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  As an entrepreneur, there is no guarantee that your business will succeed, especially at its initial stage. Opportunities are missed, mistakes are made and destructive actions are taken. Sometimes, it could seem that it is just the forces of nature working against your business and resulting in a failure in one aspect or another.
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Baseline, failure is inevitable, it only depends on what degree and what you can make out of it. Despite the fact that failure obviously slows down business, in some cases, even kills the idea before it comes to fruition, there are some valuable lessons we can derive. Discussed in this article are 6 valuable lessons entrepreneurs can learn from business failure.
  1. Embrace It

It is one thing to fail, it is another to recognize and accept failure. Some entrepreneurs have the wrong mindset of not failing at business, but oftentimes, it is inevitable. This doesn’t mean that your business venture must fail, it only means that you should prepare for it, so that when and if it comes, you can embrace it. However, how do you even embrace what you do not know exists? It is said that some entrepreneurs fail without even realizing they have failed in some areas. This first step of discovery will help you embrace the failure and turn it to your advantage.
  1. Fail Forward

There is a popular motivational speech by Denzel Washington on failing forward. In the speech, he mentioned that when life throws difficulties at you, you should fall, but rise up immediately. He emphasized the need to not let your failures make you laid back, but to use them to move forward. The point is to keep moving. If there is one valuable lesson you should take out of a failed situation, it is to keep moving and not settle. Don’t get mad at yourself for failing.
  1. Develop Capacity For Growth

One of the greatest lessons failure could ever teach is for one to develop capacity. Failing at something does not necessarily mean you do not have the potential to get it right, it means you have not developed the capacity needed to accomplish it. This forms part of your learning process. A period of failure is the time to re-strategize, make consultations, train more, read more, invest in yourself and develop the capacity to grow. It gives you the space for reflection of where you currently are and help you plan for a formidable future.
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  1. Optimize With Failure

An e-Commerce mentor, Kamil Sattar, once said “Use failures to guide your optimization”. This is vital in every business. After a failed venture, analyze your business. Identify the things you failed at and use them as tools to optimize your process. The business world is dynamic with several industrial changes. It will be great if you adjust quickly and appropriately to these changes.
  1. Gain Humility

Some people have twisted opinions about themselves as regards their self-worth, talents and capabilities. Failure helps you reassess yourself. It is sort of an honest personal feedback system to help you determine how far you have gone as a person. It is the same with business. I know you believe you must have built the best product or provided the best service But you will need the humbling effect of failure to help you reassess your business model; to know if it truly works in the first place.
  1. Become Proactive

Although, there could be a provision to fail many times before you finally get it right, don’t sleep on it. Failure teaches what to do and what to avoid. After failing in an area, the goal is not for you to remain in the spot, but to take proactive measures to ensure it doesn’t flop again. Repeating the same failed process will not do your business any good. Build processes that save you from similar failures in the future. It is often hard to deal with failure. As an entrepreneur, you would think you have invested all that you need to, financially, physically and otherwise. But the thing is, there’s more and that is what failure teaches. Featured Image Source: inc. Magazine
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This article was first published on 18th October 2021


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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