By Cate Murden, Founder and CEO, PUSH Mind and Body
Before starting any business there is a simple truth all entrepreneurs must accept; failure, at points, is inevitable. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to build something amazing; in fact, the only thing you should be afraid of is not trying at all. As without taking risks, you can’t expect great things to happen, right?
Accepting failure as part of your journey is a massive step towards being a successful entrepreneur.
When failure happens, it’s not the end of the world. Far from it. It only feels that way because of the emotional response we attach to “failure”, born out of previous situations we’ve been through. By adjusting your mindset, to reassure yourself that everything is going to be ok, you can take the sting out of whatever failure you’re facing.
The fact is, life is not happening to you – it is happening for you. For from every failure comes great learning, which ultimately will lead to new outcomes and successes and will help you on the journey to becoming the person you are meant to be with the business you are meant to have.
If you’re able to be pragmatic about these situations that gives you the power to move past them quicker. It’s all about re-positioning failure as just another step along the path to success. Move on, push forward and learn from these experiences.
When faced with a pitfall the easy option, or perhaps the seemingly necessary one, might be to drop everything and give up. However, when the road becomes difficult, uneven, lined with obstacles, the “hard-skinned” entrepreneurs are the ones that continue on their way.
It’s important to give real life examples and share our own stories to support other entrepreneurs on their journey. For me, I’m a real solver/fixer by nature. Very used to people coming to me with problems from my days heading up a big team in an advertising agency and being the one to deal with it and finding solutions. Indeed, I used to joke that my job title was ‘Managing problems and delivering bad news’.
So, when it happens not the end of the world now.
That said, finances are a massive trigger for me and, I have an unbelievable capacity to catastrophise! So, as you can imagine, the two things together can be quite the challenge to manage and can send my poor little over-anxious brain straight into stress-mode!
One year, we switched accountants and, due to some mistakes the previous one had made, it did not look good on our books!
I was completely triggered and sat in anxiety and worry for a good fortnight as my brain tried to get to grips with everything that was happening. Let’s be clear, it was my perspective of the situation that was causing me the real challenge here not the actual situation itself.
In those moments, I ask myself some really powerful questions like ‘Is this story true? Does it benefit me thinking it? What would life be like if I didn’t have this thought? What could I think instead?’
And, as expected, the situation passed.
We found a new way of dealing with the situation. There was no catastrophe – like my poor little brain was suggesting there was going to be.
So now I have further evidence that everything will always be okay in the end.
We always find a way. Always.
Facing failure head on
Failure is something entrepreneurs should embrace rather than avoid. By failing at something, entrepreneurs get the opportunity to identify weaknesses that need to be resolved in order to avoid or fix further challenges farther down the line. By facing failure head on, you’re enabling yourself and the company to grow, get stronger and learn.