30 Entrepreneurs Discuss on Whether Mistakes or Failure Have Affected Their Success

Business fails are the best form of learning. Hiring an expert or a coach to walk you through establishing your business can help you minimize the chances of failure but some entrepreneurs will prefer walking alone. Whichever path works best for you, you’ve got to be comfortable with failure and most importantly learn how to improve or deal with it. Don’t be too hard on yourself for the failures and don’t give up yet.

We asked entrepreneurs and business owners whether mistakes or failure have affected their success and here are the responses.

#1- Yes, it helped me recognize my strength

Photo Credit: Brigid Davey

I feel like failure is something that is necessary for everyone to experience, at least once. I believe that failure is in fact the best teacher. Over the years, it has taught me a lot. Most importantly, it has taught and helped me to recognize my own strengths and shortcomings. The first step was identifying my weaknesses and the reasons behind the failure. Only after this could I work on myself to not only grow professionally but also personally. This is what allowed me to thoroughly enjoy my successes.

Thanks to Brigid Davey, Nimble!

#2- Yes, it taught me to grow and improve

Photo Credit: Adam Van Tassell

Making mistakes in my business definitely affected it, sometimes more negatively than positively. However, feeling like a bit of a failure and making mistakes taught me to grow and improve. I learned from these mistakes and failures. So in the end, most of them actually impacted my business positively. They created situations where I had to improve and thus I was able to implement what I’d learned from previous difficult situations and create a better outcome.

Thanks to Adam Van Tassell, Birch Forest Lodge!

#3- Yes, I realized the importance of marketing strategy

Photo Credit: Zachary Weiner

As a small business that focuses on finances, we didn't realize how important marketing would be to help sustain our business as we thought we could depend on word of mouth and our networking. However, especially during COVID, we faced immense issues with small businesses trying to cut costs and reduce their spending budget to only necessities. This limited our options and left us with a few months of struggling. We realized that our marketing strategy was faulty and that we needed to focus on generating leads and potential clients outside of our network.

Thanks to Zachary Weiner, Finance Hire!

#4- Yes, my errors impeded my progress

Photo Credit: Erik Wright

Initially, while drafting my business plan, I made a few filling errors since I did not take the time to read the part thoroughly. The second time around, I had to redo the plan and pay careful attention to avoid making the same error. This did not significantly impact my success; it merely delayed it since I had to take more time to resupply. I can learn from my errors and look where I am now.

Thanks to Erik Wright, New Horizon Home Buyers!

#5- Yes, I learned to develop new methods

Photo Credit: Caitlyn Parish

My success as a business owner has undoubtedly been affected by my mistakes and failures. Regarding my professional life, one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't learn from inevitable mistakes sooner. Learning from one's mistakes is only half of the equation. You're setting yourself up for further failure if you don't have the motivation to learn from your past errors and stop them from happening again in the future. After each error I've made, I've realized that the best way to move forwards is to develop new methods to ensure that I don't repeat those errors in the future.

Thanks to Caitlyn Parish, Cicinia!

#6- Yes, it made me stronger as an individual

Photo Credit: Amr Salem

Mistakes or failures can affect one’s success in different ways. It can make one lose momentum, confidence, and motivation. But this is not the end of the line. The mistakes or failures that we have faced have taught us valuable lessons that made us stronger and more resilient as individuals. Failure is a part of life and it should be embraced rather than avoided at all costs. Mistakes are just another way to learn from our mistakes and improve ourselves for the betterment of our future endeavors.

Thanks to Amr Salem, INKredible Scalp!

#7- Yes, they have been stepping stones to my success

Photo Credit: Ryan Dunn

Failures are frequently a stepping stone to success in life, regardless of the field. The first several years after establishing my side business were difficult, and I experienced a significant number of downfalls. Failures and missteps played a critical role in shaping my firm into what it is now, from missing significant opportunities to improperly managing specific activities. For me, doing the incorrect thing and making mistakes led to significant progress. It gave me suggestions on how to improve my services.

