Success means never failing. True or False? At IdeaPros, we feel that FAILURE has gotten a pretty bad reputation and is almost a “swear word” to some entrepreneurs. This is so far from the truth. In fact, failure can actually propel you quicker in the right direction.
Everything we do leads to one of two outcomes: Either we WIN or we LEARN. Whatever your starting position is, this article will help you better understand how to use the infamous “F” word to your advantage.
Perspective is Everything
Failure is something we have been told all our lives is not good for us, so we have come to fear it and consider it tragic. What many entrepreneurs don’t realize is that we cannot be successful without having “failed” at least a couple of times.
“When I went through the entrepreneurship school back in college, they taught us that the average entrepreneur took 2.7 businesses before they had one that was successful.” — Mike Corradini
If you expect yourself to succeed with the first idea that comes to your mind, then you will definitely feel very disappointed when this doesn’t come out the way you predicted. On the other hand, if you believe the road to success is bumpy and full of obstacles, then you are ready to get up when you fall. You are looking at things from the perspective of a successful entrepreneur.
Benefits of Failure
“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that this won’t work.” —Thomas Edison
This is the mindset you need when you are starting a new business. You are going to find ways that don’t work before you come to the final result of what DOES work. It forces you to recognize what isn’t working much earlier in your business, as there is nothing worse than following your vision and not testing it along the way.
The important thing is not to get discouraged.
Product Development as an Experiment
You have a desired outcome (most likely a SUCCESSFUL product) and you have a hypothesis of what your target audience wants and the problem that you solve. Your experiments will involve figuring out what really motivates them to buy. Utilizing consumer surveys will help you to do “experiments” without investing a lot in prototyping. If the result wasn’t what you wanted, change some variables and try it again so that you can get to the desired successful outcome.
Bad Investments and How to Recover from Them
Bad decisions are a reality, but what makes the successful entrepreneurs different is their ability to think critically and identify why something didn’t work. We really have only two options: either we are going to figure out what works or we are going to learn what doesn’t. Again, either we WIN or we LEARN. Once you change your mindset, you will start looking forward to failure because every time you fail you get closer to your goal.
“Failure is not an outcome, is merely a mile marker. Your goal should be to go out there and fail as quickly as you can.” —Mike Corradini
When our partners come to IdeaPros, three common bad investment experiences that they share with us are:
- Investing in licensing companies
Licensing companies can attract people that think they are going to sit on their couch while royalty checks will magically appear in their mailbox, which can happen of course, but in extremely rare cases. Sure these companies mean well, but their model simply doesn’t work. Having a bad experience with a licensing company doesn’t mean you should give up on your dream, it just means you need to recognize that that channel wasn’t the best way to go.
- Investing in patents prematurely
We see people get a patent prematurely all the time before they’ve actually validated their product or app. Even worse is when they go all the way to get the utility patent, the 20-year version and in both cases, they haven’t found the product that is the perfect market fit. Read our blog for more on the myths on patents and learn why investing in patents in the early stage can hinder the development of your product.
- Investing in too much inventory
Buying 10,000 units of your product from China and storing them in your garage before you’ve sold a single product is not something we would advise you to do. You can recover from it, of course, but why would you spend time and energy on something that won’t bring any results?
A Different Approach
When you partner with IdeaPros, we advise you to put money into marketing and pre-selling of your product or app. This will secure the money to finance the production and at the same time you’ve already sold the product. Which means, there is less risk involved than when you produce it first. Our LaunchPad is a great example of that approach. We already have a couple of products and websites. Soon we will have some apps as well.
Want to see how we can help you bring the average number of 2.7 companies down significantly? Apply for a confidential idea review.
IdeaPros is a Super Venture Partner™ who has the resources, experience, and tools to help you succeed at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest in the success of their idea. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.