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How to Deal with Failure

Andrey Dashin is the founder of ForexTime Ltd (FXTM), Chairman of the Board of Directors and shareholder of the Alpari brand. Drawing from his 16 years of experience as a businessman, he advises readers on how to deal with failure and turn it into success.

Ever heard of the saying “Hitting rock bottom”? Much as we may hate to admit it, it’s a place we’ve all paid a visit to at one point in our lives to some extent or another. It’s the place we’re led to when we’re confronted with that dreaded word…failure. But it’s also the place which motivates us to bounce back stronger than ever. When failure creeps up on you in business, it can actually be a good thing. Save for the economic setbacks it will bring, which will hopefully not cripple you entirely, failure is a final wake up call. It can even be seen as a second chance; to right the wrongs, to reflect upon the way you’ve been doing things and to start over.

The biggest issue with failure is that with most people, it instills defeat instead of motivation. And of course, it’s difficult for it not to. When you’ve invested time and money in something and it goes wrong, it’s a personal blow; a blow to your ego, a blow to your invested capital and a blow to your self-esteem. But after the initial disappointment, you need to rise above the obstacles and raise your game. It’s time to reflect. If the roof caved in on you, perhaps you should rebuild it using different materials. Think about the mistakes you may have made – the areas you didn’t pay attention to, the areas you paid too much attention to, the people you placed in leadership positions, the values you led your business by. Be positive, because now you can capitalize on your failure and turn it into success.

Take comfort in the fact that before succeeding, hundreds of the people we glorify today as geniuses and legends, failed first. Igor Stravinsky, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates – they all got it wrong before they got it right. And it’s getting it wrong that helps in the long run. Each glitch, each error, each failure becomes a stepping stone to success, a lesson learned. Be stubborn, remain focused, believe in your abilities and keep going till you come out a winner. There is no other way to deal with failure because giving up on something is not dealing with it, it’s running away.

My advice to everyone would be not to fear failure or cower in its presence; it is a natural and inevitable part of all things. It makes you wiser, it makes you stronger and it arms you with experience. Without error there can be no progress or development. Those who judge the intellectual capacity of others based on whether they have failed in the past are the ones who are limited. Failure is often an indication that you took a chance, you weren’t afraid to experiment and you aimed at greatness. Those who never fail are usually those who always operate in their comfort zone and aim for mediocrity; never having failed is rarely a chance of being infallible. I’m not saying be an anarchist or set unrealistic aims, but I am saying be fearless in every endeavor and be prepared that something very well might go south before shooting to triumph.

If you’re at the helm of a business with a workforce at your heel, don’t forget to inspire this attitude in your employees; encourage them to think outside the box, to be innovators and make bold moves. If they fail, it’s the glitches along the way that will help them create a perfect final result.

Note: The content in this article comprises personal opinions and ideas and should not be taken or misunderstood as investment advice.