Failure is often seen as bad or looked down upon by people. However, failure is not always bad, in fact failure can be great and help you improve. Failure opens the door for improvement and change and can usher in new opportunities. The main reason why so many people feel bad after failing is because they beat themselves up for it. They re-play it repeatedly in their head and feel as if they should have done better.
However, the problem is not that you should have done better, but rather that you need to pull yourself back up and try again. Look for where you can improve next time and keep trying. Every success story starts with a failure, think about any person that you have looked up to, they have failed. No person is exempt from failure. Failure is part of human nature, the monkeys failed at making tools at first, but then they tried again and now we are here. Pulling yourself back up again after a mistake or a failure can seem hard and challenging. But if you push past those feelings and get up, then you will succeed in the future. Here is how to move on and get over a business failure to better succeed in the future.
Goals V.S. Strategy
First thing you need to do is remember the difference between a goal and a strategy. Often when we run into failure it is because we are getting our goals and our strategies mixed up. Making sure that you know which is which and following that path, then you can succeed.
First, a goal is what you are trying to achieve. Where you want your company to go or milestones you wish to reach. Wanting to hit 1,000 sales by the end of the month is a goal. It is like a finish line you want to cross. Goals are what drive us, what makes us want to work hard and put in the effort. Without goals there would be no point in creating our businesses. Setting goals is how we motivate ourselves to move forward.
Next, a strategy is what you need to do to reach your goal. The journey you need to go on to get to the end. If your goal is the finish line, then your strategy is the race. Making sure you know the difference between the two is crucial for success. You need to properly plan out your strategy in order to get to your goal. You can not simply say that you wish to make 1,000 sales by then end of the month. You must plan how you are going to do that. A common mistake people often make is forgetting to make a strategy to achieve their goals. They simply think that making goals is enough and never put in the effort to get there. That is why so many people fail when they first start out. By creating good strategies, you will achieve your goals.
Next you need to take responsibility for your failure. Simply saying “I failed” is not enough. You need to go through what went wrong and acknowledge and genuinely take responsibility for what you did. If people got hurt or you placed your trust in someone you should not have, then you need to acknowledge that and recognize where you went wrong. By taking responsibility for what you did you are opening yourself up to growth and change for the future. When you take responsibility for hurting someone, you do not just say “I’m sorry” and not mean and then leave. You think about what you did, what went wrong, and feel remorse for it. You genuinely recognize that you messed up and put in the effort to right the wrong.
Along with taking responsibility, you also need to think about how this affected others around you. Did you affect your customers, partner, employees, spouse, or another company? If so, you need to go back and apologize to all of them. It is part of taking responsibility as it allows you to recognize what you did wrong and atone for it. This will not only make you feel better about yourself and your failure, but it will also allow others to feel better as well and be more motivated to help you in the future.
Learn A Lesson
What can you do better next time? Where did you fail? What can you fix? What can not be fixed? Asking yourself all of these question can help lead you to learning a lesson from your mistakes. What is the point in failing if you do not learn anything? How can you expect to get better next time if you do not learn anything? Learning is what allows us to improve and become a better person. By looking back on everything you did right and wrong, you can learn and get better. This can help you in the future as it teaches you to critically think about what you are doing and what you have done.
You can also get someone else you trust to look over you work and failures. This allows you to get a different perspective and learn further. If we only allow ourselves to analyze our work and look for places of improvement, then we are less likely to catch everything. However, by getting someone else to look at it, then they open us up to a different perspective on how our work is perceived. Learning from your mistakes can help you improve in the future.
Reevaluate Your Plans
Now that you have acknowledged your failures, and hopefully learned from them, you can now reevaluate your plans and figure out what to do next. Where can you go from here? What are the next steps? What can you improve to make it work?
By building a new plan you can allow yourself to re-try ideas in new ways and potentially succeed this time around. Creating new plans is always the best way to come at a failed idea and improve it for the future. If something did not work the last time, then it is not going to work again. So, reevaluating your plans and creating a new one can be a great to get up and try again. This can lead you to further success in the future and with other ideas as well.
Set New Goals and Make a New Strategy
Reevaluating or trying to improve upon a failed idea may not always be an option and may not work. Sometimes instead, you need to set new goals and come up with a new strategy to get there.
The goals that you set may not always be achievable, by setting new ones you can succeed more in the future. If you want to sell 2,000 products in your first month of business, that goal may not be the most reasonable or achievable. You then set yourself up for failure if you start thinking that this is going to be an absolute. Rather than that, set yourself smaller goals or different goals that are more achievable, this than allows you to be more likely to succeed and feel better about yourself. Instead of saying you want to make 2,000 sales in the first month, say you want to have a successful opening. This will set your expectations and make you feel like more of a success and less likely to fail overall.
Along with that, create a new strategy to achieve your new goals. Setting yourself smaller goals is always good but also making a new strategy can help you be more successful with those smaller goals. These new strategies need to be centered and focused on the best way to achieve your goals.
Tell Your Story
Finally, above everything else, tell your story. Talk about how you failed, how it helped you, and what you learned from it. By talking about how you failed, you can promote your success story and how you got over it and learned from your mistakes. It can also help others learn from you.
Anyone who has ever failed has promoted the fact that they have. Think about any celebrity or superhero or even the villains, they all talk about how they failed in the past and how they overcame challenges so that now they are successful. It inspires people to do better themselves and can actually make you feel better about your mistakes and potentially avoid them in the future.
Everyone fails from time to time, and it is nothing to be ashamed of or hide. Instead, you should be embracing your failures and taking them in your stride. Failing simply helps you succeed in the future as it allows you to learn from your past mistakes. It can seem hard to move on after a failure especially if you are a small business. However, reevaluating what went wrong and creating new goals and new strategies you can create something great in the future.