often the most valuable learning experiences.
As a 22-year-old entrepreneur, I've experienced more business failures than I can count. So I know that instead of fearing failure, embracing it can lead to personal growth, innovative breakthroughs, and ultimately leave you with a resilient, time-testing business.
Also read: Building a business at uni with just $20
Here are four reasons why I love failing in business and how you can leverage it to your advantage.
1. Blunders can be brilliant
One of the most significant benefits of failure is the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Yes I know, it sounds cringe-worthy but try to follow the train of thought here.
Business ventures fail, it’s unavoidable. There will always be learning curves and nuances that take years to fully understand.
I love failing because it lets me figure out those nuances early, at a time when mistakes aren’t deadly. A terrible analogy of this would be learning that eating fast-food everyday is bad for you while you're young and healthy versus when you’re older and unfit.
While blunders can be brilliant, it’s vital to conduct an autopsy on the error to identify what happened and why. This is what will help you uncover the gaps in your knowledge, faulty assumptions, and areas where additional resources or expertise may be needed.
2. Tough people build tough companies
Resilience, a critical skill for entrepreneurs, is the ability to adapt and bounce back from setbacks. It's a quality that separates successful business owners from those who give up when faced with a challenge.
Business is all about risk - creating new products, services and opportunities takes a mental fortitude a lot of people lack and allowing yourself to potentially fail will give you the confidence to explore new business opportunities or deals in the future.
Over time, this resilience will translate to a robust and adaptable business that can navigate unpredictable industry changes.
3. The Monty Hall problem is a catalyst for innovation
The Monty Hall problem is a classic brain teaser of three doors: behind one door is a car or in our scenario, business riches; behind the other two are failures.
Failure can be a catalyst for innovation. When a business model or product doesn't resonate with customers, it forces entrepreneurs to reevaluate their approach and find the correct door or avenue instead.
Most successful businesses aren’t home run hits, they’re usually a long road full of dead ends and pivots and a willingness to experiment and adapt can lead to breakthroughs that might not otherwise have been discovered.
When I started my influencer agency I had no clue how to foster brand partnerships, just the confidence and willingness to try. I failed over and over, but I gradually stacked any wins on top of each other to build the business to where it is today. It was trial and error, with zero shortcuts.
4. Failure cultivates humility
Failure can make you humble, a trait that is crucial for effective leadership. Because you need humility to accept you don't have all the answers and are willing to learn from your mistakes.
Many business owners start out with a delusional optimism which makes them think they're unstoppable. But everyone has to pay their dues and humbling is an important part of that.
Humility will lead you to be more open to seek guidance, collaborate with others, and accept critical and constructive feedback.