Few failures are permanent

If there’s one thing you learn early on as a startup CEO, it is that you will make a hundred mistakes. A thousand. A million, probably.

Most of them are tiny. Some of them — like delaying a product — have an impact. Others again — like raising $500k on Kickstarter, and then failing to deliver the product — are very significant.

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Any ‘no’ could become a ‘yes’. Any individual bump in the road could become an opportunity. At the helm of a company, it’s hard to know which is which.

But ultimately, saying ‘I’ve failed’ has something very final to it. The words themselves are in past tense. It’s something that cannot be undone. In my experience, failures of such a magnitude are few and far between.

If a company fails to grow, it’s a failure, for sure — but failure is temporary, and can be rectified.

When being the helmsman at a startup, you’ll be living under a barrage of setbacks, issues, problems, challenges, bumps in the road, and complete, flagrant disasters.

But there are only two things that are permanent…

Everything else is temporary — and that’s a good thing, because otherwise, you would have to start a new company for every mistake you make.

A year from now, how much will today’s problem have affected your happiness, and the well-being of your company? The answer is probably ‘very little’.

TThe truth is; a year from now, how much will today’s problem have affected your happiness, and the well-being of your company? The answer is probably ‘very little’. And that, in itself, is an incredible relief, because ultimately, it is the stubborn willingness to continue, to keep up the good fight, and to have unwavering faith in what you’re trying to achieve, that gets a startup off the ground.

This blog post was originally a 100-word reply to Ben Werdmuller’s post I am not a developer; It turns out that on Medium 2.0, that actually creates a whole post from me, rather than just replying in-line… So I expanded the ideas from those 100 words significantly, because, well, I’m not really a 100-word-post kind of guy.

Haje is a founder coach, working with a small, select number of startup founders to build exciting, robust organizations that can stand the test of time. Find out more at Haje.me. You can also find Haje on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Written by

CEO of Konf, pitch coach for startups, enthusiastic dabbler in photography.

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