Failure is a big thing these days. The idea that 'failure is the road to success' is the kind of reverse or maybe perverse psychology that is meant to spur you on to succeed. And while you read about the stupendous, almost-nonstop failures of NOW-famous and successful people – it doesn’t quite cut through the sting of failure when it happens to you and your small business.
As small business owners business failure is a real and present danger in our lives; from the failure to acquire and maintain customers to the failure to compete successfully in our chosen fields. What's worse is that the fear of failure in business can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Here are my tips to dealing with the fear of failure and failure in business:
1. Hurry up and fail as quickly as possible. When you open your business, get your failures out of the way as soon as possible! I am not kidding: get your friends and family on board as your first customers and use them as your guinea pigs. Get their feedback, learn from your mistakes with them and then go forward into the world. You'll still make mistakes, but you will have - hopefully - gotten over your rookie mistakes and can confidently go out and build your business one-successful-step-at-a-time.
2. Allow yourself to fail. Then ask yourself why you failed and then learn from your mistakes. After a less-than-successful business meeting or sale or work session – do a post mortem: ask yourself what went wrong, when did it go wrong and then consider what steps you can take to either avoid or at least improve your chances of creating a better outcome the next time.
3. Improve your professional skills. When doing your post mortem (above) consider the possibility that you may need to improve a professional skill set (perhaps take refresher course in a specific professional skill) or acquire additional related skills.
4. Improve your business skills. When doing your post mortem (above) consider the possibility that your professional skills were acceptable, but you need to improve your business skills. Ask yourself: did you handle the customer correctly, did you manage her/his expectations of your services correctly. Consider working with a consultant to improve these areas.
5. Change your market niche. When doing your post mortem (above) consider the possibility that the target market you chose for business may not be the kind of clientele you can handle or understand. You may feel more comfortable working with older or younger clients or with clients from only one kind of background. Consider working with a consultant to improve these areas.
6. Share your failure with a sympathetic ear. Find colleagues in your field or understanding friends or family members that you can share, vent, cry and then hopefully laugh over your failure. You need to work through the failure so you can pick yourself up again, dust yourself off and then open the door to your success.
Whatever the circumstances of your business failures, remember that failure is hard but not life-threatening (in most fields). Talk it over, get it out of your system and then go out there and make your business work!
Do you want to open yourself to a more successful business? Are you lost in the social media jungle? Let me help you re-energize your business and rediscover your passion in your profession. We’ll work together to improve your online exposure and find the perfect target markets for your business.
Contact me today to schedule a free introductory meeting. Yochi Eisner | 052-3413249