What not to do when you fail

So, you messed up.

Things have gone a bit Pete Tong and your ego is bearing the brunt of your bad business decisions.

We’re here to tell you that you probably don’t suck as much as you think you do. Failure is normal and failure in business isn’t just likely, it’s expected. If you’re feeling a bit downtrodden, don’t be; the hardest part of failing is admitting that you’ve failed. Now, you need to brush off your knees and get back on the bike of business management like a boss. Here are four ways to recover from an epic fail, without losing sleep, clients or the will to live. Because you’ve totally got this, you know…


When it comes to picking yourself up after a fall, realising that it is nothing personal is key. Keep your emotions in check and cast any ‘I’m useless at this’ woe is me feelings aside. They won’t help and you’ll find it far easier to look at things logically to find a solution to the problem without any emotion involved. This isn’t about you, it’s about business.


Looking at issues with a critical mind is a fast-track way to remove any emotion from the matter immediately and adopt a more constructive approach to seeing what went wrong. Dissect the problem and see if you can get your ahead around whether you dropped the ball or just put an idea into practice that should have stayed on paper.


Being burnt with a failure has a natural tendency to leave you feeling a little wary of making the same mistakes again. Fortunately, you’ve got the gift of hindsight on your side this time around. Assess future projects and concepts, stripping them right back to the bare bones until you’re totally sure that you’ve avoided repeating the mistakes that tripped you up on the pain project that slipped the net.


This probably isn’t the first time you’ve messed up, whether that meant a missed deadline or a sizeable overspend that saw ROIs plummet. Likewise, this probably won’t be the last time you mess up either. We all make mistakes, in business and in life. What matters is how you move on from them and use them to learn what not to do in future. Mistakes might cost you money, worse still, they might cost you a hit to your reputation. But ultimately, they’ll be the building blocks for getting better, so long as you learn from them and never make the same one twice.

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