Entrepreneurs are created for a variety of reason, but the most pressing question is ‘have you been successful because of skill or luck?’ Most entrepreneurs will be very offended at this question, but it has merit and whether we like it or not every story of success is tinged with the luck. You were at the right place, with the right product and you met the right person. Just as likely as having been lucky, the fact is that the successful entrepreneurs of the minute have no more business acumen then the failures. What is different is that everyone wants to talk to the success. So what can failure teach us about success?
It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game
I hate to break it to you, but your parents and teachers were right. Success is great but it doesn’t allow you to gain the skills that you need to survive being an entrepreneur. When you fail you learn that chances are hard won and you had better be prepared. This kind of work ethic doesn’t happen overnight and it comes from a steady diet of practice and experience. That wonder kid, stop watching him and focus on your game. When your big break comes, people are going to be asking for your expertise so have something to show them.
Here today, gone tomorrow
Success is a hard won road and the climate of entrepreneurship seems to scream at us that it can happen overnight with that one big break. The reality is that the ‘big break’ usually takes years and you have to be committed for better or for worst. The icing on the cake? Once you have success, it can disappear like it never existed. This is where failure gives you its gift. Having lost anything before you can put any challenge in perspective and you know that if the worst case scenario happens, you will dust yourself off and start again. Being risk adverse is not in our blood. Being risky is what makes us entrepreneurs.
Skill is a relative term
I know I’m about to make some enemies here, but this is the truest thing that I have ever learned. Skill is a relative term. The reason is that everyone values different things and while you may be an expert in your field, if you can’t convey that knowledge in a tangible way that makes sense to your customers then your skill isn’t valuable. If it isn’t valuable it isn’t a skill in the business world. Skill comes in the ability to anticipate changes and create a plan to weather those changes.
Success is an enigma and everyone has a theory on what makes you successful. Show me an entrepreneur who has never failed and I will show you a caricature of success. Failure teaches you what you are made of. As an entrepreneur asking people to believe in you and what you’re doing, that’s the first thing you should know