If you’re not willing to fail, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. The simple fact is that entrepreneur failures mean that you aren’t playing it safe. You’re blazing new paths and sometimes those paths end in disaster. Not only should you not hide these mistakes, you should celebrate them and tell potential investors about those mistakes. Here are three ways to profit from your entrepreneur failures:
If you are talking to a potential investor and your failures come up, don’t pass the buck. If you were the entrepreneur and in charge of the project, then any failure falls on you. It wasn’t the fault of market conditions, a derelict employee, or anything else. It’s your fault and you learned from it. If you’re willing to pass the buck now, you’ll be willing to serve up excuses when you have the investor’s money.
Capitalize on Good Relationships
Just because a deal went bad doesn’t mean that good didn’t come from it. There may have been a piece of the idea that could be salvaged later and behind those parts are good people that helped to create them. Every project brought in top-notch people who could be used on future projects. Don’t let those contacts get away. On the other hand, don’t hold on to those underperformers. If you know they contributed to the downfall of the project, let them go.
Study Your Mistakes
Entrepreneur failures are best forgotten, right? Not if you want to do it better the next time. If you don’t face your failures and learn from them, you will repeat them again. Figure out what went wrong and learn from them.
Don’t forget that many of the best entrepreneurs have had failures just like yours.
Steve Jobs, an original founder of Apple, was fired in 1985. Only after he acquired Pixar and made that a success was he asked to come back to Apple where he made it in to the most successful technology companies of the 21st century.
Dean Kamen, the creator of the Segway human transporter, has 440 patents to his credit but the Segway is the only one that he is famous for.
The fact is that the investors and partners you are trying to attract have had failures just like you. If you try to “spin” your way out of those failed projects, you’re more likely to turn them off. They want to know that you’re willing to try something that hasn’t been tried even if failure is at the end of road. Embrace your failures and be proud of them. You’ll get ahead faster if you embrace your entrepreneur failures.