This is a topic that is very close to my heart, I say that because as an entrepreneur anywhere, you will encounter failure in business in one way or another. Being a female entrepreneur in Kenya makes it a bit harder and therefore, failure is more likely to happen more than once.
As for me, I have failed a few times and every time is quite humbling and I won’t lie, quite painful. The first time I failed in business was when I started a baking business that didn’t take off, it lasted 6 months. However, I learned my lesson and realized my very many mistakes – I had not planned for anything at all, I had no business plan. The second round I started, I have been going for two years now, however, I have failed in other ways. One of the ways being my recent setback of expanding too fast in a slow-growth location; it didn’t go very well. However, I realized my mistake and relocated back to a home-based business for now. This was in order to keep the business going while I re-strategized. As an entrepreneur, one makes big and small mistakes alike and one just has to keep learning and making sure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes. Don’t give up, just keep progressing and getting smarter. That is why today I want to share why I think it’s alright to fail in your business, however small or big way that it happens. It’s always an eye-opener and quite a lesson to be learned.
1. It shows you that you were doing something wrong in your business
A great example is what I just shared above. I realized that for my Bakery, I had expanded too fast and so decided to go back and re-think my expansion strategy. The location which I had chosen as well, was not too ideal for my products. Once I realized my mistake and that I was heading in the wrong direction; I corrected the situation immediately. Sometimes failure shows you that you need to step back and plan again. I now have a new business model and direction for my baking business that is working well since I make good decisions due to the lessons I learned from my previous mistakes.
2. It Humbles you and gives you a reserve of strenth
Failure is a very humbling thing, it shows you that you and your business are not invincible. It can also take you to a very low point of almost giving up. If you are a true entrepreneur, you bounce back by; stepping back, finding your motivation and reason why you started your journey. They you plan again, re-strategize and get moving in the right direction. The action of actually NOT giving up and getting back into the game requires a large amount of inner strength. If you can get past a failure and learn from it, especially more than once, then I believe that you have the makings of being a great entrepreneur. With that reserve of strength, you’ll definitely get through the ups and downs of business for sure.
3. Failure Tests your dedication to your cause and whether you’ll stick to it
Failing in any way in your business is a true test. It tests your dedication to your mission and your business idea. Do you truly believe in it? Do you have real passion for your business? This is a true test of dedication because most people who don’t truly believe in their business or have a passion for it, usually give up on it. For an entrepreneur who truly believes in their business, they will not give up on it. As an entrepreneur, you will think hard and try your best to find a solution to your challenges and you will solve them. You will stick to your beliefs and to your business idea and your passion will keep you going through the hard times.
4. Sometimes the business idea you had was not a good one and you need to innovate it or get a new one
There are a few times when an idea fails due to the fact that it is not a sustainable one. It needs evaluation or innovation to make it a solid, sustainable idea. You may also have to discard an idea and get a new one if it truly does not work. In this instances, an entrepreneur has to be honest with him/herself and face the reality of the situation. Giving up on the idea, does not make you a failure, it makes you stronger and wiser. A great example would be from the serial entrepreneur Richard Branson; he has had some crazy ideas that he has had to discard e.g. Virgin Cola, Virgin Brides etc. This makes him wise enough to realize when an idea is not working, it does not make him a failure – it’s just a learning moment ( I mean, he is one of the most versatile & richest entrepreneurs in the world).
5. Failure serves as a stepping stone to your success
A lot of great entrepreneurs in our time have failed and their failures have resulted into major success stories. This is because when they failed, they didn’t give up, they went back to the drawing board and found other ways to get through their challenges after learning from their mistakes. Get back on the board, re-strategize, change your business model, innovate, review your product and/or service, strengthen your systems and then execute in the best way possible.
Great examples are; Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Richard Branson, Tabitha Keroche and many more. So don’t think that failing is the end of the road for you and your business. Change your thinking, turn those failures into the fuel you need to take your business to the next level and achieve greatness.
I hope that these five reasons have inspired you not to give up, they certainly helped me rally and find ways to turn my business around. It is a tough journey ahead but I believe in myself and my business; I know I will succeed. You will too if you choose to learn and take the challenges positively. I hope you feel motivated to keep going as well, especially if you are having a difficult time with your start-up. If you have any other reasons you would like to share, please feel free to share below please. If you’re going through a business challenge or failure you would like to share as well, feel free to post below.
Share this post on your networks; it might help out someone going through some business challenges as well ^_^
Thanks for reading and remember – Never give up!