6 Smart Tips On How To Overcome Business Failure

By Tawanna B.

To overcome business failure, keep things in context

In the above Facebook Live video I have a candid discussion about what you need to know about failure in general and how to overcome business failure.

Success, failure and greatness go hand-in-hand. Most business owners understand that the road to success is not a linear one. It resembles a kraggy mountain with dips and ridges, ascents and descents.

Overcome Business Failure Arianna

Love this graphic I found on LinkedIn.

Lessons about overcoming failure from The Flash

If you keep your eyes and ears open to what you read and watch, you’d see that the correlation between failure and success is a recurring theme.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching the CW’s ‘The Flash’ with my son. It’s one of our favorite superhero shows. Amongst the banter, I heard something that I thought was a good lesson for anyone.

One of the main characters, Dr. Wells, tries to open a museum. On the first day it flops – no one shows up.

Understandably, he feels dejected and ready to accept defeat.

His younger colleague, Cisco, tells him, “Greatness takes time.” Then he recites:

If a string is in a knot, Patience will untie it. Patience can do lots of things. Have you ever tried it?

cisco dr wells overcome failure

The Flash — “Enter Zoom” — Image FLA206B_0019b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Case in point and in total transparency, I’m failing miserably at building my email list to where I want it to be. However, I understand that it takes patience. I also understand that there are several parts of my process that need tweaking, namely being more clear on who my ideal customer is.

Keeping a weekly record of my activities, looking at my data without emotion, and working with someone outside of my business will hopefully help to resolve my present challenges.

No matter what my level of frustration, the important thing is that I don’t quit.

Failure when it comes to creating videos for your business

The fear of “looking stupid” or failing to represent oneself or one’s business well holds many marketers back from creating videos. The fact of the matter is that being on-camera isn’t for everyone, especially those who can’t stifle the internal noise that they will fail.

Thankfully, there are other ways to create videos and add it to your marketing. Don’t feel as if there aren’t any other options.

However, if you truly want to overcome the fear of “failing” on-camera, it’s important to understand that “messing up” is a natural part of the process and something else may arise out of that journey.

Stanford researcher, Barbara Shiv notes:

“Failure” is a dreaded concept for most business people. But failure can actually be a huge engine of innovation for an individual or an organization. The trick lies in approaching it with the right attitude and harnessing it as a blessing, not a curse.

The thought of failing stops many of us from doing things. The paradox is that the only way to achieve greatness is to fail.

I’m not sure that there is any other way around it.

To overcome business failure you have to observe business failure

In the quest to replicate other’s successes we fall short of studying the things that went wrong first.

In this Stanford Breakfast briefing Billion Dollar Lessons: What you can learn from Business Failures, presenter Chunka Mui provides seven most common strategic failure patterns, four of which include: illusions of synergy, misjudged adjacencies, faulty financial engineering, and poor strategies.

He makes a relevant note that our hard wiring for making bad decisions can be improved by employing a devil’s advocate to an organization, someone who is independent of emotional loyalties or group thinking. The executives who are determined to overcome business failure do not think twice about adding a critical component to their organization.

Mui states that the 5 main qualities of the Devil’s advocate are that they:

  1. are transparent
  2. are a trusted but independent party
  3. look at the business with fresh eyes
  4. consider only the facts
  5. ask questions instead of provide answers

How to overcome business failure

  1. You don’t get better at anything unless you do it. You have to commit to take the first step.
  2. Accept that failure is a part of the process of achievement and success.
  3. Do not quit just because something didn’t go perfect the first time. Without emotion, analyze the data. Adjust and re-work your strategy.
  4. Hire someone who can assist you (i.e., a virtual assistant, a consultant or a strategist). They can aid and guide you in your journey.
  5. Don’t compare your journey with others. More often than not businesses are not fully transparent when it comes to sharing their failures.
  6. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerabilities. By sharing them, people connect with you in a deeper way. In turn, this changes the power that failure has over you.

What have you failed at so far this year? Have you ever had to overcome business failure? How did you do it?


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