Few week’s ago I commented on one of Abigail Ahern’s blogs about business failure. Lots of people joined into the conversation taking a different approach to failure. Then over the weekend I was listening to Grace Bonney’s (from Designsponge) podcast talking about failure and how to turn it into a positive rather than a negative experience. (If you want to listen to it you can find it here). Everybody goes through some kind of failure, I’d say different levels of failure, at some stage of their lives. The thing is really how we approach it and how we deal with it.
It’s very difficult to say to someone while they clearly going through bad times to keep positive, things happen for reason etc. Because when you are in it you just don’t see any positives at all. But as they say time is the best healer and how quickly you go through failure physically and emotionally really depends on you – how strong mentally you are and your previous life experiences. It’s a battle you have to win within.
After closing my previous business due to my health problems, recession, suppliers and customers closing down and many other factors, I couldn’t watch certain programmes on TV related to my then industry, I couldn’t go into certain shops or buy certain magazines. Even though I was relieved it was all behind me, I had this sickening feeling in my stomach for around a year. Immediately after, I enrolled myself in KLC school of design in London, so my mind was occupied with completely different things and because of that I quickly moved forward but the wound wasn’t healed properly until much later. Maybe because my previous business was interiors too but from more technical and building approach, my progress was perhaps slower as both industries are related and somewhat interlinked. But now when I walk through exhibition events and I see my “old” competitors and customers I feel almost normal and don’t have that bitterness inside.
I’ve learned to accept my path rather than feel sorry for myself and feel down about it all. Now I can see why it didn’t work out. I wasn’t meant to be doing what I was doing then which led me to my new experiences starting with my KLC studies, finding a job within the interior design industry (which allowed me to gain knowledge and practice), working shortly for another designer and then opening my own studio last year.
Because of my experiences with failure in business, there are things, business strategies and practices that this time round I wouldn’t do. My failure taught me big lessons in business which I otherwise wouldn’t have gained or no university can teach.
Failure exists for a purpose. It teaches you something you wouldn’t have found out otherwise. So keep your head high, listen to your instincts and move forward.
What are your experiences with failure and how did you overcome it? Let me know, I want to hear your views and any tips you might have.