Everyone fails! This is one reality all entrepreneurs have to face. Each time an idea of mine flops, I console myself with a search for "entrepreneurs who failed".
Try it; there are over 43.2 million results. From Colonel Sanders whose KFC recipe was rejected over 1000 times to Henry Ford whose first two automotive companies collapsed to Joy Mangano whose Miracle Mop barely sold the first time round on QVC; the list is endless.
There is not one successful person who has dodged failure!
Reading these compilations tends to be uplifting. If a billionaire like Oprah Winfrey failed, then I shouldn't worry about my own failures.
However, at what point do I look at my failures and acknowledge that I am in a messy situation? What will it take for me to recognize that I need to change paths?
Just because Colonel Sanders got rejected 1000-plus times, does not mean that I should push the same idea over and over and over again. His failure does not legitimize mine.
The habit of glamorizing failure is a bad one. Failure should not be worn as a badge of pride. Instead, it should be a reminder that we have a long way to go. This is not to say that you shouldn't be pleased that you've tried; after all, most people won't take the first step.
But being content with constant failure is a mistake. Sticking stubbornly to a failed idea because James Dyson did it is a mistake. We need to realize that individuals like Dyson are outliers.
You might have a brilliant idea or a lofty goal, but if you keep witnessing failure after failure you need to make the tough decision to change. This doesn't mean throwing out the idea in its entirety, it means modifying your plans and/or expectations to fit reality.
It means taking a step back and looking for a different way to tackle the problem, instead of running into the same stone wall time and time again.
It means studying the market and figuring out what people want.
Instead of glamorizing failure and insisting that it is inevitable, we need to learn from it. We need to figure out why we are failing rather than shrugging it off as the norm.
We need to be dissatisfied with poor and mediocre results and fight for only the best. We need to realize that success is possible, but it might not be probable with the current idea or business model we are currently using.
Failure is unavoidable, but it should never be desirable. Don't be afraid of failure, but don't be content with it when you can do so much better.
"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." - Henry Ford