How to handle failures?
Kirjoittanut: Judiel Patrick Cayabyab - tiimistä Crevio.
This essay is written by Manpreet Kaur, Ashanthi Thathsarani, and Judiel Patrick Cayabyab
Failure… have you ever experienced failure or feels like you are a failure in school, work, business, family, or life in general? If yes, our essay is for you. Failure is inevitable. No one can escape it even the robots cannot escape it. Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates all of these people experienced failures.The pharmacist who created Coca-Cola experienced failure. When Professor Wilson Greatbatch changed the medical world when he inserted the wrong electrical resistor and watched as the device pulsed stopped and pulsed again. He created the implantable pacemaker and could regulate the human heart. Even the most successful human being experienced failure in life. We have all failed. But how all of these failures can be an early indication of success? How can be these failures turned into blessings in disguise?
FAILURE IN LIFE
During my elementary and high school days, I was really consistent having good grades in school. My parents were very happy because whenever they received or saw my grades, I was really very outstanding in class. So, I was very depressed when I knew that I failed in my one of my subjects in college. I do not know how I will tell to my parents about this or should I tell them about this? This is my first time to fail in my whole academic life. I do not know how to process it. I do not know how to absorb or accept it. I really do not know what to do. I know this is really funny but I feel like my life was going to end. The second time I felt like I am a failure is when I was rejected to go to Dubai to work. My family spent a lot of money for processing of papers. I also wasted a lot of time and effort. I was thinking back then that I should have work on my first job after graduating college instead of trying my luck to go overseas. What I did after this was, I look for a job and start earning money to help my family. But still, my previous failure did not stop me to take a step forward in reaching my goals. I tried my luck again to work overseas and this time in Canada. Same process… My family spend a lot of money for processing of papers, I did again waste a lot of time and effort and in the very last minute that we knew that the manpower agency who was helping me to go to Canada is not really existing. It is a ghost company. I felt again that I was really a failure and I disappointed my family again. I was really depressed that time. But it did not hinder me to reach my dreams to go overseas to study or work. This time I planned to go to Korea to work. But one of their requirements is you should know how to write or say the basic Korean alphabets and letters. So, I enrolled to a school who teaches Korean language for 6 months. But unfortunately, I did not pass the Korean language test. Again, same process on how I cope depression from my previous failures. I said it to myself I want to give one more shot. I will not give up reaching my dream. I tried again to apply to work overseas and this time around was in Japan. Same application process like Korea. I enrolled to school who teaches Japanese language. I show commitment or I really persevere this time. I exert extra effort on studying. I want to make sure that this time, I will pass the examination for Japanese language. I passed the first and second stage of the test. But in the third and final test, I failed again… I am very optimistic that I will pass the test but failure hits me again and this time I really felt so different compare to my previous failures. I process this failure different compare to my previous failures. Yes, I failed again for the 5th time in my life but this latest failure, I realized that not all failures can lead you to failure and that you need to experience all of these failures to mold you as a better person, as a better human being. Your mindset will be changed whenever you experienced failure. One more time, I will try again to study or work overseas and this time, to Finland… And look where I am today, I am here in Finland. Despite all of the adversities, misfortune, bad luck, and distress, one of the biggest factors I showed whenever I faced failure is perseverance. I always think that there is a reason behind all of my failures and it really showed in my own experiences that not all failures can lead you into failure. There is a really big chance that failure is actually an early indication of success.
HOW ENTREPRENEURS HANDLE FAILURE
Entrepreneurship refers to the activity of setting up businesses by taking on financial risks in the hope to make a profit. On the other hand, an entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bears most of the risk, and enjoys most of the rewards. Notably, entrepreneurship is essential in many ways to the individual and the economy. For instance, entrepreneurs offer solutions to the gaps in the market by creating innovative products and contributing to economic development by providing employment and government revenues through tax. However, a significant proportion of entrepreneurial ventures fail. In this case, a venture failure is when a business stops its operations because it can no longer make a profit or it is no longer viable financially. Ideally, failure is not always on the mind of entrepreneurs when starting a business, but failure is a real part of entrepreneurship. Against this background, this essay discusses how entrepreneurs handle failure.
