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26 September 2019
Management | Efficiency

Success and failure both play important roles in business, and the ability to learn from failure is crucial.

No one goes into business with the intention of failing. However, it’s fairly likely that everyone will come across it at some point in their working life.

It is, after all, part of the process, part and parcel of doing business. And indeed, with the right attitude, failure can be just as valuable as success.

Here are ten important lessons to learn from failure to help you come back stronger:


It’s easy to play the blame game and say it was somebody or something else’s fault that you didn’t succeed.

But if you don’t accept responsibility for your failures, you’ll probably make the same mistakes next time.

First thing to remember: the old saying, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”


Don’t be afraid to unpack your mistakes and really dig into failures: what you did, what went wrong and why.

For example, maybe it wasn’t that investors just didn’t get it, but that your pitch wasn’t engaging or clear enough.

It can be tough, but taking your pride out of the equation will open your mind to change and possibility.

  1. MOVE ON

Accept the failure and get on with it. I.e. look into your mistakes but don’t dwell on them.

For one thing, holding onto unsuccessful endeavours for too long can affect your ability to see opportunities down the line.

So, to learn from failure, take the lessons with you but leave the failure behind.


Sage industry advice has always been to avoid doubling down on a bad investment or business endeavour.

Without a doubt, it can be tempting to come back bigger and better and give a failed enterprise another go. However, it rarely ends well.

Instead, draw on your strengths and interests and think about new avenues you can explore within your areas of expertise.


Sometimes ideas look great on paper or work wonders for their developers, but fail to connect with or entice consumers.

Occasionally, this is because the idea focussed more on being successful for the creator than the needs of the clientele.

Therefore, reassess and ensure that your strategies value the people who are going to be paying for it above all.


The beginning of an endeavour is usually very exciting and full of activity.

But the process inevitably slows. As a result, many ventures fail because motivation and enthusiasm dwindle, and the instigator loses focus and drive.

Following failure, look at how you executed strategies and try to identify what caused loss of focus or motivation. Afterwards, brainstorm ways to prevent it next time.


There’s always room for improvement, a lesson to learn to failure, and a skill to further or develop.

Once in a while, endeavours fail because we jump in without the requisite experience or skills to make it work.

So, find ways to improve in those areas. For instance, read, practice, attend workshops and seminars, or look into online courses or other study.


Nobody is an expert at everything and nobody has to be. Thus, don’t try to do everything yourself.

Failure often follows trying to wear too many hats. Indeed, it’s often a result of trying to cut initial costs. However it usually ends up costing much more in the long run.

Therefore, aspire to be an expert in your field and surround yourself with people who are experts in theirs.


It can be an easy mistake to make to follow where the money is in the current market.

Consequently, many businesses fail because they’re more concerned with being on trend than actually caring about what they’re doing.

Focus on your experience and your passion. If you’re not passionate about your endeavour, then your potential customers probably won’t be either.


Every business has competition. Furthermore, that competition is likely working around the clock.

Your level of commitment will be a determining factor in the success or failure of your endeavour.

For instance, if you planned a full-time enterprise but only committed part-time, there’s a good chance that’s why it failed.

Firstly, decide if you want your business to be a full-time source of income or potentially just a hobby. After that, commit your time and energy accordingly.

In Essence…

There is a lot to learn from failure and plenty of success to be mined from it. But you must be willing to look for it and accept your part in it.

So, don’t give up, be humble, look for the positives, and focus on the lessons that your mistakes provide.

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This content was created by Vocam and is intended to be used only as a guide and should not be relied on as formal training or legal advice.
As standards and regulations frequently change, all information should be considered by relevant local experts and authorities.