Embracing a Culture of Failure
If you’ve ever spoken to me for more than five minutes you’ve heard me say this: Entrepreneurs are the key to economic development. Growing our economy is as simple as giving the small business owners the support they need to succeed. When they succeed they grow. When they grow they hire more employees, and those jobs grow our local economy.
Becoming entrepreneurial focused also means allowing businesses to fail faster. Give them the tools and support to be able to “call it” before the business drowns them. Having measurables and goals when starting out helps keep a business from floundering forever with the owner wondering what’s going wrong.
Entrepreneurs have a courageous and tenacious spirit. The innovations and inspiration doesn’t stop when one venture fails. That spirit of innovation continues – the entrepreneur learns from the previous experience and they try again. When the entrepreneur feels supported by the leadership and citizens, then we have community development. This is the catalyst for a thriving city.
We need to identify the innovators and entrepreneurs in our community and plug them into resources that can help them start faster, grow faster, and (if necessary) fail faster.
A few of the resources in Central Arkansas (where I’m located) are:
The Conductor – The Conductor’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs and all of their programming is FREE!
SCORE – In addition to in person assistance, SCORE has many online training workshops to help small business owners.
ASBTDC – The ASBTDC is data focused and information driven. They can help bring a business from idea to reality.
These are just a few of the vast amount of resources available to entrepreneurs.
Do you know an entrepreneur (or someone with an entrepreneurial spirit)? Pass this post along to them.
Now, for the correlation to football…
I am an Ohio State Football fan – no other sport, just Ohio State Football. And, I’m not a nerdy fan – I don’t pay attention to what happens in the off season, or who gets drafted to what teams in the NFL. I just watch the games on Saturdays.
This year when I turned the first game on, there was a new quarterback – someone I’d never heard of – Justin Fields. A bit skeptical, especially with a NEW COACH as well, I quickly realized Fields was amazing. Some of you may not know, but Ohio State made it to the college football playoffs this year – they had a perfect season – hadn’t lost a single game, and were playing Clemson. It was a rough game – we started out ahead, but fell behind by less than seven points, and the game was in the final seconds when Justin Fields threw the ball into the end zone! I came up off the couch when I saw it caught! But, I quickly deflated when I realized the player who caught the ball was wearing Clemson orange.
Justin Fields, who had been almost flawless all season, had thrown an interception. I couldn’t believe it. Justin couldn’t believe it. Coach Day couldn’t believe it. Ohio State had lost.
But, Justin Fields didn’t decide to give up football because of one bad day. He’s out there now getting ready to lead the team to victory next season!
That’s how we should look at the entrepreneurs in our communities. They are the leaders in our economic development. We need to give them the training and conditioning to do what they do best and succeed. And, when, inevitably, there are fails, we need to give them the space to shake it off and get back out there.
Failure leads to innovation. Learn to embrace it.