There’s this statistic going around the internet that’s false. It says that 90% of small businesses fail. But stats collected over a five year period show this to be false.
The number is closer to 50%.
But still, that means that starting a business is like flipping a coin. That’s some pretty high odds.
Well, like Han Solo likes to say, “don’t tell me the odds.” Because the payoff for sticking to your guns as entrepreneur is huge.
Starting a business and expecting it to automatically succeed is like flipping a coin and expecting it to automatically land on “heads”. How do you get heads when you flip a coin? By continuing to flip the coin.
That metaphor is a little weak for entrepreneurialism. There are some things you can do that ensure you’ll fail up instead of down. Follow these things and you’re likely to succeed the second time you flip the coin.
Embrace Failure as a Teacher
Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same bad results. And Yoda once said, “The greatest teacher, failure is.”
These two men were correct. You have to be prepared to become the student of even your own failures.
Say you start a flyer maker business. Then the paper industry goes south and you can’t get supplies anymore.
You can’t sell flyers anymore.
What do you do? Sit at home and cry? No. You realize that a good business takes research and that you should have seen this coming.
Not All Failure is Terminal
Sometimes you might fail at one aspect of your business. You essentially put a huge dent in your progress and you now have a mountain to climb. Some people might feel like an utter failure when this happens. Those feeling are far from true.
You must remember the ultimate goal of your business. What was your income goal? How much do you want to grow? How many people do you want to help?
If you haven’t set those kinds of goals, even now, in your failure, set them. This will help you keep your eyes up as you climb out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself.
You also need to be flexible with your goals. If you’ve created goals and you realize you can’t achieve them in the time-frame you expected, this isn’t utter failure. It’s just unrealistic expectations.
This is how ultrarunners finish massive distances. They might have expectations for the course before attempting it. But their expectations might not match reality. This means evaluating the situation, shifting expectations, resetting your goals, and creating a new strategy on the fly.
If an ultrarunner didn’t do these things, they would never finish a race.
Prepare for the Inevitable
Remember, you’re likely to be one of those 50% who fail on the first try. Steel yourself for the inevitability of it. Make a plan for if you do fail. Then get your ass back up off the ground.
You’ll be more likely to win the next round.