Is Failure a Bad Thing?

ID-10022662We learn from a very early age that it is important to succeed in life and that  failure is to be avoided at all costs.

First of all, let’s take a look at what the word failure really means.

According to the online dictionary, failure is:

1. The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends.

2. The condition or fact of being insufficient or falling short.

3. A cessation of proper functioning or performance.

4. Non-performance of what is requested or expected.

After careful consideration of the above  one might ask, “Is failure really such a bad thing?”

American industrialist Henry Ford viewed it differently.  He said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

As a business owner you need to know that failure is part of the business process.  When you pursue new opportunities or try new ideas, you know in the back of your mind that this might not work but you press forward and take the chance because it might pay off.  When it doesn’t work out and you do not achieve the desired results you hopefully  learn from those mistakes and move in a different direction that will  be successful.

Two wrongs do not make a right.   But one wrong move can help point you in another direction which could turn out to be the right direction.

As a business owner are you afraid of failure?  Does this hold you back from trying something new?

Canadian business magnate Jim Pattison once said: “Only doers make mistakes…. The more you do, the more mistakes you make. Failure in life is not the mistakes you make as you attempt things; failure is when you don’t try.” —Jim Pattison

Business is all about taking risk and experiencing failure.  The important part of the process is what you learn, and how you recover and continue.  Consider failure as part of the process and not the end result.   When we fail we start again with more knowledge and wisdom.  We have learned what not to do.  Being in business can be likened to a journey.  You may take a few wrong turns but if you keep working your way towards your goals, then success will definitely happen.

The Halton Region’s Small Business Centre is here to help you work to make plans and take steps towards gaining success in your business.  One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success. For more information about Halton Region’s Small Business Centre resources, services, including our Access to Professionals program, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at, or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.

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