Reading Time: 3 minutes

When thinking about failure, people most often see it in a negative light. Unfortunately, society has deemed failure as something that one should be ashamed of, something that one should try to hide. When someone succeeds, people want to celebrate it, but the failures and obstacles that were overcome are rarely mentioned. What many people do not realise, is that failure is a necessary stepping stone to success. Many successful people, and some of the world’s top-rated businesses, have failed in the past – but they learned from their failures, and they bounced back, bigger, better, and stronger.

In the business world, failure is just as important, and if everyone could recognise the role it played in reaching success, more people would be willing to take risks. Failing at something leads a person to reassessment, problem-solving, and determination, which could guide your business to great success.

Google, Mercedes’ F1 team, Pixar, JK Rowling, major airline companies, and so many more have failed miserably, yet they are some of the richest and most successful enterprises today.

Lessons learned from failure, which could help you grow your business:

Experience & Knowledge

When you fail, you gain first-hand experience in overcoming it. Failure forces you to reflect on yourself and the decisions you have made, and it encourages you to implement certain changes so that you will not fail again. Knowing why you failed can help you prevent it from happening again. With your new-found knowledge of what went wrong, and how to do things differently in future, you can start again and keep trying, as this will ultimately lead you to success.


Failure helps you to become more resilient, and resilience can be beneficial for your business’ path to success. As you become more resilient, failure will stop hampering your business decisions, and you will not be afraid to take risks in order to achieve greatness.


Failing at something leads to growth on a personal and business level. When you failed at doing something, it is important that you do not give up. Use the opportunity to reflect and to develop a plan to overcome the disappointment.


Facing failure can lead you to recognise the importance of value. When reflecting on your failures, consider how much value you offered in your business decisions – could you have offered more, and would this have prevented you from failing? By focusing on value in your business decisions, and doing so consistently, you are bound to succeed.

Instead of seeing failure in a negative light, it should be used to better yourself and your business in future. Success is only possible when mistakes are confronted and are seen as educational opportunities – businesses should embrace failure like major airline companies do. For them, “[m]istakes are not stigmatised, but [are] regarded as learning opportunities,” writes Matthew Syed (author of Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance).

Related Articles

VAT on electronic services

On 24 October 2018, National Treasury published new regulations pertaining to “electronic services” defined in Section 1 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act of 1991. These regulations...

Getting to grips with Liquidation

Earlier this month, we discussed the business rescue process and the circumstances when this would be appropriate for a business in a position of financial distress. In the case of a...

Let us assist you with:

Contact Us