Richard Branson has seen some enormous successes in his entrepreneurial career, but he has also had his fair share of failure.Virgin Cars, Virgin Brides, Virgin Cola, and many more Virgin businesses failed for various reasons.But that didn’t stop the Group from continually diversifying and entering new markets with the Virgin brand that we have grown to love and adore.
Provided you’re still alive, no matter how bad the failure you experience, you are here, and you are therefore able to pick yourself back up and try again. My first three startups failed terribly but I still did not throw in the towel. There was a dark period where I invested every single penny from my formal employment into my business and still despite this huge sacrifice it still failed. I kid you not I had nothing to my name and were it not for the payday loans I would have no roof over my head.
Lesson 1: Failure allows you to learn from your mistakes
In the moment, failure doesn’t feel good —Trust me, I’ve felt this myself in some of my own ventures. And in the moment, you don’t really feel that much good can come from that situation.But once the dust has settled and you’ve tied everything up with your failed venture, then comes the moment of reflection and the opportunity to realize how the experience you have just gone through can be used to better guide your other ventures.
What other option do you have? Give up? You still have your life to live — what will you spend it doing? Feeling sorry for yourself that things didn’t work out? No.
Wrap things up, give your failed venture closure, reflect on the reasons it failed, then start again with these lessons in mind.
Lesson 2: Do not make the same mistake
Provided you don’t keep making the same mistakes and you learn from your failures, if you persist and keep getting back up, the law of averages says you’ll find success eventually — just never give up.
Branson was fortunate in that he experienced wild success before his other business failures- I was not so lucky in this regard, so he knew the feeling of exhilaration that comes with being successful in business and I’m sure this taste for success was helpful when dealing with and recovering from later business failures.
For those that haven’t yet tasted success and know this experience so they can use it as motivation to try again, it takes, even more, grit and determination — but it carries the same principles, learn what caused you to fail last time and let this guide your approach differently the next time.
Even the most revered inventor of all times –Thomas Edison– failed 99 times before he got the bulb to work the hundredth time. If you saw failure through his eyes then you would know that you don’t have to get it right the first or even the fourth time.