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Ways to Learn form Other People’s Mistakes

You can learn from other people’s mistakes and this article covers three ways this can happen. Although we have online business in mind, they can be applied to any sphere of life. The benefits are easy to relate with and easier to follow. People who tend to harp on making their own mistakes tend to do this because they feel there is something “good” someone want to deprive from them. So saying this is in effect saying they have a right to make their choices and hold on to this because they sense the benefit of what they want to embark on in their estimation outweighs the risks. This usually applies to relationship. They do not harp on making their own mistakes when it comes to finance or money. This is why I am confident anyone reading this would find it beneficial.

1.You Do Not Have Scars

On personal level, people come to accept the scars on their body one way or the other. However, if they had the choice, they would have probably loved to experience what they went through without the scars i.e. if they want to experience it all over again in the first place. This is more so when it comes to business decisions. Nobody wants to lose money and have the scars to remind them always about it. they do not want people to be reminded of it as well. learning from other people’s mistakes makes you smarter than them because they too could have learnt from the mistakes of others but did not. There is always someone making a business/financial mistake somewhere. They may not have seen it coming or had been fully aware of it; the fact is there are just too many reasons why mistakes happen. You as an individual do not have an excuse to say I did not know when there are so many people about you making mistakes. Take time out to search and study the failure stories (as opposed to success stories many are predisposed to do). When you do this, you learn from their mistakes and prevent yourself from having scars to show. If there is anything to repeat in this section, it is that mistakes are happening every day and you do not have an excuse.

2.You Do Not Suffer Loss

Learning from other people’s mistakes is like assimilating their losses without experiencing it. that is the kind of loss most people will want to have but this can only happen when they learn from the mistakes of those that suffered loss due to errors on their part. Some will harp on why you should not be afraid of failure but I can say contextually that is you do not have a deep respect for failure you will end up experiencing it a lot. If you have a deep respect for failure as an adversary, you will take time out to study those it defeated at one point on the other. This can be applied to any aspect of life. You know the strengths of an enemy or a potential opponent when you watch him or her (in this case, it) in the ring with another opponent. You know how it fights and get to discover its weakness by business evaluations. Learning from other people’s mistakes is a great way of studying failure and knowing how to deal with it when it stares at you in the ring. Suffering loss is one of the most probable indicators of mistakes. It shows that someone has most probably made a mistake somewhere. Studying the losses of others might tell you what to do to prevent that loss from repeating itself with you.

3.You Learn What Not To Do From People’s Mistakes

It is far better to learn how not to do something from other people’s mistakes than from a mistake attributed to you. You burn less resources when you learn what not to do after studying what people did that led to mistakes occurring in their businesses. If studying the losses of others does not tell you what to do, it will most probably tell you what not to do. You would have successfully eliminated a possible option from your list of things to do because you learnt from another person’s mistake.

4.You Have Only Good Experiences

There are good experiences and bad experiences. The person that teaches from a bad experience is probably admitting to have made a mistake sometime in the past, which may have been by omission or commission. It will be hard to find a person who will willingly say they are looking forward to having a bad experience. Have you experienced business failure before? How did you handle it? Failures are little setbacks that every person and business must experience. Research has shown that 30 percent of new businesses don’t last beyond two years and almost 50 percent only last for up to five years. This means for every two businesses, one has a high chance of failing without ever breaking even. However, an interesting fact also is that, 100 percent of businesses will face challenges that could end in failure. This means all businesses will fail at one time of their existence or the other, and in one thing or the other. The difference will be in their resilience in the face of failure. Imagine that Thomas Edison had been stopped by failure. The world would still be in darkness. He failed 1000 times in trying to invent the light bulb, but to him, these were just 1000 ways he discovered that could not work. He saw them as steps to his business success. Anyone who ever achieved anything great; anyone who changed the world, knew what it means to fail and how to face failure. Unfortunately, many people are just enjoying the reward of their determination to succeed but hardly reflecting on the price they had to pay, nor willing to go through the same. If everyone were you, where would the world be now? Business failures are inevitable. There is no secret in business that will guarantee your every time success. In fact, the only thing that all businesses have in common is the fact they all have a failure story. All businesses have experienced failure at different times, levels and of various magnitudes. Those that went on to be a big success simply chose not to quit but to turn their failures into successes. This piece is intended to give you valuable advice that will enable you face all your business failures and turn them to success stories.

5.What Are Some Sources Of Business Failures

Failure has many roots. However, most business failures hinge on one or more of the following:

  • Not well researched business idea
  • Not well formulated business plan
  • Not enough business capital
  • Not good enough marketing
  • Not well selected business team
  • Not well thought of, business decisions
  • Not well managed business resources

Whatever the reason for failures in business, they can be turned into successes when we know just what to do. So, one of the things you need to know is how to turn your business failures to success. This is the reason for this piece. As soon as you begin to experience failure of any form in business, don’t panic. Follow this process and you will be back on your feet.

