School teaches you that if you aren't passing, if you aren't above average, you are failing. These way above average leaders have a different perspective. They've succeeded by embracing failure.
Entrepreneurship is encompassed with rejection and failure. Being unsuccessful is part of the journey to success. To truly thrive as an entrepreneur and to stand out in your career you are going to need to take risks. Part of risk-taking is facing failure.
In a 2010 interview with Oprah, J.K Rowling speaks to this when she said:
"Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I've met people who don't want to try for fear of failing."
Rowling is the epitome of success, her Harry Potter books are a sensation that inspired movies, video games, and theme parks. Can you imagine if her fear of failing stopped her from writing about a boy with a wand?
By resisting failure you get to use it as a device to succeed. This doesn't mean pretending that failure isn't an option. It means that you aim to succeed in spite of the reality of failure.
It can inspire nonstop dedication to success. You should also use your failures, let them be lessons that keep you committed to your path.
Entrepreneurs hardly--if ever--get it right on the first try. If you instantly give up because you didn't succeed immediately, you will probably never succeed. But if you choose to learn from this, your mistakes and hardships can start to serve you.
Entrepreneurs shouldn't shy away from failure. It is what can lead you to discover something new and exciting--and sometimes even life-changing. In 1997, Jeff Bezos sent out Amazons first annual letter, where he explained the importance of failure.
"Failure and invention are inseparable twins," he stated.
If you avoid failure you avoid innovation. This is an impossible situation for an aspiring entrepreneur to be in.
Entrepreneurs who thrive are ones who solve for societies major paint points. This calls for inventions and concepts that have yet to be introduced. Bezos has demonstrated the importance of this with Amazon. He saw a need in the market and he capitalized on it. At the time, the concept of an online bookstore was unheard of. Amazon now dominates online shopping.
If you don't allow yourself to fail, you impede your ability to create something meaningful.
This is as true in entrepreneurship as it is in any career field. In a 2006 commencement speech at North Western our president at the time, Barack Obama explained that failure is a part of success.
"Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment and it comes with plenty of failure along the way," he explained.
This quote was indented to speak to aspiring leaders of any industry, but it accurately depicts the journey of an entrepreneur.
Creating a successful company or small business take a lot of patience. The highs are high and the lows can be very low. It takes intense commitment and dedication, and it's a journey filled with failure.
The ones who tirelessly peruse it anyway, are the ones who make it.
If you are an entrepreneur who doesn't want to know failure, you are also giving up your chance to meet success. It's simply a part of the process. Each pivot and new strategy are what ultimately lead you to create a purposeful product. Entrepreneurs, leaders and change makers need to welcome failure and know that it is one of the most important variables in finding success.