Failing Forward Successfully

Can Mistakes Be Good For Your Business?

Hopefully you make a mistake now and again, because failure can actually be good for you and your business.

If you haven't made any mistakes for a while, you may be playing it too close to your comfort zone and not stretching yourself far or fast enough to achieve high level goals. To aim high, you must accept some of the risks that go along with learning something new.

Risks come with the acceptance that you will make some mistakes along your journey, but you will want to avoid making costly mistakes or making the same mistake over and over again. Use good common business sense. Every business and every career has its share of challenges. You will constantly be tested in business as new challenges arise or as your business grows and expands.

You will always be challenged with new areas of your business that stretch you past your current abilities and expertise. It may be a big sale, the start of a new business, a new opportunity or an extremely difficult challenge. Yet all failures will help you learn more about your business and help you build your self-esteem at the same time.

Learn From Your Mistakes and Move On

Actually I don't even like the word mistake. I believe that mistakes are simply challenges in disguise. Realistically most of us don't get it right the first time around.

Successful people make mistakes all the time, but the only difference is that most of the failures go unnoticed because they don't give up and keep on going.

Successful people make it look easy. It's easy looking in from the outside.

We don't often notice or acknowledge their failures. Successful people evaluate their failures, come up with new solutions to the challenge and try again - this time more educated than the first.

Successful people also don't allow the fear of failure to stop them from achieving their goals.

If you study the failure and challenges of business you will discover the ultimate success secrets of any enterprise. These are the key lessons an organization learns as they grow, expand and compete in a changing marketplace.

If you want to create shamelessly fabulous success, study all the failures.

Most highly successful people were not successful from the beginning, they had to struggle a little or a lot to reach their peak potential. Walt Disney was actually fired from his first job because he was told that he was not creative enough. Not creative enough? Luckily, he didn't listen to his clueless boss and trusted his own innovative ideas.

We all have a tendency to focus on success and fear failure when things don't go as planned. Don't be too hard on yourself if you feel that you are making too many mistakes to make it to the top. Hang in there and be patient. Once you overcome the challenge you won't have to do it again and you will be failing forward faster.

Success takes time just as it takes time for you to adjust and learn new skills. But, be aware that mistakes will continue to happen even after you have reached a high level of success. You will always need to be learning something new in business to stay innovative and on top of your game. So when you think you have it all figured out and have made all the mistakes you need to make to learn, something will challenge you again and test your confidence.

I've been an entrepreneur all of my adult life and I'm still making mistakes, and plan to keep making them. Once I have it all figured out I get bored. Making mistakes, turning them into challenges and then overcoming those obstacles in business is extremely rewarding. There is nothing that can challenge, motivate and build your confidence faster.

Mistakes and challenges are going to occur anyway, so the sooner you learn from them, the sooner you will become more successful in whatever you do. We tend to reach conclusions about success, but until success is compared with failures - you don't truly understand the whole story of how business works.

Why Don't They Teach Failure In School?

Failures tend to disappear from business education curriculum? Information about business failures is often scarce or ignored completely, yet it is inevitable. On the other hand, information on successful companies and their success strategies is in generous supply.

Companies that pursue unsuccessful strategies either change their business strategies or they go out of business. A successful company is described as having used visionary management and innovative marketing strategies while a failing business is accused of poor business management and overall bad business skills. So why don't we teach future entrepreneurs more about failure? Wouldn't that save us a ton of money from mistakes that could have been avoided in the first place?

Can you imagine telling your banker to add an additional $20,000 for the mistakes that you plan to make in your new business venture? They would think you were crazy.

Yet that is exactly what is going to happen while you develop the business.

You simply must make mistakes to see what works and does not work to attract new customers. It is necessary to make mistakes as any business grows. The reason why franchises have a larger success rate than independent company start-ups is because they have already made many of the mistakes and systemized the business around avoiding them in the future. For the most part, franchises come with proven success systems that were created out of learning from past mistakes.

Debbie Allen has presented to thousands of people in nine countries around the world sharing her innovative business strategies and wealth of business knowledge. She is the author of four books including her award winning book, Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters, now published in five countries. Download a free chapter of this book and sign up for her free online newsletter, Shameless Marketing News at

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