Another Entrepreneurship Project of the  Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University

Let Failure Lift You Up, Rather Than Tear You Down

When you fail at something, do you become jaded and stuck or do you evaluate what went wrong and use it as a learning experience? For entrepreneurs, failure is just a part of the cycle. However, how you deal with failure can make or break you.

Entrepreneur Mark Ghermezian, founder of Appboy and Investor, assures readers that failure happens to everyone—but in times of failure, it’s important to take what you learned from that experience and think about and apply it to what happens next. Ghermezian describes the five important lessons that he learned from failure (and why it’s OK):

  • Failure forces you to think differently: if you’re using the same approach for a problem that you’ve used time and time again, the business may be doing well, but your competitors may be starting to move past you if they’re encountering failure and problem-solving in new and different ways. Try new things—if they don’t work, at least you can move forward on a new angle. Who knows, maybe the next big idea is right around the corner from the original failure!
  • Failing in one area may mean winning in another: Think about Yahoo vs. Google—when Yahoo launched, they were one of the first to market as a popular earch engine, but Google came along shortly thereafter and streamlined design to become the industry leader. However, Yahoo pivoted and now are one of the bigger content providers worldwide.
  • Product marketing is just as important as the product itself: You may have the best, most efficient and sleek product on the market and you can still be at risk to lose to the competition with a substandard product. Marketing is just as essential as creating a stellar product (remember the Microsoft Zune? Nope, didn’t think so… but I bet your iPod is still relevant!)
  • Customers aren’t loyal forever (unless you give them a reason to be): Customer engagement is an essential part of staying relevant in the marketplace. It’s as easy as keeping your social media sites up-to-date and continuing the connection with your customers. Engage them in conversation online, and be sure to keep them in the loop between (and leading up to) new product/service launches and milestones.
  • What you don’t do matters, too: Innovation is awesome… until there are so many new ideas and updates to your product/service that it’s confusing (and something is bound to fail). Keep it simple and try not to overthink and overdesign… this will help you to maintain your value and integrity!

Ghermezian reminds us to “Admit fault quickly and then move on!”

Remember back to a time where something you tried that failed… what were you able to learn from that experience to improve and keep moving forward?

To read more in depth about how to overcome after failure, visit: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247722.

Thanks for reading and until next time… stay WISE!

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