It’s all about perception. 

In the UK bankruptcy is seen as a failure whereas in the USA, many investors do not back business owners if they have not failed at least once.  It is seen as a prerequisite to success.

There is no success without failure. I believe this statement is what makes John Maxwell’s classic book “Falling Forward” a must read for any entrepreneur serious about overcoming their self-sabotaging beliefs about failure.

Yes, more and more women “are going off on their own” and entering the world of self-employment; but it’s important that they leave behind the mental beliefs and obstacles that held them back in the corporate world.  Unconscious bias, pay gap, lack of representation and promotional opportunities which impact your self-confidence and self-worth.

As you face some of the challenges of raising finance; access to networks of influence and the paucity of appropriate mentors; gender led businesses can be a real struggle for survival.

In the fast paced world of business, I believe that this is no time to be worried about the notion of failing if you are serious about taking your business to the next level.   The secret of moving beyond failure is to use it as a lesson and a stepping-stone.   Maxwell believes that the major difference between achieving people and average people is their perception of and response to failure.

Can you reach your potential?

Running a business requires creativity and an innovative response to the services and products you offer your customers. They are looking for solutions and you need to be able to deliver.

History has shown us that many of our most successful entrepreneurs have a track record of failed ventures.  But that did not stop them from pushing forward.   From Edison to Steve Jobs to Richard Branson; Mary Kay to Michelle Mone to Oprah; many have failed their way to success.

Can failing forward help women in business?

Failing forward means that as you leave the challenges and mindset of the modern workplace behind you.  Learn to take risks as you develop a new definition for failure.  Become more resilient and determined as you execute your business model.  It’s important to understand that whatever the outcome you believe the potential reward is worth it.

Is it that easy?

Of course not, but technology means that entrepreneurs are no longer shackled by conservative business models which shun ‘failure’.

Look at high street companies like Jessops, Toys R Us, Prezzo and Thomas Cook.  They failed to innovate as the demands and buying behaviours of customer’s change.

How does ‘failing forward” impact your business decision making process?

Research shows that women are not risk adverse but take calculated risks throughout their business life cycle.   Many understand that by playing safe it will not give them the dynamic growth or creativity they strive for.

Personally, I believe everyone should have a bit of ‘moonshot’ thinking in their business.  This will not only keep you motivate, but will help you to achieve the breakthroughs you desire whilst building a structure for the future.

Think about it, then take the risk.

Failing forward is simply your belief system.   It’s your response system to dealing with bad experiences, challenges and actions that don’t go to plan in business.  Failure is temporary, a momentary event in business.

Remember to just get up, get over it and get going!