Failure is an Option

Putting together a business plan, working on an idea, then seeing it all fail is certainly not easy to deal with, but it’s way more common than you may think.

It is estimated that, in the United States, eight of 10 businesses end up failing, according to recent research from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. The good news is that a turnaround following an entrepreneurial disaster tends to be successful for a very simple reason: Successful people get what they want by making mistakes, learning from them, getting up and doing it all again until they get it right. As the Japanese proverb goes, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” It’s more about one’s attitude toward failure—welcoming it and retrying.

Your idea didn’t work out? Accept it.

You probably have heard someone say that, to know if a business idea will evolve, “you should just stop wasting time and implement it.” Indeed, that makes sense based on the history of many organizations. For example, just look at some technology companies that once were garage startups and today are highly successful. The risks involved in the journey of an endeavor are numerous, just as are the lessons learned that come from it. First, if it doesn’t work, accept it. That’s when you will start analyzing the mistakes you should not repeat, and their outcomes will become insightful market analysis for you in the future.

“As a serial entrepreneur and five-time founder of numerous consumer brands, I have started several different businesses in various industries. But I would be lying if I said I’ve never been afraid of failing. Now, though, I see failure has been essential for my businesses because it usually makes me improve my operations. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you should also see an opportunity out of those failed outcomes,” says Rich Heruska, accelerator director at Tampa Bay Wave, a technology accelerator for more than 150 startups and 250 entrepreneurs.

Heruska was the co-founder of Home Discovery, which grew into a 300-person, full-service real-estate technology company, producing more than $15 million in annual revenues. It eventually was affected by the real estate crash more than 10 years ago. Most recently, he sold a growing chain of family recreation centers, AirHeads Trampoline Arena, to an entertainment holding company.

Have you also thought that getting in touch with people you will meet or have met on the way also can lead to new opportunities and, who knows, another project? It is not hard to read these success stories on social media. Exchanging knowledge with those who have been in your shoes will result in different perspectives and solutions for the same problems you have been through or may face in the future.

“Being able to count on suppliers I met with along the way in some of my businesses that failed, led me to new partnerships that I wouldn’t be able to come up with alone. When you fail, you’re prompted to understand the journey of your customer to your product. This is a great place for improvement and coming up with new ideas,” says Saravana Pat Bhava, founder and CEO of, which created the PikMyKid school dismissal application.

As with anything in life, being an entrepreneur requires perseverance and learning from your mistakes. Your next move can be your worst failure, but it also can be your lucky strike. You will never know until you try it out.

Karyn Mathura-Arthur is an Agile methodology implementation leader with experience in operational excellence, continuous process improvement, business transformation, process engineering and organizational change management across multiple industries (banking, insurance, health care, telecommunications, government, retail, etc.).

You May Also Like

Getting past the gamification of feedback

Giving and receiving feedback can be a gift … if we allow that experience to be that. With steady rates of job changes, and seemingly surprising resignations in many offices,

What buyers want now

There’s no question that, within the professional buyer/seller environment, preferences and practices have changed dramatically in the last 18 months. In many organizations—on both sides of the desk—the dynamic between

Kindness from the heart

Some kindness is a courtesy, such as holding the door for the next person to enter or exit. Some kindness is situational, like when someone asks you what you think

Use KARE when growing your business

Whether you are a sales leader responsible for an entire team’s performance or a single salesperson looking to hit your income target, you are well on your way to implementing

Other Posts

Sarasota designers BSWANKY and TWEEDS announce collaboration

BSWANKY, a purse brand owned by Gretchen Bauer, and TWEEDS, a bespoke menswear brand owned by Donald Carlson, have announced a collaboration for three new handbags.  The handbags incorporate vintage

Ritz Carlton Residences Tampa breaks ground on second phase (RENDERINGS)

Real estate developer Related Group broke ground on the second phase of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Tampa Tower II, a condominium development on Bayshore Drive. The Residences is the Tampa debut

St. Petersburg College expands degree offerings

St. Petersburg College has added two new credentials – a Prekindergarten/Primary Education Bachelor of Science degree and a Training and Development Advanced Technical Certificate. The credentials were added to help

FORVIS joins with French firm to form top 10 global network, Forvis Mazars

FORVIS, the eighth largest public accounting firm in the United States, with offices in Tampa, and Mazars, an international audit, tax and advisory firm, based in Paris, France, will jointly