In nowadays world there is a huge focus on success. Everybody seeks it, wants guidance on how to achieve it and even how to define it.
Even if we do not want too go too deep into philosophical reflection, it needs to be asked, what is success?
To an extent success is characterized by each individual. However, as a general description, being able to achieve your goals while gaining personal fulfillment and happiness is what we typically call success (here you have a series of TED talks on success if you are interested).
That is all well and good, but we cannot forget the other side of the coin: failure.
Failure is an ugly word, a word that most people will feel that needs to be avoided as much as possible.
Entrepreneurs should know otherwise. For entrepreneurs, failure is just another step towards success, and this is not just some mantra to make yourself feel better.
This is something stated by serial entrepreneurs and billionaires like Sir Richard Branson:
As stated by Sir Branson, barely 2 out of 10 new companies will succeed, the rest will fail.
This is a reality, but this also why Limited Liability Corporations were created: so that new endeavors can be undertaken without risking all your personal assets.
Something else mentioned in the previous video should have caught your attention:
“If you do fail, you will have had the best education of your life.”
How exactly can we make sure that this learning actually takes place and that we make the most of it?
First of all, analyze your reaction to failure and how can you change it to improve from it.
Sometimes, denial can be the easiest option, if you do not admit failure you may even convince yourself that it did not happen, or that it was not your fault at all. Someone else was to blame, you cannot be held responsible for that, right?
Maybe you were not the main agent behind the failure, but you were a part of it and it certainly affected you.
Accept your share of the responsibility, and do not ignore the crisis even if it is more comfortable to leave it in the past.
Look not only at the triggers, but also the not so obvious enablers and the roots of the problem.
What originated the issue?
What other problems could this have also caused?
Most importantly, what can you do not only to fix the immediate problem, but to avoid it from reoccurring?
Growing from a crisis means not focusing on short term solutions, but seeing long term.
This may mean values and mindsets need to change and evolve, maybe in your company, maybe in yourself, and this will need self-analysis and humility.
Be totally honest with yourself, and change what you know that needs to be changed, even if it is painful, this is the way you will know you are not only responding to the immediate problem, but also preventing future crises.
Mindfulness, self-improvement and persistence are key.
Do not be afraid of failure, embrace it and use it as a tool, because risk will lead to occasional failure, but also to reward.
The most notable people you know have failed, but have made it into an opportunity to evolve and grow, as a step-stone to success.
As Elon Musk puts it:
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough”