4 Lessons from failed startups

Not every entrepreneurial journey is smooth sailing. Names like Steve Jobs and Tony Fernandes are just a few of the successful entrepreneurs, the few who made it. For every successful startup, there are hundreds of failed entrepreneurs and startups.

Once in a while, we all fail. That's just part of being human. We fail at reaching our goals, then blame outside influences for not hitting the target. Startups also fail. Not every entrepreneurial journey is smooth sailing and names like Steve Jobs and Tony Fernandes are just a few of the successful entrepreneurs, the few who made it. For every successful startup, there are hundreds of failed entrepreneurs and startups. However, with every failure, there is a lesson to be learnt. The key to success is learning from our mistakes and not repeating them again in the future. Today, we have collected for you a few startup lessons from a selection of failed startups, so that you can learn the lesson behind the failure without having to experiencing it.

1. Accept that you cannot know everything

Just because you are an entrepreneur does not mean you have to know everything about it. It is a journey with a lot of learning curves. So, learn as you go while making mistakes. Nicolas Cole, an entrepreneur with a failed startup noted “Entrepreneurship has humbled me. And I find it humbles a lot of young founders, who often set off to change the world only to feel the weight of their aspirations when they realize it doesn't happen overnight.Theory means nothing until you've been in the trenches. So, be passionate. Set out to do something big. But remember, you won't truly know until you can say, "I've been there."”.

2. Accept advice from the right people

In your entrepreneurial journey, many people may try to give advise whether you asked for it or not. It is absolutely up to you whether you want to take that advice and incorporate it into your startup journey. Not every advice is useful and not everyone is capable of giving you advice. Do only take serious advice from experts with experience. A failed startup founder noted that during his journey, he has learnt that accountants, lawyers, and seasoned business owners should be at the top of the list when it comes to seeking advice. Mike Kappal, an entrepreneur, has said “Accountants can help you interpret your business’s financial state. Lawyers can help you choose the business structure that will best help you succeed. And other small business owners have been in your shoes. They can lend you some of their expertise so you don’t make the same mistakes as them.”.

3. Eliminate things that do not work

When making mistakes, you need to identify what’s not working in your operations and eliminate it. And, you may need to scale back on your expenses. Having to go backwards might hurt your pride, but it’s the only way to propel your business forward. One entrepreneur mentioned that “ I took notes of everything to help me figure out what was going wrong. I found out that there were a lot of processes that slowed down my employees and therefore my business. I also had to get rid of all the extra expenses we were wasting money on”. This also works for employees and physical assets, when someone or something is not contributing, do not be afraid to eliminate them to save your startup.

4. Condition your mind

Being an entrepreneur, trying to start your own startup is not the easiest thing to do. It does not come stress-free. Mentally and physically, the lifestyle can drain your energy. There can be times when things do not work out and it could take a toll on your emotions. If you're an entrepreneur with scattered thoughts and frazzled emotions, you'll react incorrectly to every fastball thrown your way—resulting in more setbacks, bigger defeats, and chaotic up and down cycles. So, do take time to recondition your mind and emotions to be calm and sustained. To minimise mental clutter, clear and organise your working space. Spend time in solitude with your thoughts, do things you love and take time off to spend time with your loved ones.

It is important for entrepreneurs to note that being an entrepreneur and starting up is a journey with a lot of hardships. So, remember to take it easy. Learn lessons from your mistakes along the way and calm your mind in times of difficulties. After all the difficulties, you may have a fruitful outcome at the end of your journey!

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