• Susanne Birgersdotter

Every seasoned entrepreneur knows that failures are part of the business. It is not something you can dodge or choose to put on the sidelines. A baby will fall several times before it can walk. A gymnast will take a hundred tumbles before she can nail her routine. Nobody thinks of that as a failure, it’s just part of the process.

The most successful aren’t those who haven’t met failure, they are the ones who have faced, struggled, and have risen back from it. Success comes after overcoming failures, not avoiding them.

The real challenge is on overcoming defeats, disappointments, and setbacks. Everyone can launch a business, plan campaigns, or create products and services. But it will take a lot of courage and determination to pull through when things go wrong and didn’t go as planned. It is easy to be creative, engaging, and positive when things are going as planned. Not everyone can keep that positive attitude in the midst of adversaries and setbacks.

Surviving and overcoming failures are the truest test of winners.

I have faced numerous downfalls, disappointments, and challenges. There were times when I thought of giving up. But I was born an entrepreneur and I cannot imagine myself not being one. I think, removing that option forced me to not give up. When you don’t have a plan B or a safety net, you stick with what you have and work hard to make it work.

As a woman in a man’s world, the challenges are doubled for me. Not only do I have to strive to succeed in the business, but I also have to contend with the omnipresent patriarchy. Before they listen to my ideas, they will question it, simply because I’m a woman. That is the best scenario. Many times, I will just be dismissed. This made it easier for me to fail.

I am no stranger to failure. I have a good share of misjudgments, miscalculations, over expectations, and wrong decisions. But I also have a fair share of determination and grit. I was just unwilling to give up.

Tips on how to Overcome Failures

Here are four of my go-to tricks in overcoming a failure;

I give myself a break

Do give yourself time to cry, regret, be frustrated, or feel sorry for the blow. If you don’t feel like going to work, stay at home for a day or a week. Take a vacation or stay in bed for a while. Accept what has happened and focus on taking care of yourself first. You will need all your time and energy when you get back.

I look for the causes

Do not blame yourself for the failure. Sure, you made that call, but try to understand why you made that decision. You trusted the wrong people, but what were the factors that made you think they were the right partners? Turn the failure into a learning process. Assess the failure objectively and recognize the missteps. Learn from the experience and you are one or two wrong options less.

It’s just a tumble, you’re still on the road

One misstep is not the end of the road for you. One wrong marketing campaign is not bankruptcy. One failed product is not the end of your creativity. Everyone commits mistakes every once in a while. And no one is defined from the mistakes they committed, but by how they have overcome the shortcomings, the frailty, and the injury in order to come back up, strong and fighting. You only fail when you give up.

Revisit your goals

Take another look into your life goals. Why are you doing what you do? Is it for your children? A dream lifestyle? For money? For me, I’m striving to make a name for myself, to prove that a woman can do anything a man can, and to be able to help other women achieve their dreams too. Revisiting your goals is a powerful move that can reignite your drive and push you to bounce back from a setback.

Learn more of my struggles, achievements, and life journeys from my book, Pivotal Moments, here. It is also available in Kindle from this link.