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Why Failure is Necessary in Order to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

Strategies that entrepreneurs can leverage to quickly recalibrate after making inevitable mistakes.

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Strategies that entrepreneurs can leverage to quickly recalibrate after making inevitable mistakes.

Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide

Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

February 3, 2021 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “Failure is success in progress.” As a quote, it sounds inspiring. But when you find yourself in the middle of failure, “inspired” is usually the last thing you feel. That’s because failure implies a flawed plan or an inherent weakness, which might make you question your abilities. And when setbacks are accompanied by the loss of hope, effort, money, and our most valued commodity, time, it’s even harder to keep perspective. So, it’s no surprise most of us go out of our way to avoid failure at all costs.

But what I’ve embraced over the course of my career is that if you can get beyond the initial pain and take a long-term approach toward achieving your goals, you’ll begin to see failure not as a stumbling block but as a stepping stone on the path to success.

Related: 6 Proven Strategies to Rebound From Failure

I learned some lessons the hard way, but that doesn’t mean you have to. In the spirit of a new year, I want to share some brief examples of my experience with professional failure, how I overcame them, and strategies that entrepreneurs can leverage to quickly recalibrate after the inevitable mistakes they will make by striking out on their own.

See your failures as learning opportunities

This first lesson is perhaps the most important because your perspective is critical. After the dust settles, train yourself to look at your defeat through an objective lens. By doing so you can understand where you went wrong and, hopefully, avoid that mistake in the future.

One error I made early on was blurring the lines between employee and friend.

When I was 22, I took on my first management role at Procter & Gamble (P&G), where I was responsible for 50 employees working in a 12-acre distribution center. Chalk it up to being young and eager, but I mistakenly believed that by maintaining great relationships with colleagues, they’d automatically like me. By prioritizing the desire to be liked, however, I failed. I overlooked both professional and personal deficiencies of several workers I was tasked with managing, which led to a breakdown in effective communication – and productivity suffered.

Over my career, I’ve learned that people in leadership positions first and foremost need to lead. You are there to provide stability, direction, and vision. More than anything, your team depends on you to be good at your job, and people will respect you for your confidence and expertise.

Let failure drive you in a new direction

This second lesson might put you outside your comfort zone, but that can be a good thing. Don’t be afraid to pivot after failure – even if it means changing the trajectory of your career.

When I turned 30, I was working as the vice president of sales for a super successful billionaire in Silicon Valley. He’d purchased a company with the goal of scaling it. But when we got into the process of selling the software, it quickly became apparent that the existing business model was flawed. Rather than the coordinated effort to expand the consumer-facing sales group, what the company really needed was to hire significantly more people inside to generate leads.

Related: 5 Times Bill Gates Screwed Up

I knew I had to go back to the investors and tell them there was a critical defect in their business plan, but it took me far too long to summon the necessary courage to initiate that conversation. That failure taught me to never hesitate or back away from those difficult discussions. It also taught me that bad news early is good news.

While I ended up quitting because of this mistake, I still believed in myself and succeeded in securing a position at Oracle. The failure forced me into a new direction, but it ultimately led to one of my best career moves.

Use failure as a reminder to trust your instincts

The final lesson I’ll share with you is one of encouragement. A painful loss can serve as a reminder to believe in yourself, trust your instincts, and make sure your voice is heard.

When I became CEO in my mid-40s, I wrongly assumed the level of skill and experience of other parties at the company I had just joined. That miscalculation resulted in a significant setback for our business.

lemme While bidding on a billion-dollar asset, I was willing to pay a bit more in order to secure it, but I didn’t speak up and we were outbid. Because of this, we lost.

That misstep made me acutely aware of how important it is to be certain of yourself and remember that you hold a stake in your company’s decisions.

Yes, failure can feel devastating at the time it occurs. But don’t forget that failure helps you appreciate your wins that much more. It also builds character and resiliency, which can help you bounce back faster if and when future failures occur. And while never pleasant, take heart that failure is often a byproduct of striving. Rather than let it stop you, allow it to fuel you, guiding you on your journey to success.

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Entrepreneur

How to give good feedback to your collaborators?

The feedback process must be close and continuous.

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The feedback process must be close and continuous.

Free Book Preview: Unstoppable

Get a glimpse of how to overcome the mental and physical fatigue that is standing between you and your full potential.

June 8, 2021 1 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

This story originally appeared on Querido Dinero

Feedback is the analysis of a person from different perspectives to show what they do very well and accelerate their professional career, but also what they need to improve because it slows their growth.

The difference with the evaluation of results is that the feedback process must be close and continuous, and when implemented correctly it generates relationships of trust .

We tell you how to make it a natural practice in your company:

We tell you how to make it a natural practice in your company:

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3 Lies They Tell You in School That Hurt You in Business

If you hold on to everything you learned at school, you’ll fail in business. Here’s what you need to unlearn.

