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Entrepreneurial Failure: The Value of Failure


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This is a synopsis of a talk I gave on Entrepreneurial Failure at the Innovation Hub in South Africa. What causes failure and what to do when you fail

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Entrepreneurial Failure: The Value of Failure

  1. 1. Before You Start Conversation Series I slept in my car for entrepreneurial reasons Discussion topic: The Value of Failure Maxum Mondays: The Innovation Hub Monday 08 February 2016 09:30am-10:30am Driven by Sandiso Ncube
  2. 2. About this conversation series This conversation series Is a critical component of the #Challenge1Million campaign. It was founded to address the plague of entrepreneur failure. I believe that if we are to significantly increase the amount of entrepreneurship in Africa and change the lives of millions, we need to honestly and candidly speak about the issue of entrepreneurial failure. There are three primary reasons why entrepreneurs fail: 1. It is due to the fault of the entrepreneur 2. It due to market conditions 3. The institutions designed to support entrepreneurs fail to fulfill their mandate. So entrepreneur failure then, is caused by either one or a combination of these reasons. This discussion series focuses on the only reason that is within the entrepreneur’s control and that is failure due to the actions or lack there of, of the entrepreneur.
  3. 3. Our #Challenge1Million Campaign Challenge 1 Million is our promise to you, to empower and enable 1 million South Africans to start and run their own businesses. Our goal is to create 1 million entrepreneurs and 5 million jobs in 5 years through our free entrepreneur development eBooks and the supporting material developed for each eBook. Over the course of the next year, January 2016-Jannuary 2017 we will be running an Intensive awareness campaign to spread the word about #Challenge1Million as far and as wide as possible. Our entrepreneur development material is available from our website:
  5. 5. Why entrepreneurial failure is significant Severe Emotional & Psychological trauma We loose lots of money: Life savings We are ostracized in our communities Jobs are lost, people go hungry
  6. 6. Why entrepreneurial failure has value Builds; confidence, strength, character, resilience It has lots of valuable lessons It encourages self education You develop new skills & expertise
  7. 7. THE TAKE HOME MESSAGE What to do when you fail
  8. 8. 1. Give yourself time to grieve; you will need it. Loosing everything you have built and worked hard to achieve is not easy, be fair and kind to yourself. 2. Give yourself time to appreciate what you have achieved. Yes, you need more time to reflect. 3. Get yourself a small note book 4. Write down all the feelings you felt when you first realized your business was failing, right up until the day you shut your doors. Writing is therapeutic, It will take that weight off your shoulders 5. Get lots of love, hugs and kisses. First things first: Your Feelings 1. When you fail, forward, do not wallow on your failure. 2. In your note book, list all the things you think you did well 3. List all the mistakes that you think you made 4. Against the things you did well, write down what you think you can do to improve the good work you did. 5. Against the mistakes, write down what you think you can do to correct your mistakes the next time round, seek advice if you need to. When you fail; fail forward 1. Join a small business or entrepreneurship network 2. Get a mentor 3. Ask for advice from your mentor and or networks about how to deal with failure 4. Talk about your failure openly and honestly Moving forward
  9. 9. 1. List all the tasks and or functions you performed in your business 2. Next to each task and or function, list how long, timewise, you performed each task or function. 3. Google that task or function as is. Look for “professional” terms describing the functions and or tasks you listed 4. Write the professional terms next to your original task or function description. 5. The professional terms enable you to see what your acquired skills as known as, professionally. 6. The length of time you performed a particular task or function is your “Work Experience” for that task/function. 7. Congratulations, you have successfully catalogued all your new skills & expertise. You can add that to your CV and get back on that into corporate if you want to Tip: Due to the nature of entrepreneurship, if you do decide to get a job, go for a management position or one that allows you independence and room to make decisions. This will help you grow your leadership skills for your future entrepreneurial endeavors Cataloging your skills Remember: 1. Be brutally honest with yourself throughout this process 2. There isn’t a right or wrong way to get over failure, do what you feel you feel is right for you.
  10. 10. Get in touch with me: Twitter: @SandisoNcube Email: Before You Start Twitter: @TeamBYS #Challenge1million