Embracing your failures and triumphs

Failure is an inevitable part of the journey for many entrepreneurs. Even business powerhouses like Henry Ford and Steve Jobs didn’t succeed at first

The reality is that for every success story, there are several businesses that don’t make it. While small businesses are regarded as key drivers of economic growth and employment, as many as 50% of start-ups fail within two years, according to research conducted by Standard Bank.

Executive coach Penny Jordan says there are many lessons that come with failure. “Some entrepreneurs simply lack the experience and know-how to achieve sustainability. Success isn’t about achieving all your dreams on your first try – it comes down to hard work and perseverance.”

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Here is an extract from I’m In: Essential Advice for Entrepreneurs by Gil Oved, Vinny Lingham and Vusi Thembekwayo (Tracey McDonald Publishers) to give you a little comfort:

Some mistakes appear so harmless that it wouldn’t even have occurred to you to think there was a problem. Yet these are the ones that can cost you the most. They can even cost you your business.

Here’s some comforting news for you if you’ve failed: for people who are willing to try again, the odds of success rise. Statistics show, from the research of a pair of economists from Stanford and the University of Michigan, USA, that second-time entrepreneurs are much more successful than the first time round. One in four businesses closes after a year and another half after the second year. A staggering 71% of those failed entrepreneurs don’t bother to try again. But – and this is a big “but” – the tenacious 29% who do try again are more likely to make it.

READ MORE: How a simple online marketing strategy resurrected Molemo Kgomo’s African doll business

Serial entrepreneur Vinny Lingham says: “I hate failing, but it spurs me to succeed. I could write a book on the mistakes I’ve made, but the important thing is to reflect on them and try not to make them again. Root cause analysis is very important because sometimes the reason you think you failed isn’t the real cause. Don’t be fooled by randomness!”

This article is from the August 2016 issue of DESTINY magazine. Click: here to subscribe.