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Ask Gerber: How Can I Recognize Permanent Failure as an Entrepreneur?

MARCH 27, 2019

While failures tend to be more detrimental in the early years of a business during the growth phase, failure in any capacity can make a large impact on a business (big or small) if they are unprepared. Yes, more profit, experience, and support as a mature business makes it a bit easier to navigate a hurdle, however, it’s important to address the difference between temporary and permanent failures, and what you can do to minimize your risk of them.
 
Contrary to what you’re likely thinking, permanent failure is not the complete failure of a business. Even in the case of an entrepreneur whom starts multiple businesses before one takes off and becomes a success, the failure of one or more of those businesses is just a particular type of temporary failure. Permanent failure is when the business owner realizes he or she is no longer fit to be an entrepreneur.
 
You’d think it would be very difficult to recognize permanent failure. After all, if most entrepreneurs start three, five, even seven businesses before launching one that becomes a success, how do you know when what you’re experiencing is a permanent failure rather than a temporary setback?
 
The answer lies in the available resources and how the entrepreneur feels.
 
Entrepreneurs who are in the midst of a temporary failure (even one that destroys their seventh or tenth ventures) all have certain things in common:
 

·         They’re still enthusiastic about starting a business

·         They plan to persevere

·         They view the current failure as a “lesson learned” that can benefit them the next time around

·         They have the emotional and financial resources to start again 
 
If two or more of the above are missing, you’re almost always looking at a person who has experienced a permanent failure.
But before the panic sets in, there are things you can do to prevent a temporary failure from becoming permanent. Start with one of these exercises:  
 

·         Foster your financial and relationship resources

·         Set aside money for emergencies

·         Commit to nurturing healthy personal relationships

·         Surround yourself with people who add encouragement and support during difficult financial or professional times

·         Vow to create and maintain a strong marriage and close relationships with your children and friends (this one is most important!)
 
Perseverance is tough, but it pays off as long as you learn from your mistakes and adapt your actions to make room for success.

How have you succeeded in business despite temporary failures? We’re talking about recognizing and overcoming temporary business failures here.

 

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