Priceless Advice from Failed Entrepreneurs
Success is what you make of it. That is a common phrase, throughout entrepreneurial circles. After all, entrepreneurs are risk takers, and successful entrepreneurs wouldn’t have been such, at least with their own company, if they hadn’t forged their own path.
Although, even the most capable entrepreneur has gotten to be that way, in part because they understand the importance of gathering resources; such as small business financing, talented employees, and creative manufacturers, and learning from those that have come before them.
After all, entrepreneurs have a duty to stick together and share our experiences; which is why this guide was created, especially for you.
Here are some golden nuggets of priceless advice to new small business owners, from failed entrepreneurs.
Your First Plan is Never Your Last Plan
Many entrepreneurs think that they are going to create a foolproof plan and see it through from start to finish, but that isn’t ever the case. While your first plan is opening the door to possibilities, it is never going to be the end-all-be-all for your startup.
The simplest reason for that is that situations change, people change, and it is the responsibility of the entrepreneur to know when to shift their plan’s focus for the betterment of the company.
Change is good. Embrace it, or you will stonewall your own aspiration and suffocate your startup with unrealistic expectations.
A Startup Needs Room to Grow
A startup is not a readymade package. It is literally taking an idea that you have in your mind and creating it within the bounds of reality.
That is not an easy process. It is giving life to something that has never existed before. So, like any healthy, living thing, your startup needs room to grow.
While you want to help your startup and do whatever you can to ensure its success, you need to give it room to grow, explore, and sprout when it enters the sunlight. It needs to have the freedom to adapt to a globalized market and mature into a diverse, problem-solving entity.
So, you can’t stick to every aspiration you had for it. There is time and a place to let go, not of your company, but of the strict ideas that you had for it. Opportunity is everywhere, and a successful entrepreneur understands that there are moments that will take them and their company down a path they never knew existed, but likely wouldn’t be able to do without.
Strive for a No
Experience is fundamental to success, and the way that you achieve experience is to try and fail. You are the face of your company, and therefore, you are always representing it, cheering for it, brokering for it, and trying to find the best avenues from which to garner success.
To do that, you can’t be afraid of hearing no. In fact, if you strive to hear no, you still tried, but you also aren’t disappointed.
Success is all about getting yourself out there and getting your company out there.
Plus, if you are genuinely good at hearing no, it will help build your courage and your strength, for when something goes wrong; because even if you have the most successful company, there is always a risk of something going wrong.
Failure is Subjective
As an entrepreneur, if you beat yourself up over every perceived failure, you’ll drive yourself crazy.
Instead, when you ‘fail’ think about how far you’ve come and how this failure isn’t really going to affect your company. You took a risk, and it didn’t work out. That shouldn’t discourage you. That should motivate you.
Even if you feel like your failure is monumental when you look at the big picture, you’ll see that your successes far outweigh your failures and your customers will remember those successes, especially if you are able to handle both success and failure with grace.
After all, both success and failure are the opposite sides of the spectrum for the entrepreneurial life. Most of the time, we find ourselves somewhere in the middle, simply getting through the day; striving toward those goals.
Sometimes, we reach those goals and sometimes, we don’t, but everything always balances out, and the catalyst of those extremes is the way you handle the time that’s in between.
Listen to Your Customers
If it weren’t for your customers, you wouldn’t have a company. Regardless of whether you are a retailer, a service provider, a consultant, or somewhere in-between, if you didn’t have people purchasing your product or service, you wouldn’t be in business.
Therefore, it is amply important to listen to your customers. While you don’t have to take everything everyone says to heart, you do have to decide whether their comment has merit.
A few of the failed entrepreneurs have admitted that this was one mistake they realized they were making after it was too late.
Disagreements Fuel Creativity
It’s important to listen to your customers, but it is just as important to listen to your peers and those that work with you.
Surrounding yourself with a diverse group of individuals, which aren’t afraid to tell you when they think you’re going off the deep end and can rein you back into reality is essential for creativity and innovation.
Disagreement and opposition forces you to at least hear another perspective. Even if it isn’t what you want to hear, it is healthy and is often exactly what is needed to fix a problem or start a new initiative.
In summation, it is always important for entrepreneurs to take the wisdom of others and use it to fuel their own initiatives so that they might steer clear of their predecessor’s mistakes. This doesn’t mean that you will never make a mistake. It just helps you to avoid making the same mistake that could potentially cost you your business.
By Marsha Kelly