Why do we fear failures? Because it draws flak! Do you worry that people are highly opinionated and evaluate our performance only to condemn and crucify and finally culminate with character assassination? “He is a misfit”, “doesn’t know how to handle pressure”, “ill-equipped and lacks the faculty in the functioning of an enterprise”, “doesn’t have it in him in becoming an entrepreneur” Comments like these sure aren’t a shot in the arm, neither does it set your adrenalin rising, but they do dampen your enthusiasm and could lead to depression. As a result, you start licking your wounds with self-pity or incriminate yourself in self-condemnation. Do you know why? Because you took it “personally”.
Recently I was watching a program on the TV with my family and there was this toothpaste advertisement. The dentist visits the school and makes every student undertake the gum test and one boy fails. Sneered by his bus mates, he sits alone and aloof near a window when his best friend wraps his shoulder around him and assures “Hey, chin up! Remember, You didn’t fail. Your toothpaste failed. Change your toothpaste. Simple”. I was reclining till then, but this advertisement struck me hard that I sat upright. What a great message through school kids! That’s why I insist the message is more important than the medium. After that I didn’t view that program but read the message in that advertisement which kept replaying in my mind. To me, the ad made more sense to drive home the point that it is not the person but the engagement that failed.
Entrepreneurs will face failures – but it is not that they failed rather the venture failed, or, it was a bad idea or the execution was poor. Whatever be it, even in failure, we stand to gain experience. Someone once said; “Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgments!”. For an entrepreneur, failure is not about giving up, but it is about finding new ways to make it work.
People are entitled to their opinions and you can’t seal every lip that speaks against you. Let it not disturb your sense of balance. If you have the maturity to respond to adversity and prosperity likewise, then you will realize that you have bettered yourself as a human. More often not, we tend to take the results personally. When successful we gloat and blow our trumpet and in debacle we get into depression. Triumph and tragedy are two impostors to be treated alike. Steel unless tested with fire cannot be stronger. If you can overcome the setbacks and still steer through the hardships by enduring, trust me, you will be empowered as there is no better a teacher than failure. If failures are the stepping stones of success, it is when you really savor the taste of success.
Dare to defy; and that includes fear of failure. You should overcome, overpower and overtake. Entrepreneurs are outperformers. They are the ones who are smart enough to flush out the fear that inhibits or impedes initiatives. For me entrepreneurs are like those athletes who see the hurdles on the track not as obstacles but as launch pads that provides them an opportunity to take a leap. The future can be fruitful if you consider failure as your friend rather than your foe.
Naveen Lakkur is co-founder & Director at Compassites. Naveen has a track record of 5 successful IT start-up initiatives in his professional career. He is an expert in building IT start-ups and has demonstrated his proficiency in innovating, validating and converting ideas into working business models. He has participated in 30+ successful ideations. He has also gained experience from large enterprises such as Wipro and Digital and has donned several roles. “Converting Creative Concepts into Commerce with Compassion” is a one line intro of Naveen.