What might seem like the end with failure is actually a necessary step in the journey towards success, and failed entrepreneurs often make for successful ones because they have learned valuable lessons from their mistakes and are more prepared to tackle the challenges of entrepreneurship.It is quite the common misconception that success is a linear progression, when in reality, it is a far more complex journey.
While it is true that renowned, hall of fame entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have faced numerous obstacles and failures before ultimately achieving success, there are also numerous innovative success stories that showcase just how bumpy the road to succeeding in entrepreneurship is.
Take Brian Chesky, Co-Founder of Airbnb, who faced a number of challenges when starting his company. Chesky and his co-founders struggled to get their idea off the ground in the early stages of the company, but they didn’t let that stop them, even with a lack of investment and legal hurdles thrown their way. They continued to iterate and innovate until they created one of the most successful online marketplace companies in the world!
But when we come to our region, it gets increasingly difficult to identify the failure stories and learn from them, something Elie Habib, Co-Founder and CTO of Anghami, noted during Step Conference in Dubai, saying: “We need to be much more open about failures within the ecosystem in the Middle East, the what’s and why’s and how’s of things going wrong so we can go about fixing these problems. We owe it to the ecosystem to talk about these problems, these mistakes, so the new generations of startups can learn and go about it in a different, better way.”
And we couldn’t agree more! Failure shouldn’t seem like a stamp of shame, but a learning opportunity after you dust off your shoulders from the fall. Mr. Suhail Algosaibi, Chairman of Tenmou, and a seasoned startup investor/mentor, emphasized the sentiment: “Failure should not be seen as this big scary monster that crushes entrepreneurs’ dreams and destroys their souls. It’s a normal part of the entrepreneurial process.
In fact, it should not be seen as a failure at all but critical feedback, and viewed as a learning experience. Of course, many entrepreneurs have failed at some point. As an example, very few people know that the successful company Henry Ford built was actually the second Ford Motor Company, with the first one having failed.”
The road to success is often characterized by these setbacks because what comes out of them is growth and development. When faced with obstacles, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to refine their ideas and build much needed resilience in an ever-changing scene. This allows entrepreneurs to become more confident and better equipped to handle challenges as they arise. AbdulAziz Al-Jouf, CEO of PayTabs, confided his secrets to being an entrepreneur with us years ago: “Patience and Passion. If you have them, you can really do magic.”
Also, another silver lining of failure can be the valuable network of connections and resources entrepreneurs cultivate. Through their struggles, they develop relationships with mentors, investors, and industry experts who can provide guidance and support. This network can be instrumental in helping them overcome future obstacles and achieve the success they dream about and work towards!
So yes, it is absolutely essential to recognize that failure is not the end, but rather a crucial part of the entire journey. Instead of fearing it, entrepreneurs should embrace failure as a valuable learning opportunity and use it to propel themselves towards the vision they have set for themselves.