Entrepreneuriat : les sources cachées de l’échec… et de la réussite

Entrepreneurship: the hidden sources of failure ... and success

Entrepreneurial failure : that word sums up all your concerns as a leader.

As entrepreneur, you are aware of your responsibilities and challenges of your business. Sometimes you feel like there is a sword of Damocles over your head: the potential failure of all your efforts.

You are not the only one or the only one to think so, rest assured! Failure is seen as very negative and demeaning in our society. Yet the look you take on this failure concept change everything. It can even become a source of success ! Let's sweep the entrepreneurial failure together and see how to make it a force for your business !

Entrepreneurial failure and its causes

Why does a business leader sometimes find himself out of business? Let's take a look at the things that are likely to harm your business.

  • A lack of market targeting. You started without verifying that your offer corresponded to a need.
  • A financial management failing. Lack of capital, difficulties in controlling cash flow, no analysis of your working capital needs, etc. have dragged you into a downward spiral.
  • A bad marketing strategy… Or no marketing at all. You have bet everything on your offer, without investing to make it known to your target customers.
  • A management deficiency. You have not succeeded in uniting your collaborators around you. This has affected the working environment, productivity and efficiency in the company.
  • A development too fast. You managed the commercial, budgetary and managerial aspects very well and you had a promising start ... Unfortunately, you wanted to go too fast, increase your premises, employ more employees, make a riot of advertising ... and your cash flow did not followed.

To go further on these questions, I suggest you read these articles:

These five phenomena are the main causes of business failure. They are clearly identifiable and, if you are well supported and you build your business step by step, with rigor and lucidity, you will lift these difficulties.

However, there is another factor of failure, more subtle and paradoxical. It's the very fear of… failure.

The fear of entrepreneurial failure and its consequences

Most business leaders have fear of failure. This fear makes them hesitant when it comes to taking risks and experimenting. When you budget and allocate resources, you are in effect trying toanticipate risks and cancel them for maximum efficiency.

Your employees are also affected by this aversion to failure. They have every interest in showing you that they are in control, because in your eyes their credibility is at stake and therefore their career! It is therefore normal that everyone in the company, you as well as your employees, do everything to avoid risk taking.

If you want to avoid taking risks for fear of failure, your employees will not dare to propose innovations.

However, this policy is not a winner in the long run.

We live in a time of very rapid change. Consumer opinions change with the news, so do regulations. Ethics have become a dominant value in purchasing decisions. New technologies are constantly changing the situation. The Covid 19 pandemic and global warming are changing the outlook.

The companies that resist are those that know how to adapt and innovate.

In this context, the fear of failure is a major obstacle. A study showed that this fear was a significant barrier to innovation for 31 % of entrepreneurs. It has an invisible influence on your choices and decisions as a business leader. It also has a cost which is not easy to quantify, but which is real.

Isn't it time to change your perception of entrepreneurial failure to make it a force?

Entrepreneurial failure: a force for the future

I suggest you meditate on two examples of an entrepreneurial attitude towards the risk of failure.

  • In the Middle Ages, large merchant companies invested considerable funds to send shipments around the world. The return on investment was not guaranteed, far from it. I suppose that the notion of failure did not have the same meaning for the entrepreneurs of this time as for those of today! They were considering long term profits. In other words, the risk was worth it.
  • Nowadays, Americans also have a rewarding conception of entrepreneurial failure, because it allows to experiment. To acquire new skills and knowledge. To bounce back. We know a lot of success story of self-made-man or self-made-woman who started with resounding failures (I'll tell you about it later).

These two perceptions of risk and possible failure are a strength because they drive innovation. In short, one of the hidden sources of entrepreneurial success lies in what you fear the most: failure! This teaches you a lot about what works and doesn't work, about your strengths and weaknesses and that of your company, about who you are too, as an individual and as a leader.

Business failure: inspiring examples

To end my point, I want to offer you some examples of business failures which will surely motivate you… Not to give up, but on the contrary to dare!

A well-known entrepreneurial failure is that of Akio Morita (Sony co-founder) and his Betamax video recorder, which was ousted by VHS video in the last quarter of the 20th century.

“Don't be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don't make the same mistake twice. "

Akio Morita

Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Henri Ford… also started their careers with failures. But, as the Japanese saying goes, “Success is falling seven times, getting up eight. "

A good entrepreneurial mindset is knowing how to bounce back from failure by building on the knowledge and skills acquired.

As a business owner, you need to develop your trust in you and your desire to experiment. You must also instill this dynamic in your teams, so that they are not afraid to offer innovative solutions.

At this point it's your entrepreneur mindset that it is!

However, working on your entrepreneurial spirit often requires outside help. A entrepreneurial coach helps you get rid of your cognitive biases and leave your comfort zone to dare to challenge your fear of failure.

Do you feel ready to take risks and bounce back?

I suggest you discover my entrepreneurial mindset development method. It gives you essential keys to transcend your failures and turn them into strengths in the service of your business!

Face the fear of entrepreneurial failure! Contact me !

Image credits: PexelsJoseph MuciraDanaTentis

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