Thanks to Ryan Dunn, Custom Stickers!

#8- Yes, it helped me get close to perfection

Photo Credit: Matt Gillman

What I love about failure is a negative impact having a positive outcome. My business path is a persistent approach. I take account of my failures, learn how to improve them, and produce success. It has given me much-needed experience on what works when to stop, and when to take action. I learned a huge lesson that by making mistakes you get close to perfectionism.

Thanks to Matt Gillman, SMB Compass!

#9- Yes, I treated them as an opportunity

Photo Credit: Michael Perry

Every single mistake and failure you encounter will help define the kind of entrepreneur that you'll become. There is no other way to grow but to meet them head-on. The question is – Will you be timid and shy and evade all issues no matter what, or will you be cunning and ruthless and move forward There's no question that mistakes and failures can have a negative impact on any business venture. But at the same time, I believe that these setbacks can also be excellent learning opportunities. Examining what
went wrong will help you avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Thanks to Michael Perry, FitnessFixedGear!

#10- Yes, I've learned from them

Photo Credit: Leonardo Gomez

Truth be told, I've learned more from my failures than my achievements, and without them, I probably wouldn't be as successful now. Even though it is conceivable to commit errors that are significant enough to ruin your company, it is improbable that this will happen. True failure, or giving up on your firm, almost always results from a decision made by the owner. It's critical to analyze your thinking in certain circumstances to ensure that you aren't giving up because it's the simple solution.

Thanks to Leonardo Gomez, Try Runball!

#11- Yes, it taught me several valuable lessons

Photo Credit: Jack Miller

As a business owner, I’ve had my fair share of failures. But at the end of the day, failures simply mean goals that weren’t attained, and that’s not always a bad thing. In my case, failure taught me several valuable lessons, mainly on how to get back up after a stumble. It’s keeping your head in the game, your eyes on the prize, and not letting setbacks affect you. To me, that’s the biggest lesson failure has taught me: to maintain your focus and keep soldiering on.

Thanks to Jack Miller, Get Rid Of!

#12-  Yes, it has improved my success

Photo Credit: Noah Davis

You can't run a business without making mistakes. The only way we know exactly what we're doing is if we try things out and learn from them. I have made many mistakes in my life, and I have learned from them. Do not be afraid of failure, it helps you grow and reach your ultimate potential. It will happen no matter what you try to do to avoid it. Use it as a lesson, don't take it personally but see it as a temporary setback. I am someone
who can confidently say that mistakes and failures significantly improved my success.

Thanks to Noah Davis, Power Up Cook!

#13- Yes, I was able to pursue my goals

Photo Credit: Fernando Lopez

Mistakes and failures have made me far more successful than I ever imagined. If you let failure and mistakes destroy you, you’ll never achieve what you want. Failure is inevitable. Whether you fail at something today, tomorrow, or ten years down the line, that’s better than the alternative – making your world so small that you can’t fail at, or achieve, anything great. When I stopped worrying that failing at something made me a
“failure,” I was able to pursue the career goals I wanted most.

Thanks to Fernando Lopez, Circuit!

#14- Yes, I learned to keep fighting for a solution

Photo Credit: Theresia Le Battistini

When I fail, I stay grounded in remembering how different my life would have been had my parents stayed in Vietnam. In not taking for granted the opportunities given me that my parents didn’t have themselves, obstacles don’t seem so big and I can muster the courage to never accept “no” for an answer. Of course, I have encountered a lot of rejection but will continue to use the values my parents instilled in me to endure these challenges and keep fighting for a solution.

Thanks to Theresia Le Battistini, Fashion League!

#15- Yes, it shaped the successful business person in me

Photo Credit: Victoria Culbertson

There was a time when the fear of making mistakes or meeting failure used to compel me to take a step back. However, unavoidable circumstances and wrong decisions have unleased a kind of confidence in me. Negative outcomes or mistakes have affected my business in many ways. The values and lessons outweigh the loss of money or time due to failure. I have learned many lessons that led to my growth as a business person. I have also learned to be confident and resilient. I would say that my mistakes and failures have shaped the successful business person in me.