  • See Failure Correctly

One reason why people never achieve anything is because of their fear of failure. Why they fear failure is because of their perception of it, which depends so much on what they think others will think of them when they fail. And so, it is firstly all an issue of the mindset which should be dealt with. Business is not for weak minds. It is for the rugged. It is for warriors. It is for people with large hearts; people who know that it will be worse not to do anything than to make an attempt and fail. Business is for risk takers and adventurers. If you are not described by those words, doing business is the biggest mistake you will ever make. Business is not for skeptics. In order to succeed in business, you must begin to see failure differently from the way most people see it. Know that you will get to nowhere in business if failure means everything to you. Be ready for failure, but work hard for success. How do you see failure? “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure” Bill Cosby

  • Acknowledge Business Failure

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan Your business will not succeed because you refuse to acknowledge you have failed when you fail. It will succeed because you refuse to make failure, final. When you see failure as just a stepping stone to success and a comma in the sentence of success, you will continue and then finally get to success. This is important because some of the failure experiences come to redirect you to the right path. If you refuse to admit them and make the right changes, you will stay on the wrong path and never meet success. Being able to recognize that a strategy, plan, product, idea, etc. is not working is acknowledging they have failed. This alone is valuable if you will end up succeeding. In fact, the best managers are those who know when to stop and when to keep on. When something is failing, acknowledge it and stop. You cannot expect different results when you keep doing the same thing. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure” – Colin Powel

  • Discover The Problem

Discovering the real reason behind the business failure is at the core of turning it to success. As soon as you recognized something has failed, the next thing that is crucial is to discover why it failed. This is by brainstorming and also making findings from staff and customers. Hold meetings to brainstorm with your staff. Don’t assume you know the problem. Be at the receiving end and make sure everyone else feels comfortable being open. Let it be a learning time for you. Take notes. You may even choose to design a questionnaire and collect data for this. Some business failures could also be those than need you to talk with your customers. As such, don’t hesitate to find out from them. Your customers will tell you the raw facts of your business. The knowledge your customers have about your business is the best knowledge you can have. Any wise entrepreneur will do all to know what the customers think whether in times of problems or success. The simple reasons are that the customers see your business from a position that is unbiased and also compare it with your competitors. The way to discover the problem is to gather as much facts as possible on your business from your employees and customers. However, at the end, it is your judgment that will stand. Thus you need to weigh the facts you gather, very objectively and in consultation with more experienced people, decide on the problem. Don’t be sentimental. “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure” Abraham Lincoln

  • Analyze The Problem

After discovering where the problem lies, the very next thing to do is analyzing it. This is different from analyzing a business, where you may want to use SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). In analyzing the problem, your interest is to come out with the best solution. So focus on the solution than on the problem. Don’t also minimize the contributions from you employees, customers or even volunteers. This time, the intention is to get a solution to the problem and so you must focus more on the solution. Some business problems/failures will have a clear and direct solution as soon as you identify them while others will have many ways of handling the issue. For most business failures, the problem is money. And so coming up with ways on how to make more money and reduce cost so as to cover expenses and make a good gain will be the solution. Sometimes, the real problems are dissatisfied customers, high staff turnover, more competitors, etc. Some of the following are some possible solutions to your business problem:

  • Changing the management system
  • Relocating the business for easy accessibility by customers
  • Dropping the particular product or line of business for another
  • Cutting down on some unnecessary expenses
  • Cutting down to fewer staff with additional incentive for those remaining
  • Replacing some of the staff with smarter, more competent ones
  • Spending more on marketing, in order to generate more income
  • Researching on what your competitors are doing which you are not
  • Finding strategies that will motivate the staff to want to do better
  • Revisiting and revising your business plan
  • Coming up with a better customer care system
  • Setting higher standards of performance for your staff
  • Sourcing for more funding for the business
  • Seeking business partnership

After brainstorming on the possible solutions with your staff and customers, you will have to go back and still brainstorm on the solutions alone. Remember that it is your business and every other person has little or no risk to shoulder. If you are unsure of the solution, seek counseling from business professionals.

  • Take A Decision Fast

Decision-making is one of the responsibilities of managers. The ability to make the right decision as fast as possible is a quality all good managers must possess. As soon as you have decided on what the solution would be, make a decision and be ready. The decision may not be welcomed by everyone as some people will be affected negatively by it. That is part of the cost. Remember that the business is more important than any single individual. In analyzing the consequences of your decision, think about how it will ultimately affect your finances, but don’t forget to think about all the different things that will be affected during the process. The process of implementing the choice solution could end up costing the business more than it will eventually bring. Think of this and make the right decision.

  • Evaluate The Decision

It is important that after taking and implementing the decision for a time, you get back to the evaluation table with your staff. This is to see what has changed for the time the decision has been implemented. You must be convinced that there is a significant change before you continue in the decision. If not, you have to revisit your options and see if there is a better solution for the problem.

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Faith Amarachi Isaac,

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