6 Keys to Learning from Failure - Invest Southwest - Venture Madness

6 Keys to Learning from Failure in Your Startup

Most startups fail. Much like the game of baseball, failure is part of the process. How you deal with failure will determine your success.

“Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
– Steve Jobs

Understand what caused the failure. Identify the error and find the solution for it. Then, every mistake becomes a lesson. Study it—grow from it. Forge ahead to success.

STUDY FAILURE
In every startup failure, there are many details in the process. Looking at each step, every decision, and finding which play worked and which didn’t will reveal the cause of the failure. It might be one choice, or a series of choices that didn’t work together. Assess and learn from the mistake.

“There are no negatives in life, only challenges to overcome that will make you stronger.”
― Eric Bates

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
Take full and complete responsibility for your own actions, decisions, and intentions. Own it. Say it out loud — I was wrong. I struggled. I made a mistake. Understand your justification and the rational for decisions you made; and realize where your thinking was wrong (even though they seemed right at the time). This will give you the power to adjust. And, it will build confidence for going forward.

“The harder you fall, the stronger you rise.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo

HAVE CLARITY
Struggle is often perception and projection more than reality. When confronted with a hurdle, ask yourself “If I were to let this be easy, how would I approach it differently?” Get your subconscious aligned and in gear to see the solution.

“Life always gives us another change: It’s called ‘To Move On’.”
― Ana Claudia Antunes

BOOST CONFIDENCE
Your brain registers every goal achieved — small goals and large ones. Every accomplishment motivates you to achieve more success. You just have to deliberately be conscious of them. To do this, keep a list of your accomplishments. At the end of the day, every day, write down achievements — large and small — and take a few minutes to savor them. Let this boost confidence and self esteem as you forge ahead. Look for the possibilities. Seize the opportunities.

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
― George Bernard Shaw

MANAGE WORRIES
When you start to imagine pitfalls, visualize what will go right instead of what will go wrong. Don’t repeat or dwell on stories of past mistakes. Move on as fast as possible. Focus your mind on the positive, like that fresh idea, the easy commute to the office, and the latest accomplishment, rather than focusing on what bad thing could or did happen. Stay in the present moment.

“Never feel intimidated by defeat nor death, but rather intimidate life with your dreams.”
― Auliq-Ice

CARRY ON
Push through your resistance to failure and liberate yourself from fear. Relax and remain focused on the task at hand. Trust your intuition. Rather than worry about what could go wrong, generate solutions to any imaginable problem. This will give you confidence to proceed.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
 — Paulo Cohelo

Treat failure as a lesson. Ask yourself, “What did I learn?” rather than beating yourself up for making a mistake. Don’t bring the negative energy from yesterday into today. Today is a new day. See you at Venture Madness 2017.

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Karen Katzorke
Executive Director at Invest Southwest
Karen Katzorke has served as Executive Director of the Invest Southwest since the spring of 2011. Prior to serving as Executive Director, she worked for the ASU Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development for more than six years as Program Specialist and was responsible for the planning and execution of programs and events. Ms. Katzorke previously worked as Program Manager of Entrepreneurial Services at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, where she coordinated entrepreneurial programs and provided organization and promotion for the Arizona Venture Capital Conference. She is experienced with early to mid-stage life science and technology entrepreneurs, assisting companies with access to capital and other expansion and growth needs. Ms. Katzorke has more than 10 years of economic development experience, which includes the Greater Phoenix Chamber and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.