Handling Failure The Successful Entrepreneur Way



There are many differences that separate the winners in business and life from those who are struggling and falling by the wayside. One big difference is how they handle failure. Successful entrepreneurs have a positive mindset around the experience of failure. When they fail, they look at it as a result. In other words, they took “x” steps which produced “y” result. Since “Y” didn’t work, it’s back to the drawing board to change the formula and try again.

Many new business owners don’t make it out of the gate because as soon as they fail, they figure, “Who am I kidding? I knew it wouldn’t work” and then quit. In other words, they were unable to convert stumbling blocks into stepping stones which inevitably lead to failure. If everyone had that mindset, we wouldn’t have electricity, airplanes, vaccines … actually, we’d have pretty much nothing.

Every single success in this world was preceded by one, two — a thousand failures! Babe Ruth set a record for the most home runs. Did you know he also had the record for the most strikeouts? Thomas Edison failed more than a thousand times before he perfected the light bulb.

If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing yourself enough. You are remaining in your comfort zone and cannot expect to reach the level of success you’re capable of. Failure is what allows you to learn and grow. If you quit as soon as you meet with failure, you will always remain exactly where you are.

Albert Einstein once said, “You cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it.” And, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” What these statements teach is, in order to overcome failure, you must think differently and act differently. It is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.

You might have to seek out guidance from someone else who can offer the expertise you need. You may need to inject new perspectives and talent by forming a team around your project, but fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles that hold new business owners back. Failure should not be feared, but embraced because a life lived in fear is a life half lived.

If you’re stuck and unable to move forward because of fear of failure or because you have failed in your previous attempt, bring someone else into the mix to offer support and guidance. Tweak your plan and give it another go.

Engrave the words of the following masters into your mind and never, EVER give up:

  • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein
  • He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat. – Napoleon I
  • Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines. – Robert Schuller

Characteristics Of A Successful Entrepreneur


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Studies have shown that successful entrepreneurs possess these characteristics:

1. Self-confidence

This is that magical power of having confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities.

2. Achievement Oriented

Results are gained by focused and sustained effort. They concentrate on achieving a specific goal, not just accomplishing a string of unrelated tasks.

3. Risk Taker

They realize that there is a chance of loss inherent in achieving their goals, yet they have the confidence necessary to take calculated risks to achieve their goals.

Entrepreneurs are people who will make decisions, take action, and think that they can control their own destinies. They are often motivated by a spirit of independence which leads them to believe that their success depends on raw effort and hard work, not luck.

So which of these three main characteristics is the most important? Believe it or not, it has to be self-confidence. Without self-confidence, nothing else is possible. If you don’t believe in your abilities, then the first challenge that arises may knock you off the path to achieving your goals. Here are a few things to keep in mind for maintaining a higher level of self-confidence.

Positive Thinking

Well, it all starts with a positive attitude, doesn’t it? Believing that something good will happen is the first step. Negative thinking simply is not allowed. You must truly believe that there are no circumstances strong enough to deter you from reaching your goals. Remember too, that positive thinking can be contagious. When positive thinking spreads, it can open doors to new ideas, customers, friends, etc.

Persistent Action

Now all of the positive thinking and believing in the world is useless if it is not applied towards a goal. You have to take action, no excuses are allowed. This action must also be persistent. Trying once and then giving up is not going to be enough. Keep at it one step at a time. If you can’t get by a certain step, then find a creative way to try again or just go around it.

At the beginning of this article we identified a few traits that are common among successful entrepreneurs. You should be able to look ahead and see yourself where you want to be. Now just maintain a strong belief in yourself and your skills, stick with it, and don’t give up. If you can do that, you’re already half way there!