How To Overcome Failures And Turn Them Into Wins
If you are in business long enough eventually you will fail at something. Often times it is not the mistake that hurts you but how you react to it. It is natural, and almost expected, for your business to stub their toe at some point along the way. In fact if you do not fail you may not be giving your business the best chance at success. Failing at marketing or losing a deal you have been working on for a while is not a fun feeling. It can take weeks and even months to fully recover from it. However the sooner you face your failure and rebound the better you and your business will be. Here are five ways to react when failure happens in your business.
- Own It. The single worst thing you can do when you make a mistake is run from it. By doing this what you will find is that you will only make the matter worse. Instead of pointing fingers and looking for someone to blame face the problem head on. Even if other people may have contributed you need step up and accept responsibility for the failure. The people around you don’t want to hear excuses or hear you point the finger at someone else. If you blame someone else for your failure at some point you may end up blaming them. By accepting responsibility you will gain the trust and respect of your network. They will appreciate the fact that you owned your actions and took whatever the consequences were. Smart investors know if someone or something was really at fault without you telling them. If you run from your mistakes you are bound to make them again.
- Make Amends. There are times when you say and do things you regret in the heat of the moment. While you can never take back your actions you can lessen the sting by making amends. If a mistake you made impacted someone you need to reach out to them and apologize. Simply saying that you are sorry may not be enough. You need to explain your motivation and what you were thinking. They may not agree with what you did and how you did it but they will appreciate you reaching out to them. This is a very underrated step that many people do not have the courage to do. It is never easy saying you are wrong and apologize. The longer you let this go without taking action the worse the problem becomes. By only apologizing when a new opportunity comes your way you can bet that the other party will not be as inclined to work with you. Making a mistake not only hurts you but can impact the people around you. If it does you need to make amends as quickly as possible.
- Learn From Your Mistakes. Before you can put your mistakes in the past you need to take a minute to evaluate exactly what went wrong. In some cases the mistake is obvious but other times it is not as cut and dry. As difficult as it may be you need to break down what happened and pinpoint where the mistake was made. Even if the mistake was largely because of someone else you need to figure out what you could have done to prevent it. Maybe there was a lack of direction or communication that led to the problem. Perhaps you had an unrealistic view of the deal or the property and jumped to conclusions. As obvious as it sounds you never want to make the same mistake twice. Learning and accepting what you may have done wrong isn’t the easiest thing to do but is essential for moving on.
- Don’t Take It Personally. Every person in every business has done something they regret. This is just the nature of the business. The key is not to take your mistakes personally. You don’t have the ability to use hindsight. Of course every poor decision looks bad once you know the outcome. If you make a mistake it doesn’t mean you are an idiot and your business is horrible. There are many potential reasons for your error. What you can’t do is beat yourself up over one mistake. By sulking on one mistake you can compound it and make it even worse. You won’t be as quick to make decisions or look for new deals. You can second guess yourself at every turn and soon enough you will lose many of the good things your business has built up. Being a successful investor requires Teflon skin. As hard as it may be you can’t take your mistakes personally.
- Move On. Fortunately most of the mistakes you make are not going to cripple your business. They may set you back a bit but in most cases you can recover. At some point after you have evaluated what you have done and what you can change you need to simply move on. Turn the page and get over it. It is always best to have a self-deprecating attitude and not take yourself too seriously. By finding humor or taking a light hearted approach to your business the people around you will do the same. Instead of there being tense moments when a mistake is brought up you can laugh at it and move on.
Business failure and mistakes happen to everyone. Don’t let one false step destroy something you have worked months or years to build.