Everyone failed.from Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk For the small business owner of your corner store, putting up with failure is a fact of life for all entrepreneurs.What separates the best founders from their peers is being able to Learn from failure.
in the recently released Reddit thread On the r/entrepreneur subreddit, dozens of users shared their thoughts on key lessons learned only after failure. Here are some of the best ideas for gaining wisdom from failure:
1. Don’t forget to focus on sales.
You can create a basic product that will revolutionize your industry, but if no one knows about it, it won’t make a difference. While it’s important to focus on product quality, sales and marketing are critical to promoting your business. “It’s not 90% product and 10% sales,” wrote one redditor. “It’s mostly sales.”
2. Learn to spot the signs of a toxic personality.
When choosing business partners and hiring staff, make sure you’re not drawn to what one redditor calls “narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths.” Toxic personalities can have disastrous effects on your business if not dealt with quickly. To spot these signs, watch for a lack of empathy for others and the use of intelligence or charisma to manipulate peers.
3. Follow your gut.
If you have an idea that you believe in, don’t be afraid to strike on your own path. A “this has always been done” mentality can lead to creative stagnation. Just because something is only done one way doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Try out new ideas and business models because you never know when you’ll find something great. “Sometimes everyone in your industry does it wrong,” wrote one redditor.
4. Take feedback seriously.
It can be frustrating to receive negative feedback about a product or service you’re passionate about, but don’t ignore it. While intuition is important, it is equally important to be led by hard evidence rather than emotion. “Don’t give up on product feedback,” wrote one redditor. “My first few apps failed because I didn’t listen to my users.”
5. Solve the problem, then create the product.
The success of your business depends on your ability to solve a specific problem with the product or service you develop. Before you start creating a product and finding funding, make sure you actually find a solution to the problem you’re solving.
6. Know your service provider.
Your business may need to rely on third-party service providers, whether for e-commerce, web services, or marketing solutions. Before signing a contract, make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of each service provider you work with.
7. Learn to say no.
When starting your business, it may be easy to accept any job offer your way, but don’t trade for some quick cash to provide services outside of your specialty. Stick to areas where you know you are strong and focus on them.
8. Prioritize co-founder relationships.
As one redditor put it, “Co-founders require more effort, care, and caution than marriage.” While this may be an exaggeration, it’s absolutely critical that you and your co-founder are always on the same page . Showing your employees, investors and customers a united front will do wonders for your reputation.
9. Learn to delegate.
As your business starts to grow, your schedule will become increasingly difficult to keep track of. Work hard to train your staff to take on higher-level tasks. This will save you time and brain power and show your employees that you trust them. “It’s a great feeling to know that my employees are paid very well and I’m sure they’ll do a good job,” said one redditor.
Keep these words of wisdom in mind the next time a deal doesn’t go well or you face setbacks while trying to grow your business. As Star Wars’ Yoda said, “The greatest teacher, failure is”.