I read a brilliant and ridiculously candid article today. It was Australian entrepreneur Nikki Durkin announcing the closure of 99Dresses and recounting her start-up story. If you’re an entrepreneur or just flirting with the idea of starting a venture, reorient your priorities for the next 23 minutes and read Nikki’s story.
No one likes failure, especially entrepreneurs. Investing reputation, money and huge effort to build a business that doesn’t achieve a desired result can be terribly difficult to stomach and frankly, excruciating.
That is, until you realise the learnings.
It’s therapeutic to reflect on learnings because it helps you realise it wasn’t all for nothing. And if one of your thoughts while reflecting is “I won’t make that mistake again”, you may have just discovered your calling. Serial entrepreneurs and company builders implement their learnings faster each time they establish a new venture. The learnings from my first venture prove valuable every day at my company AirShr.
Beyond its therapeutic value, learnings are important to future investors. AirShr’s prospective investors often ask about our learnings to date and we’re very happy to share them. In fact, we get a little concerned when we’re not queried about what we’ve learnt. Our experience is that providing a candid perspective on what’s been learned builds credibility.
Sure, this future upside is little comfort when faced with closing a venture you believed in. But here’s the thing, failure isn’t terminal.
If your project or venture has failed, channel the wise words from Hiroshi Mikitani and pat yourself on the back. You have learned a lot, even if it’s what not to do. Your success awaits.