Every success tale lies the long list of failed attempts.
When we think of the names of today’s top celebrities, we can think of the imaginative and innovative entrepreneurs behind their success.
Apple iPhones are connected to our Tesla vehicles and receive the latest news on Twitter. These companies are the perfect example of what it is to succeed in the twenty-first century. However, we must consider how innovative ideas usually remain in place after a string of failed ideas.
Innovation occurs because of problems. Entrepreneurs who spot these problems and attempt to resolve these issues are the ones responsible for creating innovations. Behind every successful story lies an extensive list of failed attempts.
James Dyson: A lesson in overcoming failure
Let’s look at the story of James Dyson, the creator of the famous Dyson vacuums. Dyson was determined to fix the issue of inefficient vacuum bags that lose suction with time. This was a common problem that had not been solved for several years.
Dyson developed and tested 5,127 different prototypes over five years before he discovered the secret and came up with an effective vacuum. The result led to 1983’s G Force cleaner, a revolutionary vacuum that shot up into the spotlight after its first Japanese launch.
The rest is history.
Dyson’s success was not guaranteed. Almost all major retailers rejected the return of his revolutionary vacuum to the UK. Why? It solved the problem as well. The bagless vacuum was viewed as an obstacle to the market for the replacement of dust bags.
Resolving to failure often results in achievement, but it can also mean hitting another wall.
Invincible, Dyson took his product directly to the customer by establishing his production firm. In present, Dyson is a global household name. Rather than rely on retailers, Dyson developed a direct-to-consumer business model that has shaken up the market.
Dyson’s tale reframes failure into an opportunity. Similar opportunities are available to entrepreneurs across the world today if only we can be able to see them.
Flipping failure into innovation
1. Every failure is a unique opportunity to improve
You probably heard the phrase, “Failure is not an alternative.” However, in the realm of creativity, failure is essential. To create something wholly innovative, you must be willing to fail frequently.
The trick is to frame failure as an opportunity to learn. What did you do wrong? What can you improve on next time? What can you do to improve your original idea? What aspect of your current view could be the basis for a fresh one?
When you think of failure as an opportunity to learn, it is easier to accept failure as a learning opportunity. Every time you know a new learning experience, you move just one more step towards achieving success.
2. Your failures can be a success and a story to be told
What do you think James Dyson must have feel when his Japanese success story ended up being the first to turn into a UK failure? It’s tempting to abandon the project now, as he’d already had some success. But Dyson didn’t give up.
Instead, he embraced the “failure” and began the next chapter of his life. The forward momentum is crucial to understanding failure as an opportunity for new ideas; consider it a chance to start over instead of a sign to abandon all hope.
Think about what might emerge from the dust of this mess. What new opportunities have been created? How can I use the knowledge I’ve gained to create something more successful?
3. The first time you try, it might not be perfect, but it’s okay.
Nothing says “failure!” as a first-draft flop. The reality of entrepreneurs is that their first product or service usually could have a more minor success than they had hoped for. It’s enough to make potential entrepreneurs quit their entire businesses.
However, your first attempt can be flawless. You shouldn’t expect it to be because you’re trying to create something new here! The aim is to create something different and superior to what’s already available rather than duplicate it precisely.
If you ask any successful innovator, you’ll probably hear a similar story: their initial product could have been better. The first idea they had may be the product or service of another industry. It’s essential that they take the first step, learn from their mistakes, and continue pushing forward when they realize their flawed idea’s potential.
When you subsequently encounter a setback, do not give up. Consider it an opportunity to come up with something even better. You do not think about it. Your initial “failure” might become the first step toward your most significant success.
The reframing of failure is all in the perspective
Entrepreneurs and innovators would like to see their hard-earned efforts become the success they’ve envisioned. However, that success can be challenging. It’s usually the result of many years (or even years) of failings. The trick is to gain the proper perspective on the failures.
When you see failures as opportunities to grow and improve, they are much less intimidating. With each lesson learned, you move one step closer to being successful.
The next time you fail, keep these three things in mind:
- Every failure provides a different opportunity to improve.
- Your failures are a success and a story to tell.
- It might not be perfect the first time you try, but it’s okay.
It’s all in the perspective when you’re dealing with failures. If you change how you view them, you can transform even the most significant losses you have made into opportunities to innovate and succeed.