Thanks to Victoria Culbertson, NYC House Cleaners!

#16- It taught me that trial and error is not always a good idea

Photo Credit: Johannes Larsson

Aiming towards something really high is a trait most entrepreneurs hold, while mistakes become a part of the same. As an entrepreneur, I made mistakes by not aiming for the right business solution, which made me go through many trials and errors. Since understanding the mistakes or fall points surely crafts you as an improved person altogether. Besides, such moves motivated me as mistakes are the ultimate proof that you’re trying, and the rest all become history! Therefore, you must never ignore your mistakes; learning, acting, and reacting goes a long way.

Thanks to Johannes Larsson, Financer!

#17- Yes, it led to some setbacks

Photo Credit: Paul Walsh

I would say mistake or failure has the potential to affect your business in both ways, positive and negative. The same happened to me. Failures due to mistakes have led to some setbacks like losses or lower revenue. However, they have also taught me some life-altering lessons. If I am successful today, it is because of all of my mistakes, failures, and achievements. Learning from one wrongdoing prevents hundreds of these in the future!

Thanks to Paul Walsh, Weselltek!

#18- Yes, I learned to prioritize quality over quantity

Photo Credit: Sarah Beaumont

Something that I didn’t class as a mistake at the time, but I do now, is taking on too much at once. I really wanted my business to be a success, and I loved working hard! But with all of the extra opportunities I picked up to ensure that my business was successful, I wasn’t able to do all of them to the best of my ability. After this period of time, I learned that I would much rather prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to my business, and that has improved its success significantly!

Thanks to Sarah Beaumont, Indoor Home Garden!

#19- Yes, it helped me shape my future

Photo Credit: Rick Nehora

Failures are the most important aspect which truly defines the dynamics of success. From my own experience, I can say that both these factors played a vital role in shaping my future. Learning from mistakes is what changed me as a person, as it helped me enhance my personality and also made me inclined towards a disciplined life. I truly believe that success comes after failure, and once you face failure, then only you will understand the true essence of success.

Thanks to Rick Nehora, California law firm!

#20- Yes, it taught me to avoid giving up

Photo Credit: Tim Absalikov

We all are afraid of making mistakes. Failures frighten us as well. At the same time, entrepreneurs know for sure that it is impossible to avoid making mistakes. There is a saying only those who do nothing make no mistakes. Moreover, failures teach us to be stronger, more decisive, and more goal-oriented. While overcoming obstacles, we get closer to success. The only thing we should avoid doing is giving up. To cut a long story short, mistakes and failures help us achieve success.

Thanks to Tim Absalikov, Lasting Trend!

#21- No it hasn't impacted my success but the growth of my business

Photo Credit: Simon Bernath

I think something that I struggled with at the start of my business venture was time management. While it hasn’t impacted my success at this point in time, it did have a huge effect on the growth of my business at the very beginning. This was because I was spending lots of time on tasks like finding ways to attract my target audience and not enough time on things like website optimization. However, this led to a significant improvement in my website development because I recognized that it needed to be completely engaging in order to keep my customers happy!

Thanks to Simon Bernath, Furnace Prices!

#22- Yes, it helped me achieve success

Photo Credit: Christian Velitchkov

Most of us tend to try and avoid mistakes/failures and view them as negative rather than important. But failures can teach us and help us improve. Understanding the importance of mistakes and how to use them to our best advantage is what separates great leaders from the rest of the crowd. There is a skill to handling mistakes and understanding how to turn them into opportunities for leadership excellence. Making mistakes provides us opportunities to showcase our leadership. Instead of trying to hide our errors, we should be using them to highlight our leadership skills and character.

Thanks to Christian Velitchkov, Twiz IO!

