When knowing how to succeed means knowing when to quit…..
Do you know when to quit?! As an investor, I hear from people with businesses at many different stages. Some are just starting out, some are looking to grow. Some are failing projects, and are looking for investment to turn things around. But all of them have one thing in common – they believe they are going to be successful! The good news is that many of them are very successful. But, anyone who has been in business as long as I have will have seen their fair share of failures too.
Fear of failure
Failure is something most people find difficult to talk about honestly. It’s really hard to admit that you’ve failed at something. It feels uncomfortable. Maybe it’s embarrassing to admit that you got something wrong. It’s tempting to try and sweep your failures under the carpet and pretend it never happened.
This is a mistake, and here’s why. If you never admit to your failures, you’re not being honest with yourself, or the people around you. If you don’t recognise something as a mistake, how the hell are you going to learn anything from it, and make sure it doesn’t happen again?
Know when to stop
I’ve had my fair share of failures over the years, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I’ve come back from the lowest of low points. The trick is not in pretending you never fail, but being honest enough with yourself to recognise when something is past saving. You’ve got to know when it’s the right time to walk away.
There’s no point continuing to put money into a business which simply can’t survive. I talk about this more in one of my online business guides, but knowing when to walk away from a failing business is one of the most valuable skills you can learn as an entrepreneur. Yes, that will sometimes mean realising a loss, but better to lose £100k today than to bury your head in the sand and wait for it to be a £500k loss!
Things usually start to go wrong when you lose sight of doing the things you’re good at. For me as an investor, I need to be sure the people I invest in have the right skills to deliver the growth and success we plan for. If not, we might as well all go home!
If you’re looking for funding, you have to be brutally honest with yourself. What have been your successes? But more importantly, what have been your past failures, what have you learnt from them, and what have you put in place to make sure they don’t happen again?
It’s human to fail at things. We will all get things wrong from time to time. The important thing is being honest enough with yourself and your investors to make the difficult decisions when you need to, and being able to pick yourself back up, learn a lesson, and get back on it again.
If you’re looking for funding, either to grow your business or to turn around something you believe can be saved, get in touch!