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Ask Gerber: How Can I Recognize and Overcome Temporary Failures?

MARCH 26, 2019
 
As a business grows, failure is a pertinent threat. That doesn’t necessarily mean the business will fail entirely, but depending on the stage of your business, failure can have a different impact at different times/stages.

However, it’s important to address the difference between temporary and permanent failures, and what you can do to minimize your risk.

Losing a major client or key employee can easily feel like the end to your business. When you’ve experienced a personal setback that limits your ability to run your business, you can’t see how overcoming it will ever be an option.
 
The good news? These are temporary failures!  ­­

The path to success takes time.
 
Many entrepreneurs experience temporary failure time and time again, without ever giving up entirely. Instead, they continue to redesign, reformulate, refocus, and/or (in some cases) come up with entirely new ideas.

The trick to preventing a temporary failure from transforming into a permanent failure is first to recognize it, and then to approach it correctly. Sometimes overcoming temporary failure is as simple as:
  • Recognizing the need to hire a new team member
  • Being flexible enough to take the business in the direction it wants to go rather than the direction you originally planned
  • Maintaining the gumption, enthusiasm, and optimism needed to start again after a first, second, third (or more) attempt at success
First-generation entrepreneurs are uniquely qualified to view failure as a steppingstone for success. Since failure is a common occurrence when you start a business, possessing the personality characteristics necessary to overcome those failures is a blessing. The key is keeping a positive attitude.


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