Learning From Failures – Its only a failure if you didn’t learn anything

In the world of entrepreneurship it is very likely that at some point you will experience some form of failure. When starting a business you’re very likely to be starting something brand new, or a new twist to something that already exists. The “new” aspect of starting this business is more than likely not going to be perfect from the very beginning, something that will need to be perfected. It is almost guaranteed that before the business is perfected that it will fail, but what most don’t realize is that is what’s needed in order to find out how to be perfect something. Good things do come from failure. The most important to do with failure is to learn from it.

Failure will lead to success; you just can’t give up before the success can be reached. Steven Schussler in his book “It’s A Jungle In There” provides three things that entrepreneurs need to remember. First, an entrepreneur must remember that failure is not permanent. Don’t let failure paralyze your dreams, let it be a building and learning block for improvement. Secondly, an entrepreneur needs to learn humility from failure. Steven says “ you need to be humbled by your mistakes, not crippled by them”. Thirdly, an entrepreneur needs to appreciate success. You must appreciate success by knowing how difficult it is to achieve it, as well as maintain it. When it comes to failing, it is all about persisting through the adversities that life throws at you, learn from it, and better yourself and your business.

It is obvious that success for any business is very rewarding and this is often all you see when you hear about a successful company. What most people don’t realize is the failure that came before the success. Failure can be very demoralizing, but it can be the necessary tool needed to get the success in the end. In the article “ Do Entrepreneurs Learn from Failure?” by Paul Brown, it states that all entrepreneurs experience failure, including serial entrepreneurs. Paul gives a list of four behavioral traits that serial entrepreneurs have when building their companies to reduce failures or quickly learn from them.

  1. They must really have the desire to put their best efforts forward with their new venture. It can’t be pursued with minimal desire (This ties into the persistence needed to be successful).
  2. Take small steps forward and don’t move to quickly.
  3. After taking small steps forward, always review and analyze the “path” taken. Pay close attention to what the markets are telling you about your business.
  4. After analyzing what you’ve done to this point, continue taking small steps forward to build the business.

When starting a business it is important to realize that some failures are likely to be encountered, but always know that these failures can be stepping blocks to your company’s ultimate success. Be persistent when it comes to building your business. You may not get it right the first time, but as so many of the great entrepreneurs that came before taught us, failure can teach success.


Brown, Paul. Do Entrepreneurs Learn from Failure? Forbes.com. 29 March 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/2012/03/29/do-entrepreneurs-learn-from-failure/

Schussler, Steven. It’s A Jungle In There. New York. Sterling Publishing Co. 2010.  Print.

3 thoughts on “Learning From Failures – Its only a failure if you didn’t learn anything

  1. Chris,

    From my project management experiences, my project failures have been much better teaching moments than my successes. Some of my failures have made the project go beyond the deadline and over budget, but I’ve learned more from those moments. I think entrepreneurs are very similar in learning from their failures. Failures will eventually sprout up but if you can overcome them and learn, all the better!


  2. Lessons learned.

    For so many years failure has seemed like the end. However as we are learning it can very well be the beginning. I like your emphasize on the points of persistence. I too feel that this is key for entrepreneurs. There have been times where I felt like a speech I gave was not the best but then a student will come and speak to me and let me know how much they enjoyed. This is such a great feeling. In my research of failure it was amazing to see all of the very successful people that had failed. This topic is great and more should learn from it. It would be great to include failure with success in study for all Entrepreneurs.

    T. Kwasikpui

  3. Hello again,

    It is very important to realize that failure happens all the time and it all depends on how we react to it. I think you provided good information here. I really like that you had those tips. I definitely want to go the small step route with creating any sort of business. I like to do things in my own way, at my own speed.

    Best Regards,

    Doc Dillard

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