Fail Your Way to Success

Nobody ever wants to fail. Failure is painful. Admitting you messed up not only can damage your ego, but it can completely destroy your self-confidence.

Failing is the last thing any business owner wants to go through, but it is through failure that many people find success.

Wait a second … How does that work?

Let’s look at the ways failure can be beneficial for business, and how failure might actually be the thing you’ve been waiting for to achieve greatness.

Failure Teaches Empathy

Empathy is a vastly underappreciated soft skill. Many people will view it as a weakness, since emotions are rarely seen as beneficial in an office environment. But, surprisingly, empathy can be the difference between a successful company and a company that experiences high turnover and little progress.

Failure can help many of us connect with our emotional side. It’s extremely upsetting to fail, and we certainly don’t want to dwell on the emotions it brings to mind. However, by experiencing failure, we can empathize with others that have also struggled through that quagmire of emotions. In this way, failure allows us to further develop our emotional intelligence: an extremely vital talent to have in management.

It is through emotional intelligence that many managers are able to empathize with their employees, listen to their concerns, and understand their motivations. Emotional intelligence is also a key to communicate effectively with people who work with you and is essential to building a strong and long-lasting team of motivated employees. Multiple studies have shown how emphasizing emotional intelligence in management has proven to be profitable for businesses.

Additionally, through failure you will understand how people can overcome and persevere despite the hand that was dealt to them. You can use your own experience to better understand the people that want to work for or with you. You will be able to see the potential in someone despite any setbacks they’ve had along the way. Failure gives perspective, and more importantly, it humbles you so you can better empathize with others.

Failure Allows Growth and Education

Outside of developing your empathy, there are other lessons to learn from failure. Was there a distinguished fork in the road that led you to this moment? Was there a choice you made (despite your gut feeling about it) that caused you to fail? What can you learn from this unfortunate outcome?

Failure should not always be seen as a disadvantage or a setback. Many times failure can actually be the moment of brilliance when you learn from your mistakes: the epiphany that your career path or your small business needed.

For your personal business, maybe this failure was a reminder of what your true goals should be. Are you really reaching the audience you want? Are you taking the steps you need to build a strong foundation? Somewhere along the way, you made a mistake that lead to this failure. Find out where it was and take a step back to redirect your course.

Ryan Robinson, a writer with the Intuit Small Business Center, suggests creating an educational dialogue and trying these experimental steps after a small business failure so you can learn from any mistake:

  • “Have you had a hunch about something your customers may want, but you haven’t tested out for one reason or another? Now’s the time to pick up the phone and call a few customers to ask for their feedback.
  • “Have customers ever given you constructive feedback that could be used to try something new? Maybe they’ve suggested new solutions they’d want from you.
  • “Is there a new trend, solution or marketing tactic that competitors are making major headway with? It could be time to consider trying out your own version with a unique spin, The Indexer has the best reviews on agencies that can help you out with this.”

Remember that you can never stop learning and that this small setback is simply a sharp learning curve.

Failure Provides Much-Needed Change

Failure allows us a chance to change our perspective. Once you’ve come to terms with your loss or rejection, take an opportunity to sit down and draw out a new plan.

Perhaps you got fired from your dream job and are questioning your path. Instead of letting it get you down, consider it a blessing in disguise: maybe you needed this wake-up call to start your own business and work for yourself.

Perhaps your newfound free time should be used to further your education. If you’re a mom with a college degree, maybe it’s time to go back to school and get a master’s. Education is the key to financial success, as well as career independence. Perhaps this failure allowed you the chance to really change your direction in life and focus more on what you want to do. You can use your freedom to learn from your mistakes, change your direction, and refocus on your goals.

No matter how devastating your failure may feel, it is really a chance to change course and refresh your perspective. As clichéd as it may sound: one door has closed, but a hundred more have opened for you. Take advantage of that chance, and don’t let this minor setback be the end of your road.

Instead, let it lead you directly to success.


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  1. Great Blog!!! you have provided very inspiring thoughts in this blog and yes i am agree with Failure allows growth and education.Thanks a lot for sharing this article.

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