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Failing In Business To Succeed Second Time Round

May 24, 2008
A key lesson in business and in entrepreneurialism generally is that failure breeds success. We need to learn how to succeed, and that's only possible if we're prepared to fail in the first instance to get things right the second time. Most high profile business and entrepreneurialism success stories stem from some form of failure or another - whether that's in the workplace, in a previous business or in the personal life of the entrepreneur concerned. By adopting the correct attitude to failures in business and in life generally, you can benefit from a more positive attitude, and learn from your prior mistakes.

Entrepreneurialism requires an adoption of the right spirit, the go-get can-do attitude that's required to make the grade. Some people are born with that spirit and a passion for business, which makes them ideally suited to running and growing a fledgling enterprise. But that alone doesn't guarantee success in business - instead, success (and to a lesser extent, entrepreneurialism) depend on being open to risk, and inevitably on occasion failing at whatever it is you do.

Failing in business opens our eyes to the true, harsh realities of risk. Whether our business is financed by our life savings or we're staking our house, these risks are real and all too often, entrepreneurialism takes over and we forget what we've got to lose. However by achieving failure at some stage in our lives, we're able to learn from our mistakes and manage risk more appropriately, almost as an additional instinct, to avoid repeat circumstances in other business ventures.

In some circles, it's said that to be a true businessman you must have faced bankruptcy at least once in your career. Those who start and always succeed cannot possibly have the same depth of character of those that have taken the risks and felt the heat at some stage or another. For true entrepreneurialism purists, it's this risk that makes the process of starting a business worthwhile and enjoyable, and those that aren't prepared to stake it all might just be in the wrong line of business.

Risk generates prudence in future dealings, to a degree that cannot be achieved by simple common sense. It gives us more of a consideration of the particular risks posed by a situation, and allows us to interpret more effectively the threats they may pose to our business, and to our personal assets. There's no more effective tutor than experience, and provided we ensure we learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them in future, we should be able to turn failure into success.

The work environment is seldom as risky as entrepreneurialism and going it alone. Even when redundancy looms, the risks associated with your own business going under in the start-up years is even greater, yet so too are the rewards. As an aspiring business person, it's up to you to decide whether or not you're prepared to take that gamble and to move out of the 9-to-5 comfort zone so many of us are prepared to settle for.
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