Failure is an inevitable part of life. Yet failure has a harmfully negative connotation. It seems as though failing at something means doing something wrong, or not being good enough. While at times that may be true, failure is also a part of the journey to success.
In the entrepreneurial world many think that a failed venture means they’ve failed as an entrepreneur–which is far from the truth. And while this fear of failure may be a driving force for a lot of entrepreneurs, it can also make a lot of people freeze. If you’re too scared to try something new, you may never reach your potential.
Whenever I’m unhappy with something in my life, I change it. Instead of getting frustrated or sad, I try something new. Most of the time this means going out of my comfort zone, which–you guessed it–can be really uncomfortable. But this un-comfort breeds an incredible amount of growth.
It also breeds failure.
If you allow your failures to be lessons, you’ll learn to pivot and create things you never thought you could. Elon Musk agrees with this line of thinking. Over a decade ago in 2005 when Elon Musk and Space X were first starting to create the Falcon I and Falcon V rockets, Musk told Fast Company that:
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing you are not innovating.”
This Elon Musk quote is an incredibly crucial concept for entrepreneurs to understand. If you want to thrive you have to put yourself out there–you have to get uncomfortable.
When you look at the widely successful entrepreneurs who brought us companies like Apple, Amazon and Tesla it’s easy to see why they disrupted their markets.
These infamous companies started as ideas. The first ipod, amazon order, and Tesla were so innovative at the time. It’s creators were able to see a pain point in society and find a way to solve for it.
That’s what entrepreneurship is all about.
Failure is always an option, but if you don’t push the boundaries you suffocate innovation–which can be detrimental.
The startups and apps that are wildly successful are the ones that use their innovation to create solutions for their customers pain points. Blockbuster was a great idea for it’s time, but Netflix (and other streaming services) pushed the boundaries of innovation and now there are only four Blockbusters left.
The act of not staying innovative itself can make you fail. So if failure is an option no matter what, you should be fearless in your pursuits. Go after what you want no matter how huge or unheard of the idea is. And if that doesn’t work, pivot and try again.