Failure and the Price of a Mistake

The price of a mistake - Ahmed Al Kiremli

“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

Most people are scared of failure, especially when they make the transition to entrepreneur. Just like when they take an adventure, fear and failure are the biggest concerns of those people. But failure is the biggest tool of learning in life when you take action. When you fail, you learn – you just learn. After you fail, you start thinking, you take a break for a while, then you come back and try to correct your mistake.

If you have a certain project that you’re already working on, then usually it’s a kind of experiment. However, try as much as you can to calculate the possible failure’s reach, so you know where you’re heading and what the worst-case scenario is.

“Never test the depth of river with both feet.” – Warren Buffet

In some projects, the worst-case scenario may exceed what you have expected, especially if you don’t have certain experience. Sometimes something goes very wrong. However, trying to visualize and calculate the lowest possible point will give you some indication of where you are heading.

Sometimes when you look back at what you have done before and the challenges and failures that you have faced, you realize that it’s really what shaped you to succeed later. Failures will make you stronger with time and make you succeed in the future.

The biggest fear of most people is the fear of failing. I think that the most important thing to remember is to not quit your dream because you have failed before, because the biggest failure is quitting your dream. When you have started something, you have to either finish it or quit it after trying all the possible possibilities to make it work. Sometimes you try your best and the business still doesn’t work. However, you should know when to quit certain businesses to reduce damages when there is no hope of success so you can start over again somewhere else. Sometimes it’s good to fail fast and quit a project if you feel that it’s not going to work for you from the beginning so you can shift and focus on something else instead of wasting too much time and then quitting.

In some of my businesses, I felt the business at a certain point started declining. I tried my best to find solutions to buy time to test more methods to try and make the business work, but then I realized that there was no hope to continue based on the tools that I had at that point. In cases like this, you should shut it down and then start something totally new or try with another location for the same business idea that you tried before. But don’t forget to apply the lessons you learned from your failed project to the new project.

Most employees want to feel secure and don’t want to risk anything – I understand that. My advice to you is to minimize the risk by staying in your job while working on a part-time project. Try to dedicate one hour a day to learning something new. I assure you that if you put your mind into it, you will achieve something out of it, whether it’s a year or three years or five years from now.

Well some of you will say, “I don’t care. I work 9 to 5 and I drive 1-2 hours to come back home very tired and then I spend some time with my family and watch some TV.” That’s also completely fine, and I understand that, but still you can find 1-2 hours a day to work on something that will materialize in the future if you focus on it. If you are completely against investing 1-2 hours a day in something, then when you get fired from your job when you are 40 or 50 and you do not know what to do next, face the moment of truth and don’t nag about it.

You need to be responsible from the beginning and plan and think about what will happen in the future if you’re going to continue doing what you are doing now. Most people ignore everything; they don’t care. They just watch “American Idol” in the evening, sleep, and go to work. They keep nagging about the rat race that they are in, and for sure there is no solution for that unless you do something about it. And then they face the moment of truth when they lose their job and they don’t know what to do, because they have spent all their life just doing one thing and building only one column of income.

So you need to keep trying and understand that failure is the biggest teacher in life and business. It’s part of the game, part of the equation of success and of any business. When you approach any project or challenge in your life with this mindset that failure is an opportunity and it’s part of the game, then you will feel comfortable.

Share with us the story of your biggest failure in the comment section below?