Failure as a badge of honor

I was speaking with someone recently who has done some work with Silicon Valley companies and he said the difference between there and here (here being WV) is in Silicon Valley they consider it to be a badge of honor to have started a company and failed while here in West Virginia, if you fail it’s considered an embarrassment.

If that is the case, I’m much prouder to be here than there.

Failure is something we need to learn from. Failure is something we need to grow from. Failure is something we need to experience to get to the next level. This doesn’t mean failure is something we should strive for or be proud of. It’s something that happens but also something that we need to learn how to avoid to be successful.

One reason this person considers failure to be a good thing is he also is a big believer in using other peoples money. He believes the governments (federal and local) should be subsidizing these start ups. He believes companies should spend a lot of time raising money from outside investors, vc’s, angel networks etc. The more he says things like this, the easier it is to understand why he doesn’t see failure as a bad think….it’s not his money!

When you put up your money, your reputation, your time into a project you will more likely do everything possible to succeed. When it’s someone else’s money involved, it’s easier to talk about “the cost of learning” and “maybe next time”.

Failing isn’t something you should be ashamed of but it also isn’t something you should be proud of. It’s an inevitable and part of the learning curve. Remember, while we all fail at some point in our lives, there is a cast of failure.

Have a great day!

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