Failure or success of any entrepreneurial venture can be caused by individual (internal) factors and external environmental factors. Internal factors are those that are under the control of the entrepreneur, while external causes are those that are beyond the control of the entrepreneur. In many cases, a combination of both causes can make entrepreneurs fail.
One of the reasons why entrepreneurs fail is due to poor financial planning. Many entrepreneurs fail because they lack proper financial planning for their ventures. This includes being too easy with credits, getting into binds of cash flow, and spending the money meant for a venture into doing the wrong things (Ahsan, 2016). The second reason is due to bad planning and lacking strategy. According to Piadehbasmenj (2016), long-term planning is essential for any entrepreneurial success. When mapping out growth for their ventures, entrepreneurs need to conduct market research to assist them in establishing who their customers are and their needs. Also, entrepreneurs need to determine the competition, recognizing who their competitors are, and becoming proactive concerning trends so that they do not remain behind. Osborne (2013) adds that one internal factor that makes many entrepreneurs fail is lacking purpose and a weak value proposition. This is because the purpose drive is reinforced by solid value propositions. These set the tone for the direction that a business is heading. Thus, a lack of values and purpose could imply that the business is operating on no footing or has a weak one. Notably, touch-and-go decisions and resources that an entrepreneur commits with such traits (weak or no purpose and value) are not likely to attain the desired business objectives. If an entrepreneur employs workers, these are the values and purpose they can identify themselves with, resulting in outstanding worker commitment. Without this commitment, productivity suffers, and their businesses fail to succeed or succeed by accident due to a lack of planning, which is very dangerous (Osborne, 2013).
The fourth reason that makes entrepreneurs fail, according to Ahsan (2016), is having the thinking that one can build a new business without significant effort. The author asserts that the path of entrepreneurship requires the entrepreneur to work harder and put everything one has into the precious business. Failure to work harder the business no chance to become everything that one desired it would be. Another reason why entrepreneurs fail is due to the lack of a dashboard with key performance indicators that are clearly defined. According to Osborne (2013), for an individual to create ad operate a business successfully, there must always be key performance indicators that can be monitored on a weekly, quarterly, hourly, monthly, daily, or yearly basis. Without this, it becomes impossible to create a successful business.
Also, ineffective marketing strategies play a role in entrepreneurs’ failure. Entrepreneurs start businesses with the aim of selling their products or services and making a profit. Accordingly, this requires a good marketing strategy as this is the backbone of any business. It creates awareness about a business’s service or product offerings among its customers and drives demand. In this case, an effective marketing strategy should have a good correlation with the business objectives and long-term marketing plans (Arhin, n.d). Conceivably, businesses must strike a balance between generating value for their business and value for customers. To attain this, entrepreneurs must evaluate their overall landscape of customers, determine the segments of customers they should target, and then consistently engage with the customers in every interaction across services, products, brand messaging, and solutions. However, most entrepreneurs fail because they lack proper or have ineffective marketing strategies(Piadehbasmenj, 2016). Furthermore, weak leadership is another factor that causes entrepreneurs’ failure (Ahsan, 2016). Business leaders’ values and ethics, their conduct, and communication are instrumental in tone setting from the top. These tone shapes decisions, relationships, and actions across their company. Thus, the right leadership tone is the bedrock and starting point for the effective overall management of the business and corporate governance. Without the right leadership, there can be a bad reputation for the company, resulting in the loss of ethical customers and critical employees, eventually leading to a business failure (Arhin, n.d).
Finally, economic challenges also play along, as they can adversely impact entrepreneurial ventures no matter how well they function. For instance, exchange rates play a significant role for businesses that import raw materials, interest can impact entrepreneurs’ ability to raise capital, and local currency deprecation can cause an increase in raw materials cost and negatively impact overall production cost. Thus, entrepreneurial success relies on the economic atmosphere to be prosperous and healthy (Arhin, n.d).
