(Expansion) – In the world of entrepreneurship, failure means having the opportunity to learn and correct for future opportunities. Entrepreneurs with more experience usually have a lot of learning (or failures) to hone their vision and aim. Talking to any of them is a breath of fresh air: ‘failing is fine’, one ends up thinking.
And the truth is that it is so. We fail all the time, and many times we fail even in the initial impulse to try something new. We fail from the idea and that usually instills in us an absolute fear to leave the area that we know and where we believe we are better.
It is not a unique thought: in our country, 75% of people who start a business, including small and medium-sized companies that start a new business model, fail. On many of these occasions, that failure represents debts, unemployment and an investment of time that is impossible to calculate.
The number is more frightening when we see the latest survey conducted by the Center for the Development of Business Competitiveness, which indicates that in its first two years of existence, 8 out of 10 Mexican companies will fail.
Given this scenario, it is worth asking ourselves: is failure really learning or is it a part of our lives that sometimes does not represent anything beyond not having achieved what we wanted?
Apply for a job and not get the vacancy; not be considered for a job promotion; not having been accepted into the master’s program we wanted or not having enough money to pay for it… As professionals, we are more used than we would like to the idea of failure and no matter how prepared we may be, the opportunity, the right moment and the luck, they also play a relevant role.
However, failure is not the antithesis of success, as we were taught to think. Failure is the opposite of movement: it is not shaking when we fall to get back in the ring.
With that in mind, I’d like to share some of the best practices I’ve identified for learning from mistakes and taking advantage of them:
Define our purpose. We change every day, so it is very likely that what we want today is not the same as what we will want in a few months or years, and the sooner we are honest with ourselves, the faster we will be walking in the right direction.
Have an action plan. Is that not the area you want to make a career in anymore? Yes it is, but are you not sure that your growth pyramid is moving at the pace you want? Did you just find out that the investment you just made was not the best bet? Given the overwhelming sensations, nothing like breathing, drawing up an action plan contemplating different scenarios in which you can move and get down to work.
Be flexible in the face of change. Resilience is a great professional skill, you can read here something I wrote about it. Beyond facing loss, being flexible in the face of change, understanding that the world we live in changes at a speed never seen before, will put you on the map of the best leaders.
Protect our motivation. It’s hard not to take a failure (whatever it is) personally, but after the initial blow, you may realize that these experiences, at worst, will make you stronger.
Mosaic of learnings. Rest assured that all the experiences, memories, experiences and processes that we are still going through, give us a diversity of perspectives that are essential to create and innovate.
We live in a time when everything must mean something. I have read this reflection on social networks and I agree with it. There are things that are part of everyday life, such as boredom, sadness and failure, and that are destined to be sticky feelings that we must learn to live with. They do not always come with a bag of lessons on their shoulders, it is true, but even with the mere contemplation of what we have experienced, we will have learned more than we knew before falling.
Failure, in addition to activating our deepest survival instincts, teaches us to think differently, and that is already a huge learning.
Editor’s note: Fernanda Martínez Domínguez is an expert in communication, storytelling and crisis management. He currently leads the External Communication team at AT&T Mexico. Follow her on . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.