Successful female entrepreneurs don’t just survive business failure, relationship failure, or company failures – they turn failure to success! Here are specific ways to cope with failure for businesswomen, with inspiration from Maya Angelou.
“You did what you know how to do. When you knew better, you did better.” – Maya Angelou.
Bouncing back from failure involves accepting that you did the best you could at the time. When you know better, you do better…and the key is to learn from your business failures! One of my favorite books on turning failure to success is When Smart People Fail – click the cover for details. And, read on for specific ways to turn failure to success for female entrepreneurs…
Turning Failure to Success for Female Entrepreneurs – Maya Angelou
“Failure is a cleaning of the house,” writes Linda Gottlieb, co-author of When Smart People Fail. “It’s an opportunity to reorient your career, to inspect it, to relabel it. You learn to keep all your options in play, be light on your feet. Surviving failure makes you bold…Failure liberates you and gives you the courage to risk in a big enough way to guarantee big success.”
Research shows that female entrepreneurs are risk takers and less cautious by nature. Female entrepreneurs are optimistic but not always resilient — which is a shame, because bouncing back from failure may be the biggest predictor of success in business, relationships, and life.
Get real about failure. Failure isn’t a fatal flaw or social disease that renders you helpless and unhappy. Female entrepreneurs know that failure is not a permanent condition. Failure doesn’t make you less worthy, less intelligent, or less capable. Failure isn’t who you are….failure is simply an event.
Stop, take a deep breath, and think. After you fail, figure out exactly what happened. Did your business location lead you to bankruptcy? Were you fired because you weren’t focused? Be honest and specific. To turn failure to success, identify your mistakes and take responsibility.
“If you don’t like something, change it,” said Maya Angelou. “If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Regain control. When you know what went wrong, be deliberate not to make the same mistakes. Female entrepreneurs aren’t doomed to repeat history unless they’re oblivious! To regain control, determine what you did right and what worked in the past.
Also — remember that timing is everything. To learn how successful businesswoman Anita Roddick created the Body Shop, Finding the Right Timing — Anita Roddick.
Connect with other successful female entrepreneurs. Talk to women in business who have survived similar situations. Find out what worked. What would they do differently if they knew then what they know now? Compare stories. The more you hide your failures, the worse you’ll feel; so, be honest about your weaknesses and regrets. Not only is this emotionally healthy, it could open doors to new opportunities.
Adjust your perspective on failure. “I actually consider my failure to become a feature film director as the beginning of what I consider a saner and more successful life,” says award-winning Hollywood director Bert Salzman. “After winning the Oscar, I had visions of going right to the top, and when I didn’t get there immediately, I began to reconsider my life.”
Turning failure into success can be as simple as stepping back, looking at your life objectively, and realizing that failure doesn’t define you.
Work it, baby, work it! To turn failure into success, recycle your skills and talents. Reuse or re-label your abilities by breaking down the elements of your previous work into small, definable skills. Look at yourself differently – through the eyes of a stranger – and don’t be ashamed to share your hidden talents and abilities.
Failure can teach you compassion and humility. Failure can offer you a new sense of power and a different way to connect with the universe – if you let it. For more info on bouncing back, read 5 Ways to Build Resiliency – JK Rowling.
“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: ‘I’m with you kid. Let’s go.’ ” – Maya Angelou.
If you have any questions or thoughts on turning failure to success, please comment below!