#23- Yes, it taught me something new over time

Photo Credit: Dawna Jarvis

In 2016, I started my first business and quickly learned that making mistakes was part of doing business. At times I would feel so defeated and embarrassed about the things I screwed up, like not knowing to pay quarterly taxes! Won't make that mistake ever again, LOL. Despite this, every mistake I made taught me something new, and over time, I grew from them! Throughout my career, I continued to evolve and become more successful.

Thanks to Dawna Jarvis, Tribe Builder Media!

#24- Yes, I learned important lessons

Photo Credit: Christopher Liew, CFA

When I was starting out my own business, I encountered a lot of stumbling blocks at the beginning of my journey. At first, I had to weigh my options whether I can sacrifice the salary I was getting from my full-time job just to create my own blog. A few years later, I am now managing my own site and enjoying my life as an independent entrepreneur. The most important lesson I gained from my mistakes and failures is having the courage and wisdom to adapt to unfavorable changes as I go along my business journey.

Thanks to Christopher Liew, Wealth Awesome!

#25- Yes, they allowed me to appreciate my success

Photo Credit: Jessica Lauren

Everything happens for a reason. This is my mindset as far as mistakes and failure are concerned. Here’s the thing, we will all experience failure at some point in our careers – but failure is that which heightens the successes that we encounter. You will know that you have worked hard and that you have had to endure a lot to achieve certain successes and it is for this reason that mistakes and failures are important. They allow us to appreciate our successes.

Thanks to Jessica Lauren, RV Idiots!

#26- Yes, it taught me to avoid multiple works at a time

Photo Credit: Eric J. Nisall

When I started the first version of my accounting business I tried to be everything accountant, tax preparer, financial advisor, and QuickBooks trainer and literally marketed to everyone regardless of the business. With that lack of focus, I saw zero progress. The next time I concentrated on two specific services accounting and taxes and one niche market freelancers and online business. With that focus, I was able to quit being an employee with a full roster of clients within 4 months.

Thanks to Eric J.Nisall, Eric Nisall!

#27- Yes, it taught me that failure is the biggest teacher

Photo Credit: Ashley Amor

When I started my venture, I made many mistakes as a new entrepreneur. I made mistakes in creating effective strategies, expanding my professional network, and pitching to investors. As a result, I couldn't succeed in my business for several months. Soon I drowned in lower self-esteem and questioned my ability and intelligence to build a business. But then I realized I had to learn from my mistakes to rectify them and go ahead. Since then, I have seen my failures as the biggest teachers in my life.

Thanks to Ashley Amor, People Find Fast!

#28- Yes, it helped me to refine my business

Photo Credit; Brett White

Mistakes have really helped me to refine my business and know exactly what I am good at, and what I should steer clear from. Creating a business, to me, is all about refining a niche and knowing where your business stands in an industry. Branching out and failing is a great way of refining that niche, and should always be welcomed. Success will only come in one thing once you've failed at everything else.

Thanks to Brett White, Addicted to Veggies!

#29- No, it gave me a life lesson

Photo Credit: Rob Greene

I’ve never been affected by the failure, or let it have any impact on my professional life or success, as I’ve always subscribed to a life lesson that an old Aunt taught me when I was young. She told me that “What’s for you, won’t go by you”, which was her way of saying that what is meant to be, will be, and just because you fail, it doesn’t mean you won’t succeed when you’re meant to and she was right. Now I’m exactly where I want and need to be, both in my professional and personal life.

Thanks to Rob Greene, Price of Meat!

#30- Yes, it affected me positively

Photo Credit: Kirsten McKinley

I wouldn’t say that I have experienced failure as such, but there have been plenty of mistakes that have caused ups and downs, along with setbacks, especially at the start of my entrepreneur journey. However, I think they all served as lessons, and they all made me rethink the process, which pushed me to learn more about how things work, and how I could make them work for me specifically. So if anything, mistakes have affected me positively, by contributing to my evolution and journey.

Thanks to Kirsten McKinley, Weddings & Brides!

Has mistakes or failure affected your success? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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