2013-10-08

Co.Exist

How Failure Is One Of The Most Important Factors In Success

Social entrepreneurs talk about the importance of getting back up when something goes wrong.

"Failure is a fascinating thing. People want to avoid it. Yet if you ask, of course it's the best teacher you could ever have." That's what Randall Kempner, the executive director of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs says about getting things wrong. He's just one of the social entrepreneurs talking about the values of learning from failure in this video.

If you have a risk profile where you're willing to fail," says Rajesh Anandan, the SVP of Unicef Ventures, "you value learning, because you're going to do something better with it."

Perhaps, in fact, failure shouldn't be viewed as failure at all. Says Unreasonable Institute's Daniel Epstein: "Failure is a weird word. I don't see it as failure. I see it as a natural evolution of a solution to a problem."

See Kempner, Anandan, Epstein, and others like Mr. Toilet Jack Sim and Ali Marano, the head of technology for social good at JP Morgan Chase, in the video above.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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5 Comments

  • Shawn Ellis

    Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about success, from Booker T. Washington: "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome."

  • Elaine June Ginn

     Sara Blakely, the youngest self-made female billionaire, who established her Spanx empire to help women feel more confident, says her father trained her to take failure just the way these speakers suggest.  Her father would ask herself and her brother each day, "What did you fail at today?"  He wanted them to be comfortable and learn that taking risks could lead to failure, but that failure was just a step toward doing things better.  When she hit an inevitable bump in the road toward her business success, it did not discourage her.  She was focused on the success and took the failures as  easily survivable advisers regarding what worked and what did not work.  It is a refreshing perspective!

  • Ekanem Ebinne

    "Failure" is a loaded word, as Daniel Epstien was beginning to say. For me it immediately evokes shame, de-motivation, and avoidance. The above entrepreneurs seem to suggest it can be unhooked from those feelings then connected to hopefulness,  re-evaluative thoughts, creative acts...  and eventually success. I like it!

  • Stefanos Karagos

    The Most Important Factors In Success, is SUCCESS.
    I Don't Get it why you must Fail before to Success...