Knowing how to handle business failures is one of the major differences between entrepreneurs who give up and entrepreneurs who change world. Anyone who tries to do something extraordinary will occasionally run into setbacks, and so knowing how to handle these setbacks is an essential skill for anyone with a vision. Here are some steps on how to handle business failures.
How to Handle Business Failures:
- Figure out what went wrong, but don’t blame anyone else: Everyone knows that making excuses is not the proper behavior for a business leader, but finding explanations is a crucial part of the learning process. After you have failed, take the time to thoroughly break down what went wrong. Be honest about how various members of your organization may have contributed to the failure, but do not use this exercise as a chance to take pity on yourself or blame others. Instead, take responsibility and identify the problem.
- Make new mistakes, not old ones: Some business leaders will start many businesses before they finally succeed, so don’t expect an automatic home run just because you learned from one mistake. Chances are, this won’t be your last setback. The important part is that you do everything you can to not make the same mistake twice. Remember, Thomas Edison failed a two thousand times before he created the lightbulb, but it wouldn’t have worked if he had tried to do it the same way a thousand times.
- Be both positive and negative at once: To succeed at business you have to have two seemingly contradicting mindsets at once. You have to have the realism and pessimism to see everything that could possibly be wrong with your business. At the same time, you also have to have the positivity and optimism to believe in your business enough to lay down the plans to fix these problems. A mindset like this one is especially crucial when you are recovering from a failure.
- Get up again: After you have readjusted your attitude, identified your source of failure, and built a plan to ensure it never happens again, you have to get back in the arena. Don’t sulk. Think of how much better the world might be if so many people with astounding potential hadn’t given up when things got tough. Brush yourself off and get back to it.
Most business owners put their hearts and souls into their businesses. Seeing a company or important project fail can be devastating. Understanding how to handle failure and use it as a tool for success is one of the key characteristics of a great leader.
Garland & Mason, L.L.C. is a New Jersey business law firm that fights to help business owners succeed.