How To Transform Your Failure Into The Greatest Driving Force Behind Your Enterprise


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” –Winston Churchill

An entrepreneur can never give up on his/her enterprise. And the truth is that no enterprise can always run smoothly. It comes with its own highs and lows. More often than we think, entrepreneurs have to confront failures. Our society has always taught us that failure is something to be ashamed of. It is a cause for humiliation. But how many of us has the courage to think beyond this stereotype and actually take our failure as a lesson and improve on it? It’s time to change this perspective. It’s time to start looking at the positive aspects of failure and employ them to our advantage. In fact, this is the new trend that is increasingly finding acceptance in the world of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship brings with it myriad challenges and if you are a sport, you’ll view those challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Challenges are pivotal as they provide scope for you to understand the emerging trends of the market. Oftentimes, it so happens that these challenges are so overwhelming that the emotions encompassing them prevent entrepreneurs from overcoming such odds. The wise thing to do would be to turn the stigma associated with failure into a guiding force that will help you further your business rather than letting it overtake your venture entirely.

Now, the important question is, how do you incorporate such a transition for your enterprise?

This is when the Appreciative Inquiry Philosophy’s 5D Theory comes into play. It focuses on the positive in any group or organization and identifies ‘what works’ to create a positive, inclusive future. The 5D’s are:

  • Definition – What is the inquiry

Definition enlists the project’s purpose, content, and what needs to be achieved. It seeks to provide clarity to the area of work you are considering by inquiring into its aspects. This will help you to identify the challenge at hand.

  • Discovery – Appreciating the best of ‘what is’

Discovery is based on a dialogue, as a way of finding ‘what works’. It rediscovers and remembers the organization or community’s successes, strengths and periods of excellence. Through this, you will be able to know your strengths and use it accordingly to confront the challenge.

  • Dream – Imagining ‘what could be’

This sector employs past achievements and successes identified in the discovery phase to imagine new possibilities and envisage a preferred future. It allows you to identify the dreams for your organization, having discovered ‘what is best’.  You have the chance to project it into your wishes, hopes, and aspirations for the future.

  • Design – Determining ‘what should be’

Design brings together the stories from Discovery with the imagination and creativity from Dream. It can be called as bringing the ‘best of what is’ together with ‘what might be’, to create ‘what should be – the ideal’.

  • Delivery – Creating ‘what will be’

This is where you get to execute your plans. This stage focuses on how the design is to be delivered, and how it’s embedded in groups, communities, and organizations.

How Can You Move Beyond Your Failures?

1.Develop a successful mindset

Bill Gates has wisely said: “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure”. No successful man has gotten the taste of success without failure. Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling – they all have one thing in common. That is they became successful only after receiving several rejections from life. One who can learn from mistakes and failures, one who can take heart to stand again after falling down, only he can achieve true success. It never comes easy.

2.Change your perception about failure

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely”, said Henry Ford. Why agree with the lie that society has taught us to believe? Why not build a different relationship to failure instead? Remember that you are making progress even if you do something imperfectly than doing nothing at all. When you do nothing for your enterprise, you are stagnant. Let failure just sting you for a moment. After that sting, you’ll come out stronger. Allow positive thoughts to flow and keep negative thoughts at bay.


Failure is the harsh reality of life. If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t learn. If you don’t learn, you can never become better. One failure can make you analyze every little action of your enterprise and that can be a good thing. When you start analyzing, you can find the weak points of your actions and then you can make amends for that. Trial and error is one of the most effective ways to improve our skills and knowledge. Your failed experiment shouldn’t go in vain: learn from it so that you can avoid such mistakes in the future.

4.Deliberate. Decide.

Never take important decisions in a hurry. Take your time to deliberate carefully on what your next step is going to be. It is often difficult to be clear headed after we’ve undergone a severe blow, and that’s perfectly normal. Remember that you don’t have to do everything alone. You can resort to some outside help such as getting objective advice and support related to a particular area of your life, perhaps from a professional like a doctor, personal trainer, life coach, or counselor. You can also rely on a close friend or partner to relieve yourself of the stress. Once you feel light enough, you can start to think clearly and take the right decisions.

5.Start anew

Instead of breaking down after a failure, view it as an opportunity to make a new start. It’s a new thrill – the excitement, the anticipation, even the stress -of setting up a business again is all brand new. Relish this opportunity, enjoy it and begin with a renewed confidence. Be enthusiastic. Remember that this time you are not a rookie. You have your experience, your mistakes, and flaws to guide you towards improved actions. Now you’re stronger, more resilient and a better entrepreneur than the one who started the journey.

Mistakes and failures don’t mean the end of the world unless you deceive yourself into thinking this. We humans have been blessed with a life where we get more than one chance to rediscover ourselves, to reflect, to learn and to grow. Be a fighter and stand up stronger with every blow that is meted out to you. After all, that is the mark of a true leader.