How your Business can Succeed by Failing

Credit: Visual Photos

We’ve heard the statistics. Half of the businesses that get started today won’t be around in 5 years. (The statistics you‘ve heard may be even worse).

We’ve been taught in school that failure is bad. Exam questions only have one right answer. Get too many wrong, and you won’t be going to law school. You may have to repeat a grade, which could set you back another year.

What if we lived in a society where failure was an option? A place where you could actually move up by failing! What if the greatest leaders were actually the ones who failed the most?

Well, in reality that is the case, for the most part. Even though our education system teaches us to avoid mistakes at all costs, those who succeed are the ones who use failure as part of their process.

Many of the greatest home run hitters in baseball, are also the greatest strikeout leaders.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over in my life. And that’s why I succeed!” – Michael Jordan

So how does this apply to business? We come in wanting to hit a home run at our first at-bat. It doesn’t work that way. Colonel Sanders took 1000 rejections before KFC ever became famous. At what point would you have given up?

Business is an iterative process. Figure out what the customer wants, then give it to them. As the market changes, be prepared to adapt. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose.

When a pilot sets his destination on his plane, the plane doesn’t directly fly in a straight line to its destination. Neither does a ship on course. In both cases, they continually veer off course, but are constantly brought back on course through over and under steering.

Keep talking to your customers. Keep improving. Keep releasing updates.

Eliminate the approaches that don’t work. Build on the approaches that do.

Use your failures as stepping stones to success.

Does your business plan take this into consideration?