Does paralysis analysis keep you from launching out and starting your business? Do you fret about your idea not being totally fleshed out or just plain bad? Many people are scared out of their wits to start a business that could fail. In fact, the SBA cites that 96 percent of businesses fail within 10 years.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that real learning comes from making mistakes, rigorously analyzing them and then applying new knowledge based on those experiences to other situations.
The formal word for this process is called after-action review (AAR.) Created and implemented by the U.S. military, the corporate world has applied this methodology to training, executive education and large projects like corporate acquisitions. The goal is to examine successes and failures of an operation or experience, then rinse and repeat on future projects for better outcomes.
The whole concept of AAR may sound involved and complicated for the average entrepreneur Joe. However, the fact of the matter is that we see serial entrepreneurs engage in AAR quite often: start, fail, then start again. Success may or may not follow a few attempts at business, but in persistence, many entrepreneurs eventually strike gold.
Stanford researchers who studied small businesses in Texas between 1990 and 2011 found that entrepreneurs who failed once in business were more likely to succeed the second time around. If some didn't reach success on the second go round, each successive attempt at business was more and more successful.
If you've been waiting around for the best idea, the perfect opportunity or just enough cash to start your business, don't wait too long. Those things are nice to have in order to start your business idea. However, they are fleeting at best and may never materialize at worst.
Instead of waiting for perfection, just start something. It may be horrendous, poorly executed and ultimately fail, but at least you started. The more you fail in business, the more you can start again- stronger, smarter and with greater odds for success. Winston Churchill himself said, "Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm."