Your startup baby will fail at some point. Failure is natural. Its just like when you took your first steps. Failure is an inherent/systemic part of learning. The moment a baby tries to walk they will fall but they always get back up to try again. Will you and your startup try again after failing? Startup failures can be small or catastrophic. The thing is to overcome failures quickly. Lessons must be learnt. Otherwise the same failures will be repeated again and again. Failure will then become permanent.
Taking our first steps
Learning to fail from a startups first steps:
- Step 1 – Fail to try – Some startups have heaps of ideas but don’t actually implement a single one. Fear of failure may hold them back or they run out of enthusiasm as the reality of the challenge kicks in. Be prepared to fail.
- Step 2 – Fail & learn – Startups fail all the time. Small failures can be an unused feature or a poor marketing campaign. Constant small failures are an extremely important business lesson. Use them. An old friend calls it “the MBA of life”. We have to learn to be entrepreneur’s and innovate through failure.
- Step 3 – Learn & change – We are all at different levels of personal development. The important thing is to Know thyself. See your strengths and weaknesses. Learn to compensate weaknesses with others and let them bring out your strengths. VC’s and Angels look for well balanced teams for good reason.
- Step 4 -Try again – If a startup is not getting customer traction re-align the service or product around customers real needs. If the startup won’t or can’t change, quit and move on. Startups often fail to engage customer needs.
- Step 5 – Keep learning & trying – Even when you have a successful startup pulling revenues , managing cash flow and enjoying profits you have to continue to fail. Any startup or mature business has to stay ahead of their competition. Successful Amazon boss Jeff Bezos still fails trying.
You and your startup aren’t really trying unless your failing. Failure does not mean taking all or nothing chances. Put yourself in a position where your experimenting with smaller manageable losses and keep trying. Churchill said: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
- Learning is the source
- Knowing when to quit flogging a dead Startup
- There is a fine line between entrepreneurship & insanity*
- The spirit of Entrepreneurship
- Elevator Pitch 2.0: Are you Listening & Learning?