Failure – Evaluated Experience is the Best Teacher

Failure is key to Success

Show me someone who has never experienced failure and I will show you someone who either just got started or has NEVER done anything.  Failure is part of life.

Are you truly an entrepreneur at heart?  Do you have an… empowering perspective of failure?  Check yourself:

  • What is your attitude toward failure?
  • Do you see failure as a stepping stone or as a roadblock?
  • Do you see failure as something you do vs. something you are?

Employee or entrepreneur… there is a big mindset difference toward failure.  An employee sees failure as rejection and entrepreneur sees failure as correction.  Experiencing failure, for a successful entrepreneur is feedback, a way to learn and grow.

Experience is not the best teacher… EVALUATED experience is the best teacher – John C Maxwell

Evaluated Experience

There was a particular failure that hit close to home with me.  My daughter has always been an out of the box thinker.  She grew up in a home where we didn’t preach “get a good education, then find a good job”.  So, it was no surprise to my wife and me that, a year or so out of college, she came to us with plans to open her own retail business.

She is a fashion goddess and has a particular fondness for shoes.  Shoes are a passion of hers, so a new shoe store was born.  She put together a business plan, went out and got a loan and opened her store.  We watched as she struggled and learned about all aspects of owning and operating a small business.  Rent, employees, insurance, inventory, book keeping, marketing… and everything in between.

As with the majority of small businesses, her shoe store became a statistic.  After a few years in business (stuck in a poor location), she made the decision to close.  This was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever had to sit by and watch… and one of the proudest times for me as a father.  She learned more in those few years than she could have EVER learned in college or as an employee at some company.

I can look at my daughter and see her entrepreneurial spirit.  It engulfs her like the sun coming up in the morning.  To her, this failure was a learning experience.  Her empowering perspective of failure made her experience a positive one.  She made it her teacher.  (I could not be prouder of her… she inspires me.)

I can accept failure, everyone fails.  But I can not accept not trying – Michael Jordan

Failing Forward

I love the book “Failing Forward” by John C Maxwell.  Yes, he dedicates an entire book to failing.  John talks about the life lessons we get from the “evaluated” experience of failure.  He says that while everybody fails, not everybody learns from it.  You can fail and then just move on, or you can fail then dissect the events concerning that failure and seek to understand and gain wisdom from your experience.

It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure – Bill Gates

Have you failed lately?  If not… perhaps you need to step out of your comfort zone and try something… anything.

Here’s to your upcoming failures!  Cheers!  Congratulations!  I can’t wait to hear what you learned!