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If you hold on to everything you learned at school, you’ll fail in business. Here’s what you need to unlearn.

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June 3, 2021 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When I started out in property and business, there were many lessons that I had to unlearn. If your job is to learn a task and follow someone else’s process, then school is great preparation. School teaches you how to be a good employee, not a good entrepreneur. If you hold on to these ideas, they will prevent you from reaching your full potential as a business leader.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly things that you can learn in the traditional education system that can help you as a business owner, but there are other things that will certainly limit your mindset if you carry them into the world of entrepreneurship. It is important to weed out these limiting beliefs while retaining anything that is useful.

Here are three school-taught lessons that you absolutely must not carry with you if you plan to succeed in business.

Related: 5 Habits That Made Me a Millionaire by 25

1. Don’t copy

In school, you’re taught that copying is cheating. But in the business world, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. As the world’s best-known personal-development coach Tony Robbins says, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean taking other people’s copyright-protected work. It means copying business formulas that others have had success with, and once you’ve mastered them, putting your own spin on them. It means most things have been done a million times before, and you can learn from the mistakes of others. It means that while it takes many failures before success is reached, those failures don’t all need to be yours.

Find people who have been there before you and learn from them. This can be indirectly (by reading their books or learning about their businesses) or directly (via mentorship or training).

Related: 3 Ways to Make Passive Income With Other People’s Property

2. Learn everything before implementing

In school, you’re expected to learn everything about a subject before you go out into the real world and start making money doing it. In business, the opposite is true: You need to learn the ABC, then implement it, before you worry about the XYZ. Only once you’ve implemented something have you truly learned it.

Many people will procrastinate and make excuses for themselves by claiming they have to learn everything about a topic before they take any action. Businesses are complex, and you’ll never be able to learn it all. You won’t be able to understand it properly until you get started. Learn exactly what you need to know to begin, and then begin. Keep learning, reading, attending trainings and masterminds throughout your business life, and get better as you go.

3. Don’t make mistakes

In school, you’re penalized for making mistakes. In business, you sometimes learn more from your mistakes than your successes. As businessman and author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, said, “Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.”

Whenever things have gone wrong for me in business, there has always been a lesson. Once I learned the lesson, I was more successful than I was before. Even today, I never stop learning and growing.

Don’t let the fear hold you back. Take action and fix what doesn’t work along the way. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. See the opportunity, act on it and make your fortune.

Related: Cryptocurrency Millionaires Are Diversifying Into Property. You Should Be Too.

Here are three school-taught lessons that you absolutely must not carry with you if you plan to succeed in business.

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Become a Lifelong Learner with Help From ‘Brilliant’

This interactive online learning platform takes an innovative approach to learning.

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This interactive online learning platform takes an innovative approach to learning.

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May 24, 2021 3 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

The world is constantly changing, and with the 24/7 bombardment of ads and information from the internet and media, it’s becoming harder than ever to think practically and positively about what’s happening in the world. Learning how to think is especially important for entrepreneurs as both macro and micro events impact how successful our businesses can be.

While lifelong learning is certainly a key to entrepreneurial success, it’s even more important to learn how to learn in an extremely busy, hectic world. That’s what makes organizations like Brilliant so valuable. Brilliant is an online learning platform that’s dedicated to active learning as an alternative to stressful learning.

In an active learning environment, you’re free to fail, you’re given context for real-world problems, and your motivation comes from natural curiosity. You’re learning because you’re genuinely interested in the subject matter and you understand how it applies directly to your life and work. Nobody can learn everything, but anyone can develop positive learning habits and goals.

Unlike other platforms that just offer lecture videos, Brilliant offers anyone from ages 10 to 110 the opportunity to explore a wide variety of subjects through fun and challenging interactive explorations. Covering science, math, and computer science topics, Brilliant makes learning something brand new or brushing up on something you once learned easy, engaging, and rewarding.

To date, Brilliant offers more than 60 learning tracks in:

  • Foundational math
  • Data science
  • Software development
  • High school math
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Foundational logic
  • Statistics and finance

With award-winning teachers and professionals from MIT, Caltech, Microsoft, Google, and other leading institutions, Brilliant’s courses don’t just teach, but they also incorporate storytelling and offer unique problems to solve so you truly feel engaged with the subject matter. Through Brilliant’s learning paths, you’re free to set your own goals and if you fail, guess what? It’s okay. Feel free to push yourself too far so that you can come back tomorrow and make it a step further than you did before.

One of the great keys to success in entrepreneurship and in life is learning how to think like a lifelong learner. Brilliant makes it possible, which is why it’s earned rave reviews from the likes of the New York Times, NPR, and Business Insider.

If you feel you’re ready to expand your horizons and commit to developing quantitative, analytical, and reasoning intuition in math, science, and computer science, head on over to Brilliant today. The first 200 individuals to sign up get 20 percent off an annual subscription to Brilliant.

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