Failure is that Failure is success if we learn from it. ~Malcolm Forbes
Idea, Plan and Action are three keywords that suffice to streamline the process from economic uncertainty to a commercially workable product or service that carries the potential to scale. What many budding entrepreneurs do not realize is the amount of time that can lapse between each stage in this process. Similar to the “Seed, Time and Harvest paradigm” a spiritual law that has been in place since the beginning of creation, the idea, plan, and action stages positions business ventures to excel in a particular season. In a rare instance you will have businesses that create widespread change and social disruption (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon etc.), through what Victor Hugo calls “an idea who time has come”. Victor Hugo explains in Histoire d’un Crime (History of a Crime), which means an invasion of armies can be resisted, but an invasion of ideas cannot, helps to sheds light on the categorization of certain ideas from which time plays an important role.
In this “Get rich Quick” microwave generation many budding entrepreneurs and millennials want business success now. A far cry from when Harlan Sanders (Founder of food Chain KFC) toiled for year before creating franchising success of his famous chicken recipe at the tender age of 65. Entrepreneurs need to be aware that seeds (ideas) matriculate and germinate at different intervals given the fertilization and nature of the soil from which the idea sprang from. Although necessity is the mother of all invention, the farmer still must plant crops in a seasonally prescribed manner in order to reap man’s ultimate harvest. Again, this isn’t a process where you plant seeds in the spring time and receive a harvest in the fall. The planning process for Entrepreneurs is a lifetime endeavor with seasonal results. Thus, creating a situation where failure becomes a staple in the lives of all successful entrepreneurs.
As a Small business Owner, make sure you can discern the facts governing entrepreneurship. Although, you may understand that entrepreneurial successes usually take 10-15 years of travail and toil; make sure you are able to see failures as successes, and successes as the seeds for a more creative horizon. Learn the lessons life is presenting through your misguided efforts and use that transition towards forging a new path and seeing opportunity in uncertainty. Even some of our most promising CEO’s had to see success in their failures. Before co-founding Twitter Evan Williams failed in his bid to develop a podcasting platform called ODEO, until that idea subsided due to the release of iTunes. Did Mr. Williams quit? Absolutely not as matter of fact he went on to create platforms such as Blogger, Medium, and Twitter bring his network to $1.4 Billion dollars.
The dynamics of failure is a powerful force that helps you to reorient your strategy and create a dynamic that helps you to serve more people. At times we will all fail at things we try to do but as we continue to work at them, mastery will challenge our craft and bring us to the forefront of our industries. Giving up too soon is seeds for failure. The entrepreneurs of the future concerning these changing dynamics of this world, must aspire at becoming better through self-awareness and a desire to constantly look for new knowledge and wisdom from leaders around the world.
Below, I list 7 business tips that you can use to overcome failure in your business endeavors.
- Go from Good to Great: Read Jim Collins Classic Good to Great “Why Some Companies Make the Leap and others Don’t”. Can you believe that this book was published 17 years ago and is still a top bestselling business book on Amazon? Have you ever wondered why? Do you want to understand how to overcome business failure? Read this book twice.
- Turn Uncertainty into Breakthroughs (Attackers Advantage): Read Ram Charan’s Attackers Advantage. In a quiet and unique way, he distills powerful nuggets of truth that gives your strategy a new reason for existing. The book is a metaphor for finding a means of dealing with upheavals in our economic, political, governmental, financial, and business endeavors on a global scale. Pay close attention and read between the lines. A message will be revealed unto you.
- Forging your own path to think differently: Stop following the crowd. Profitability doesn’t have to be the Thesis of every thought and idea concerning the growth of your organization. For instance, you can try Phronesis, which is just the habit of making the right decisions and taking the right actions in context, with a relentless pursuit of excellence for the common good. Study Shakespeare, Socrates or a particular world leader (Naveen Jain), and find what makes their daily routines different from yours.
- Get outside of our comfort Zone: Probably the most Cliché concept you have heard thousands of times, but it’s important that you look for areas outside of your industry that can help to broad your perspective giving you distinguished connections and ideas that will build a bridge from where you are now to where you are trying to go. Write a letter to every world leader just thanking them for their service. There is something that you can daily within your organization that opens up the floodgates for new knowledge and ideas to surface. John Chamber CEO of Sisco says “We are growing IDEAS but we’re, also growing people as well. Where I might have had two potential successors, I now have 500”
- Measuring what matters: Read John Doerr’s Measuring What Matters “How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the world with OKR’s”. Doerr, teaches on productivity and innovation better than anyone I have ever knew. If you are up for the challenge and task of changing the world through your organization, then this is the book that can show you a proven process for transforming your business operations. Measuring what matters helps to keep what works, discard what isn’t and create rapid results through a streamlined business plan focused on results.
- Stretch your moral purpose and reaching beyond the norm: Outside of your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, do you have a plan in place that considers the needs and wants of 1 Billion people? Do you think its possible to generate profitability for your corporate boards and shareholders, while at the same time creating sustainable structures that can cause real change all around the world? Outside of your endearing efforts to make a difference
- Business Development as the Framework for making better decisions: Yes, increasing revenues and profitability, along with building strategic partnerships is important but what’s driving your outcomes? Developing your business cannot be done in a bubble. You must seek transformation at the group level as a space for transformation. In order to transform the world, you must see it differently from others. Business Development is more about becoming a transformational leader than anything else. Michael Gerber, Business Guru and E-Myth connoisseur describes this process as working on your business instead of on it. “Simply put, your job is to prepare yourself and your business for growth.”
Overall, everyone’s path towards entrepreneurship will be different wrought with many landmines and IED’s explosions in the process. Yes, failure will be part of that equation but it’s what you do with those setbacks that determines your success. Many Entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that they will not get tested along their entrepreneurial journey.
What do you think is happening to the Democratic and Republic presidential nominees in their quest to become the president of the United States? They are being prepared and battled tested for what they will face once the presidency becomes a reality. In a similar vein, your failures are only grooming you for success. You are one thought, idea, and relationship away from your next breakthrough. Keep Pushing!
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10, 000 ways that won’t work ~Thomas Edison