As an entrepreneur and someone who is not afraid to take risks, back myself and learn from my mistakes, I truly believe that in business, failure has been one of my most effective teachers. I'm not talking about catastrophic failure, I mean ideas or initiatives that didn't work, business concepts that didn't fly, etc. This is why I am always inspired by stories our clients share of how failures and setbacks have provided valuable lessons and insights that ultimately led to their current business success.
Success in business often involves taking risks, and failure is an inherent part of that process. Embracing failure as a source of learning and growth can contribute to long-term success in the business world.
I often say to clients that this experience is your most valuable commodity as a franchisor or business leader. In fact, this knowledge and understanding have ultimately built a robust business foundation and brand, which is why people invest in franchises and licenses. You’ve done all the hard work for them.
When a business venture or strategy fails, it offers us an opportunity to analyse what went wrong. As humans, we are more inclined to reflect on our own performance when we fail at something rather than succeed. This critical examination can uncover mistakes in our strategy, execution, or decision-making. Ultimately helping us make more informed choices in the future.
The more failures we experience, the more resilient we become. As small business leaders, we can’t always rely on others to fix the problem for us, so instead of dwelling on the problem, we go into ‘solutions mode’ and adapt to these changing circumstances. We learn to bounce back from setbacks and refine our approach to achieve our goals.
This is the basis for the saying 'necessity is the mother of all invention'… Failure can drive innovation and creativity. It often forces us to think outside the box, explore new approaches, and find innovative solutions to our challenges.
Entrepreneurs are inherently risk-takers, and the lessons we receive from failure can lead to better risk management practices. We begin to make more calculated decisions, taking into account the lessons learned from our previous failures.
Personally, one of the best personal traits I believe a business leader or franchisor can possess is humility. Failure is a humbling experience for sure. It can certainly knock the wind from your sails and remind even the cockiest person that success is not guaranteed. Along with humility, it increases our empathy and understanding toward others who are facing similar challenges. This is super important for franchisors, and I love hearing from business leaders that they want to franchise because they want to mentor and support others on their own self-employment journey.
Although failure doesn't always guarantee success, at the very least, failure leads to personal growth, increased self-awareness, and a deeper understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. At best, It can help develop important leadership qualities such as perseverance and determination and help us strike a balance between learning from failure and avoiding unnecessary risks that could jeopardise the viability of a business.