How to Deal with Failure as an Entrepreneur

Apr 5, 2024 | Blog

As an entrepreneur, you are bound to fail sometimes.

In fact, you are bound to fail multiple times – probably more often than you succeed.

The thing to remember is that failure isn’t absolute. The key to success is actually learning how to leverage your failure, or to simply move past it and keep on pushing.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how to deal with failure and learn how to enjoy the journey.

Accept Responsibility – But Don’t Beat Yourself Up

There is a huge difference between accepting responsibility for your failure and blaming yourself.

Accepting responsibility means acknowledging that there are things you could have done better. It also means not blaming anyone else when things go wrong – as a business owner, the ultimate responsibility lies with you.

It doesn’t mean blaming yourself, being overly harsh and telling yourself you’ll never succeed. That isn’t going to get you anywhere either. What you need to do is accept responsibility and move on, knowing that you’re wiser now than you were before.

See the Lesson

Failure isn’t always bad.

In fact, without failure, we would never learn, grow and develop.

There is a lesson in every failure – and one could argue that if you learn a lesson then you haven’t truly failed.

Failure means that you tried something new. If you’re not willing to try, fail and learn then you will never develop your skills or broaden your horizons, so it pays to be grateful for failure.

Enjoy the Journey

Goals are great – in fact, they are necessary. Without goals, you’re not really on a journey, you’re just wandering around aimlessly.

However, it’s a bad idea to focus on the end result. In order to deal with failure, you need to learn how to enjoy the journey.

If you’ve enjoyed the journey and taken the chance to learn and grow from it, then it hasn’t been in vain. Even if you don’t reach your end goal, you have expanded your world, honed your skills and made new contacts.

If you have tunnel vision and are completely results focused, you won’t be able to appreciate these other achievements and you’ll end up feeling terrible.

Check Your Self-Talk

From a young age, we are taught to speak nicely to others, but the lesson about being kind to yourself tends to fall by the wayside.

Self-talk matters enormously. If you keep on telling yourself that you’re a failure, then you’ll start to believe it. It’s difficult to spread your wings and fly when that tiny voice in your head keeps saying that you’ll fall.

A minor – or even a major – setback does not equate to failure. Not by a long shot.

If your self-talk is profoundly negative then it’s going to be so much harder for you to dust yourself off, find the lesson in your failure and move forwards.

It’s important to identify your negative self-talk so that you can tell that little voice to be quiet. It takes time and practice, but it’s definitely worth doing because it makes a huge difference in terms of how you handle failure.

Be Patient

When you’re impatient, even progress can seem like failure, and a small setback will feel like the end of the world.

It’s important to work on your patience and realise that overnight success is the exception, rather than the rule.

In fact, most people who achieved overnight success experienced hundreds of failures before they got it right.

Remember that just because you can’t see results right now, doesn’t mean that you’re not progressing. Your actions today are sowing the seeds for your future success. A lead that said “no” just now may well become ready to buy in six months time, so keep on nurturing them. A contact you made might not be useful now, but in the future they could prove invaluable to you.

Final Thoughts

If you want success, you must first learn how to deal with failure. It’s vital that you learn how to accept responsibility for your actions and to see the lesson behind each setback. You also need to reign in your negative self-talk, learn how to be patient and most of all, how to enjoy the journey. With the right attitude, failure won’t crush you – it will give you the opportunity to build something great.

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