Principles of Failure And A Recipe For Entrepreneurship [Manage Rejections]

Of course you have a great idea. Sure you are a visionary. No question you have battled hard to be where you are. So was Van Gogh or Nikola Tesla.
Did you get rejected by your Customer? Market or your Investor? Hmmm, they must be dumb then. C

Customers are not able to identify the latent problem that is lurking. How lame. Markets do not understand the utility you provide. How immature. Investors do not comprehend the scale you shall bring. How myopic. Sounds familiar?

All of the above maybe true. That is besides the point for this post.

Rejections are inevitable. I am not an expert, but Economics (Macro or Micro) is the study of scarcity (due to existence of scarcity) isn’t it?
Very broadly stated:

  • Customers cannot buy from everyone.
  • Markets cannot always accommodate everything having a utility (due to alternatives and irrationality that is pervasive)
  • Investors cannot invest in every great idea.

Also, markets and economies are not equal across geographies (and even across time) so basing your rationality across markets or across time may not help.
Some of the good leaders I have studied or have had pleasure to work with, have one strong trait in common: They demonstrate tremendous maturity in handling rejections.

As an entrepreneur, nothing is more handy a tool than managing failures and rejections. This helps in conserving entrepreneurial-energy and dip back into the pool of irrational exuberance or optimism as some call.

Neither Van Gogh nor Tesla gave up in the face of failures to the end (They were in love with what they did). Yes its unfortunate that they are posthumously famous. Its (grossly) unfortunate 5 billion of the worlds population (across geographies, not that it matters) could not identify with them in their time.

Aside, principally though, your ability to resolve forward in the face of rejections has a higher probability of positive impact on your eco-system, than your human instinct to share experiences by considering your markets, customers or investors as lame (even if they happen to be lame) and giving up.

[If your failures have had a impact or a burn-out due to which you cannot move forward, then that’s a different matter which is valid.] Also, consider the fact that maybe, (just a little maybe) that the markets, customers and investors are probably not that lame. Then, isn’t it important to avoid the rut of ignorance (arrogance?) not seeing holes in your own proposition?
Does handling rejections teach you to sharpen your tool better? What is your opinion?

[Guest article by Preetham, founder of Quantama, a LBS service. The article has been reproduced from Preetham’s blog]

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