Every day we feature a Quote on Twitter at nine in the morning. They’re meant to be inspirational, thoughtful or amusing starts to the business day. From the responses we get, the most popular are those about failure. Here are a few.
‘Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.’ Winston Churchill
‘Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything.’ Marilyn Monroe
‘Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.’ Robert Kennedy
It’s not surprising that this is a popular theme. We’ve all experienced failure. Every new venture involves risks, primarily the risk that something fundamental will go wrong. The main thing is to minimise the consequences. At Hampshire Workspace, we offer flexible short-term contracts for the very reason that starting a new business is full of uncertainty and we know, if something does go awry, you don’t want to be stuck with commitment to pay rent for the next two years or whatever.
When, not if, one of your projects goes belly up, it’s important not to take it personally. The lesson from those entrepreneurs who kept on failing until they finally succeeded is that your project may have failed but you are not a failure. You merely made a mistake. Business, as life, is about learning from your mistakes and doing better next time.
You certainly shouldn’t worry if you don’t get it right first time- you’ll be in excellent company. His school teachers said Albert Einstein would ‘never amount to much’. The young Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he apparently ‘lacked imagination’. The Beatles failed the audition to get a recording contract with Decca.
And if you never succeed? There’s a quote for that eventuality too. It’s from the playwright Samuel Beckett: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’
This blog was written by Paul Lewis, owner of the small business marketing consultancy The Lewis Experience and online retailer Your Life Your Style, both based at Hampshire Workspace, and former Head of Marketing and Operations at The Mayflower Theatre. You can connect with him on Google+ and LinkedIn.