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Running a startup business is no easy feat. Popular business owners often tell their success and failure stories. They often share how they started several businesses before they finally found the goose that now lays the golden eggs.

On the other hand, others started but abandoned their business along the line. This is largely because they were not getting immediate results. But this, your story does not have to be like the latter.

Embracing failure in business is an art every small business owner should learn. You can also see the bright side of failure so you know how to maximize your downtime for your progress and profit.

Success is a Process, not an Endpoint

Seeing success as an endpoint is a negative way of viewing any business. This could be the reason why failure seems to be coming up more often than you can handle. Business success is not characterized by a particular achievement but by a series of achievements both big and small.

Embracing Failure as a Startup Business
Embracing failure is part of being a startup entrepreneur

You do not have to hit huge that big milestone before you acknowledge your success. Simply getting up every day without folding up your business is a success. When you acknowledge this, it makes it easier for you. You have the strength to keep pushing knowing that success is a process, it is a journey, not a destination.

So there is no such thing as “I am not attaining success with this business.” Yes, you are. Every single day your business stays up is a successful day for you.

Failure is a Part of that Journey

Now that you have acknowledged that you are actually succeeding at your business, the next thing is to prepare for failure. Failure is a part of building a business. The reason for this is not so complicated.

Most times, starting a business involves creativity and innovation; trying something new. When this is the case, then failure happening is not a sign of weakness or lack of intelligence. You are just trying something out for the first time after all. Don’t be too hard on yourself by expecting things to fall in place immediately.

Most times, those who try and succeed at their first trial are not starting anything new. They are only replicating what someone else has already done in their business. But it is different with you. you are just testing new waters. You are bringing out a fresh product. You are reaching out to a new market that you have not explored before now. All these are new waters you haven’t stepped in before now. you failing at your first trial does not mean you do not know your job. Rather it is a sign that you are innovative and creative and even if you did not get it at your first trial, you are sure to get it in the subsequent ones.

Empathy comes from Failing

Failing at something is never an easy thing. There is the disappointment that comes with it. And there’s the painful truth that you may have to start again. However, what all these do to you is to build empathy in you.

When you finally get it right, you are in a better position to understand what it feels like to have failed once. You will not only offer help to other upcoming small business owners, but you will be able to see what they are going through. This is because you have actually been in their shoes before so you know where it hurts.

What Doesn’t Kill You…

…makes you stronger. This is not just a common saying. It is the truth. When you encounter failure while setting up your business, remember that once you can get out of this, you are coming out stronger.

Remember the words of Thomas Edison: “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” That is the right response to failure. Knowing the ways that won’t work is part of progress and it is not often appreciated, and that also is part of your success story.

Failure Builds Bonds.

As a business owner, building your business and building your team along the way may be a difficult task. And it does not get any easier when failure comes. What can be done?

Let failure work in your favor. One way to build bonds and unite your team is by presenting a common problem before them. And this is what failure does. It gives you the chance to address your team.

Look away from your differences and focus on the thing that binds you together- the desire to succeed. It also allows everyone to assess their strengths and their weaknesses and choose to work together for a better result. Let failure build your bonds and make you more united as a team. Harmony is needed for the work ahead.

Starting anything is hard. Starting a business is even harder. But if you can see success as a process and failure as part of the success journey, progress is certain. Learn empathy from failure and let it bring your team together. And remember, you have not failed. You have only learned the ways that won’t work.

Article First Published on SME 360NG

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