In our last blog, we told you all about failure. It happens to everybody, it can hurt, but also help, and, most importantly, it’s important for your future endeavors and eventual success. So, how do you turn your failures into success? Let’s take a look at some important steps and important aspects of this difficult, yet rewarding journey.
1. Recognize and Accept the Failure.
While this is only the first step, it may also be the most difficult one for some. You may have worked weeks, months, and even years on something only for it to fail or even totally collapse. You may have a significant emotional attachment to it. Accepting something like this is not easy, but if you don’t, you will not be able to continue the rest of the journey. There is no shame in admitting failure. It happens to us all. This step may take some deep personal examination and reflection, but as soon as you do it, you can move forward on your path to success.
2. Examine and Analyze the 5 Ws and H
The second step is to examine and analyze the who, what, when, where, why, and how’s of the failure. Ask the tough questions and figure out what went wrong in the different aspects of the failure. Who was in charge of what? What was the point of this? When did we do that? Why did we do that? How could it have been done better? This step is for you to figure out the team’s strengths and weaknesses, however, it will also identify your strengths and weaknesses. These answers will go a long way when making your bounce back. For example, maybe your business was failing on the marketing side of things. Well, why? It looks like we weren’t making effective advertising and were not using social media enough. Who was in charge of that? Were they the right choice for this job? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Where were we advertising? How could we reach our target audience better? When were we posting on social media? Why didn’t we use social media to our advantage more often? If we did make more of an effort on social media, how could we get a solid following? This kind of deep dive needs to be done for all aspects of a business, project, or whatever else the failure may be. You and your team need to fully understand what went right or wrong in every aspect in order to make a successful bounce back because you’re going to use this information in the next step.
3. Choose Your Next Step
The third and final step is to figure out what you want to do next. Use the information you gathered from the previous step and see what you can do with it. Perhaps you have a structured and well-conceived idea for another business. Surround yourself with the team you need, put them in positions relevant to their strengths and weaknesses, get funding, and launch it. Maybe you need to increase your professional connections and get some more experience under your belt. Get a job, learn from those around you, improve in your areas of weakness, solidify your strengths, and make connections. Maybe you want to re-launch the failed business because you are absolutely sure you can pull it off this time around after evaluating its deterioration. Get your team, put them in the right positions, get funding, and go. This is all up to you. Think realistically, but don’t be afraid to take a chance. Your new journey begins with this decision, so take some time to weigh out the options and choose wisely.
There is a realistic chance that you will fail again, but do not get discouraged. Repeat the process. Recognize failure, ask the tough questions, use those answers to influence the decision for the next step of your journey. The pathway to success is a long, difficult road for the great majority of people, however, some of the most successful business owners, executives, and influencers, past and present, have and still are following this process in order to obtain success.
I leave you with a quote from Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company:
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”