I recently spilled by guts on Kimanze Constable’s blog. It humbling and introspective. I hated it…but I needed to say it.
For the truth is, in life failure is inevitable.
Sure it hurts, it’s made fun of, it’s pushed to the side to find the “success stories,” and its generally not welcome.
But it’s unavoidable. Especially for the entrepreneur. But failure, when leveraged correctly, is actually a good thing.
What exactly is an Entrepreneur?
Before I say why… let me explain.
The word “entrepreneur” is derived from an old French word “entreprendre” which means “undertake.” So an entrepreneur is someone who undertakes some venture, enterprise, or idea and assumes responsibility for the outcome. So in reality, a true entrepreneur is NOT solely in the business field.
An entrepreneur can be…
- An author wanting to change the world
- A speaker wanting to make a difference
- A musician working to be famous
- An artist striving to be known
- A leader wanting to take an organization from good to great
- An athlete yearning for greatness
- Or a college dropout wanting to become a business mogul
The main criteria is this: taking the path of most resistance and assuming responsibility for the outcome.
A List of “Failures”
But no matter how great the entrepreneur…they’ve had failures. In fact, what makes them “great” is that they’ve failed MORE times than everyone else!
So here’s a list of some of the great “failures” the world has ever seen:
- Michael Arrington had four business failures before he succeeded with TechCrunch
- R. H. Macy failed seven times before his NY store caught on
- Michael Jordan failed more than he succeeded: lost over 3000 games, missed over 9000 shots at goal, and 26 times he missed the winning shot
- Robert Kiyosaki failed in his first business and ended up flat broke and being hounded by creditors
- Matt Wilson failed by deviating from his mission at Under30Ceo.com and had to take on an enormous rebranding campaign, had to relearn their audience, and regain credibility.
- Henry Ford filed for bankruptcy with his first company– Detroit Automobile Company
- Lady GaGa had doors slammed in her face, DJ’s who didn’t want to play her records, music execs who thought she was nuts, and she was was signed to Def Jam Records but then was dropped after 3 months…before she sold more than 15 million albums, 51 million singles worldwide and became one of Forbes most powerful celebrities
And so on.
I do question the role education has in creating entrepreneurs… but I can never question the role the “school of hard knocks” has.
What role has failure played in your life?