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Failure Can Be Good

by Thomas L. Doorley, III


A young entrepreneur reached out to me recently providing an update on his career since we met two years ago. We were introduced at a Sage Accelerator workshop organized by Sage Partner Hugo van der Zee in Nijmegen, NL. He came across as bright and enthusiastic with what sounded like the kernel of a good idea. We helped him shape his message and gave him advice as to where to go for investment funding. Unfortunately, he was unable to tell a sufficiently compelling story and could not get requisite funding. In short, he failed.


But that's not the end of the story. He has since taken a job working for a larger company in a role where he has to sell a complex solution to its customers. By undertaking this role he is working to shore up his key weakness, the ability to sell an idea. He recognized, with a bit of help from us, that entrepreneurs, and leaders of all stripes of organizations, need to be able to sell their ideas. Failure is not an end if...that is, if you work to understand the reasons for your failure and take steps to improve on your shortcomings. Certainly within the venture culture in the US failure is not a knockout blow. Rather, when coupled with learning it becomes another reason to bet on the leader. The venture culture in the Eurozone is beginning to accept failure as a valuable precursor. 

As he fills in his missing competence this entrepreneur is paving the way for his next venture. To paraphrase a pop culture 'philosopher', he'll be back!

This Sage Advice is shared by Sage Partners Founder and Chairman, Thomas L. Doorley, III



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