Everybody fails. From Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk to the proprietor of your local corner store, failure is an unavoidable aspect of life for all businesses. The ability to learn from failure is what separates the best founders from their counterparts.
In a recently-posted Reddit thread on the r/entrepreneur subreddit, dozens of people discussed the lessons that can only be learnt through failure. Here are some of the most insightful perspectives on the lessons learned from failure:
1. Don’t forget to concentrate on sales.
Even if you develop an indispensable product that revolutionizes your business, it will make little difference if no one knows about it. In addition to focusing on the quality of your goods, sales and marketing are critical for spreading the word about your firm. One Reddit user comments, “It’s not 90% product and 10% sales.” It’s primary sales.
2. Learn to identify poisonous personality traits.
Be careful not to be duped by “narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths” when choosing a business partner or employing personnel, as one Reddit user put it. If not addressed immediately, toxic personalities can have a catastrophic effect on your business. Look for a lack of empathy for others and the use of intelligence or charisma to influence peers.
3. Follow your instincts.
If you have a strong belief in an idea, don’t be scared to pursue it independently. The idea of “this is how it’s always been done” might lead to creative stagnation. Even if something has only ever been done in one way, that does not necessarily make it the optimal method. Experiment with novel concepts and company strategies, because you never know when you might stumble onto something spectacular. One Reddit user says, “Sometimes everyone in your sector is doing things badly.”
4. Consider feedback carefully.
Negative feedback on a product or service you’ve put your heart and soul into might be disheartening, but you shouldn’t disregard it. While trusting one’s instincts is essential, it is as crucial to lead with data rather than emotion. “Don’t provide mediocre product feedback,” one Reddit user adds. “My first few of apps failed because I did not consider customer feedback.”
5. Resolve the issue before developing the product.
Your company’s success hinges on your ability to solve a particular problem with the product or service you’ve created. Ensure that you’ve discovered a solution to the problem you’re addressing before building the product or seeking finance.
6. Recognize your service providers.
Whether for e-commerce, web services, or marketing solutions, your firm will certainly need to rely on third-party service providers. Before signing a contract with any service provider, be sure you have a thorough understanding of their terms and conditions.
7. Master the art of saying no.
It can be tempting to take every employment offer that comes your way when you’re establishing a firm, but you shouldn’t make deals to supply services outside of your speciality merely to get quick cash. Concentrate on the areas in which you know you are strong.
8. Put co-founder connections first.
According to one Reddit user, “co-founders require more labour, care, and prudence than marriage.” Although this may be an exaggeration, it is crucial that you and your co-founder are always on the same page. A unified front in front of your employees, investors, and customers will do wonders for your company’s reputation.
9. Learn to delegate.
As your firm expands, keeping track of your schedule will become increasingly difficult. Train your personnel to assume increasingly senior-level responsibilities. It will save you time and mental energy and demonstrate to your employees that you have faith in them. One Reddit user states, “It’s a nice feeling to know I’m paying my employees EXTREMELY well, and I trust them to do an excellent job.”
Remember these words of wisdom the next time a business deal fails or you encounter hurdles while attempting to expand your company. Yoda from Star Wars famously stated, “The greatest teacher, failure is.”