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Dealing With Failure Without Excusing Personal Accountability

Encountering failure as an entrepreneur is normal and to be expected. To some extent, failure is sometimes worn as a badge of honor. Statements like

If you haven’t failed 5X as many times as you succeeded you’re not prepared for success.” by Jay Adelson , Co-Founder Digg

reinforce the belief that failure is an essential ingredient of startup success.

But Why Did You Fail?

There are many possible explanations for an entrepreneur failing, including the commonly heard:

the timing was wrong’

‘we ran out of cash’

‘Investors just didn’t have the vision we have’

The same enthusiasm that entrepreneurs have when talking about failure, is not so common when accepting personal responsibility for failure. Without genuine accountability, however, the true value of failure is lost.

Owning Failure

The above justifications for failure can all be attributed to poor planning, execution or presentation by the Founder /CEO. To truly benefit from your failures you must make the shift from talking about the causes of failure in the abstract e.g. instead of ‘we ran out of cash’. Instead acknowledge and accept the failure as occurring ‘because you failed to budget properly and secure a fresh injection of cash’.

It is only when you hold yourself accountable…

Read more: Investor Pitch Clinic

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