Failure is compulsory for entrepreneurs because numerous external and internal factors affect the business leading to failure. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs find it tough to accept failure and deal with it, resulting in anxiety and depression. However, the literature points to the fact that failure is inevitable and good as it can provide lessons that can act as a stepping stone for entrepreneurs to succeed. Notably, how an entrepreneur handle failure determines whether or not it eventually results in success (Atsan, 2016).
One-way entrepreneurs handle failure is by accepting failure. Accepting failure is essential, as many entrepreneurs give up because they do not want to accept their failure as a lesson. In this case, accepting failure entails avoiding blaming others or pointing fingers and taking responsibility (Riar et al., 2021). Atsan (2016) asserts that many start-up businesses fail for reasons that can be avoided. This happens because entrepreneurs fall in love with their business ideas and ignore other significant factors needed to build a business. They neglect to do proper market research and fail to properly manage cash as well as the policy related to accounts receivable. That is why they should accept failure, as every issue they may be facing leading to failure has a reason behind it. Admitting the failure before getting raised by any other and watching the issue developing into something dangerous (Singh et al., 2017).
Failure offers critical learning opportunities for entrepreneurs as it results in entrepreneurial knowledge development and acts as a founding experience. Therefore, entrepreneurs handle failure by learning ways to recognize opportunities and learning the way to overcome conventional obstacles when managing and organizing new ventures. In this case, entrepreneurs use the knowledge gained from failed ventures to better manage subsequent ventures in the future. Failure acts as a stepping stone for entrepreneurs to spot new opportunities and gives them the experience to explore those opportunities. Overall, failure can enhance the entrepreneurial preparedness of entrepreneurs for successive entrepreneurial activities (Atsan, 2016). Cope (2011) adds that previous experiences from failure increase the ability to better cope with newness liabilities and minimize the uncertainties and obstacles linked to setting up a new venture, such as adaptation to changes, getting financial start-up capital, having access to business and social networks, and legitimacy building. Prior experiences offer entrepreneurs the opportunity of learning new knowledge which can be readily applied in other ventures and, thereby, providing entrepreneurs with the ability to create new products new technologies and enter new markets with greater success.
Another way entrepreneur handle failure is through failure management to benefit from failure. Besides accepting failure and learning from it, entrepreneurs can better handle failure in their businesses by managing those failures (Lee & Miesing, 2017). According to Jeng and Hung (2019), entrepreneurs learn from failure through knowledge generation and learning facilitators. Knowledge generation entails identifying the failure, analyzing the failure, and deliberately experimenting with the failure. On the other hand, learning through learning facilitators involve fostering a culture in the business that favors experimentation that gives an entrepreneur a way to be sensitive to the warning decline signs and normalizing failure. Part of managing entrepreneurship failure is through using the contingency plans that entrepreneurs put in place in case of failure. Having contingency plans help to prepare entrepreneurs mentally to accept failure and find ways to maneuver through the failure and rise again (Lee & Miesing, 2017).
HOW TO HANDLE TEAM FAILURE
Team is full of challenges and failures is the one of the aspects of team journey. Most teams don’t reach their goal not because of failure, most teams don’t live their dream because they give up. We can see it’s not the failure that stops us, but that most stopped at their first failure.
When we were kids, we started to walk alone but sometimes we fell down but we continued to walk and now we are walking by our own feet without even trying. Team journey is never stopping we have to continue with everyone’s feet and we have to walk together. A team combines individual strengths with a collective commitment to perform well and getting on well together. There should be a sense of unity, enthusiasm, individual commitment and common interests to make the team to be succeed. Team members are coming to projects with different expectations, perspectives, and level of tolerances. No one likes to get failures in their life or in their team journey. But importance of learning from mistakes and failures. When team started their journey can struggle to bounce back from big blunders.
