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The Acceptance of Failure

Many entrepreneurs will ratify that failing was never an option when they began their projects and ventures, but many will agree that failure is certainly real and must be dealt with appropriately to ensure you don’t actually fail in the long run.

Failure is never bad, it is simply a learning experience and the stated fact that something just didn’t work as expected.  However, it certainly should not define the final end stage of everything you have done, but rather a turning point and another chance to redeem yourself.  There have been numerous examples of entrepreneurs who have failed in their respective fields only to re-define themselves to a whole new level of success shortly thereafter.  Many remember how Jordan Swerdloff lost all that was dear to him through operational mistakes with his original company 360 Forged and instead of quitting, it came back 2 years later with the rebirth of the wheel by re-inventing a concept and utilizing all his past experience to take ADV1 Wheels into the next level.

Failure is a turning point of a business, as in fact is the moment where the owner must come to accept that a certain way of thinking, product, or service simply isn’t going to be accepted as originally intended.  This acceptance must occur so that the change needed can be obtained as a reaction and actually still allow the individual to move forward.  When thinking about your own business, here are some guidelines to use to determine if a change is needed.  Keep in mind that change does not constitute failing entirely, but could be marketing related, product, or service driven rather than a failed concept. Here are some indicators to use:

  • Lack of sales or stagnant sales despite increased activities around marketing.

If you are in the sales business, then you certainly spend a lot of time monitoring sales and marketing products and services that will increase revenue.  Doing so should result in some sort of awareness leading to more sales or revenue.  If your efforts are not working at all, then perhaps your positioning or marketing skills have failed you, and the time has come to reconsider how you bring your idea to being publicly accepted.

  • No word of mouth referrals.

People should matter to the extent of capacity as they are the individuals that you cater to and should be appreciative of your product, efforts, or concept and certainly should share it with others around them that they believe will enjoy it as well.  When people choose to not talk about something, it is usually due to the poor nature of their experience or even based on their very worst than ordinary experience.  No one likes a business or organization that doesn’t attempt to innovate or improve upon what exists already.  This could mean from lowering the costs or coming up with a higher quality product at the same cost, but remember that innovation is all around us, just that copycats are not welcomed and often looked down as.  Perhaps your business model has failed you.

  • Loss of users or income.

Money is not always a great measure of success, yet one way or another, growth must be occurring somewhere for a business to consider itself successful. Instagram never made money but instead grew users, and while others only focus on money, it is not always the accurate record of growth in the early stages of business.  You must, however, be looking for indicators that the idea you have is spreading and you can do so by measuring your reach, users, sales, or incomes. It is when it keeps going down month after month that you need to start questioning why it is losing its appeal and what others are saying.  Google your own business name to see what others are saying and certainly become aware that 90 days of consecutive losses is usually a really bad sign and perhaps an indicator that change is needed.

There you have it, 3 quick reasons your business or your model might be failing and why CHANGE is certainly not a sign of failure, but rather your acceptance and emotional disconnection to your project is what will bring you a reasonable way to logically examine what works and what doesn’t.

“Fail only to learn, but give up only if you wish to fail.” – Don Sabatini