When team get a project for achieving in same goal, when team didn’t make it or couldn’t fulfil the goal then the time, we have to recognize our failures. As we experienced leaders’ feelings are far more contagious than team member’s, so team members also responsible for each and every activity which going on the team and every team member should be act a role to be part of projects. If team members did a role to be part of projects this leads to ambiguity. The Duties of team members shouldn’t be amorphous for team members to know their role and duties and ensure that effort and time are not overlapping. If team identify their role to play in the team that’s one way to figure out failures in the team. If each team member fulfil their obligations in order then it will one way to figure out failures in team. Lack of communication usually, low performing teams typically start with low levels of communication to perform an assigned task. After that communication rolls in high peak and decreases to the bottom line. Then, there will be a final rise as they scramble to meet their targets or goal. But in the case of high performing teams, they maintain their communication at high volume and proper communication channels which is greater. Whenever team members communicating major issue in multicultural teams where non-native speakers may feel stigmatized compared to native speakers, and struggle to understand completely. This leads to one of team failures and to avoid this native speaker must understand non-native speaker’s difficulties and at the same time, non-native speakers should not be embarrassed to communicate something when they don’t understand. Lack of self-discipline is also one of team failure reason, discipline is to induce yourself to do the things you find hard, boring or unimportant. Acquiring self-discipline is the hardest task we will ever tackle. Lack of persistence, people love to start new projects and new activities, but very few of team members push it through to the end. Persistence is the biggest cause of success. If we don’t give up, we will most likely succeed. Failure cannot cope with the persistence. When some team members have this Negative personality, success comes by applying power and power is attained through cooperation with other team members. If we have a negative personality, we most likely won’t get cooperation from other team members. Overcautious, if we cannot choose because there is no guarantee of success, we will be stuck with whatever the other has left for us. life is full of element of chance; we cannot escape from that. If we want to overcome with these failures, we have to make clear that the things which we are doing in the team, such as transparency is more important fact that we should focus on and the other important fact is that communication method and well communication skills. However, we cannot avoid failures in our life not even our business or career life and we cannot avoid it when we are working with team also. We already have so many failure types and reasons for the failure but we have to overcome with these failures.
But as per my experience failure actually helps you to recognize the areas where we need to evolve, so fail early, fail often, fail forward. Failure makes team stronger more connected because we face it together not alone.
Entrepreneurship is a field full of challenges. Entrepreneurs face many downs and ups that can turn them down, but this is a part of the journey to establishing a successful business. It is vital for entrepreneurs to stay confident during challenging times. Eventually, after the challenges comes success since failure promotes future entrepreneurial success even though it can be socially, psychologically, and financially costly. This is because mistakes and failures provide entrepreneurs with opportunities to expand their experience and knowledge and should not be seen as impossibilities that make them quit and forget their dreams. Therefore, if entrepreneurs want to become successful, failure should be seen as an opportunity, and they should learn ways of dealing with pitfalls and rise again. Being prepared help to prevent entrepreneurs from making emotional decisions after encountering failure, which can be detrimental. This can result in compounding the problem and failing to benefit from learning from failure. As part of managing failure, having contingency plans is essential for entrepreneurs to make rational decisions.
The road to progress is not linear. The awful truth is that no matter how hard we try, we could never avoid obstacles along the way that keep us from having a smooth-sailing journey towards success. The key is to keep yourself afloat, no matter how the tides get rough and how hard it drags you down. To keep failure as only a mere mindset and not a reality will keep you from treating failure as something that is temporary, and not a final resting place that you are bound to be trapped in once you commit mistakes.
Failure is a mindset – you can only become a failure if you allow it to become your reality, and no one else could ever dictate what you are, but you alone. On the other hand, your success and progress depend on no one else but you as well. You create your reality, and it is entirely up to you to create the life that you desire. If you free yourself from the idea that mistakes and unfortunate events equate to failure, you would allow yourself to treat these setbacks as obstacles that are an integral part of the journey.
The mind is powerful. The things you manifest and put into action will lead you to the results that you want to achieve in life. If you think and admit that you are bound to greatness and achieve the best things in life that you aspire, then you are already halfway there. Setbacks are necessary to add spice to the journey. It will also make your skin a lot thicker and mind stronger going through these obstacles, but these are all part of the journey. After all, the reward is always sweeter when you worked hard to get it, not when it is handed to you.
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