Winston Churchill once said, “success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts”.
Indeed, some of our greatest achievements are born from the experiences we have had in the past.
Whether it be in our personal lives or the environments we work in, gathering experience helps us to navigate the future with more confidence and better insight.
In short, life teaches us so many lessons but it’s our responsibility to make use of the experience to create new opportunities.
Learning from experience in business and life
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Learning from experience is one of the best ways to make your business succeed. So many startups have come and gone, and as a young entrepreneur, you can learn one or two things from the startups that went under.
Though startup businesses struggle to survive for so many reasons, you can still learn from their experiences. In short, the fact is that so many people have probably taken the same route as you.
So, the best thing is to learn from their mistakes in order to equip yourself for future challenges. It is with this in mind that we take a look at some common scenarios that people can use to help them learn and move forward in a more successful way.
#1]. Failing to innovate
Few would argue with the fact that change is inevitable, yet the list of businesses that have failed because they have failed to innovate is long. Many of you will remember Nokia, the mobile phone company who dominated the marketplace in the late nineties and early noughties.
The Finnish company pioneered cellular networks, but when the internet came along it dawned the demise of Nokia. What happened? Nokia failed to innovate.
The company continued to produce phones that were designed with the voice in mind and not data. In other words, they didn’t develop a smartphone quickly enough.
This left the marketplace wide open to the likes of Apple who released the first iPhone in 2007 and who, with others such as Samsung, have been leaders in the field ever since.
Over 4000 people lost their jobs due to the crash of Nokia. However, Oulu, the city where Nokia is based, quickly learned from the experience. The city went on to champion many successful startup businesses and is now a world leader in tech innovation.
#2]. Too Much Too Soon
With a chain of successful stores in the US, Target that sells household items such as bedding, electronics, and clothing, fixed its sights on the Canadian market opened over 100 stores there.
The venture was a massive flop and the company suffered billions in losses. Experts suggested that the reason for the failure was that Target had been unable to replicate the shopping experience that had worked so well in the US. Had Target not opened so many new stores, so quickly in Canada, the story may have been one of success.
It is common to hear that businesses have encountered problems because they have tried to expand too quickly. In the majority of cases this is a hard lesson to learn, but one that is rarely made more than once.
#3]. C’est La Vie – Such is life
Learning from experience is, of course, just as important in life as it is in business – “you learn from your mistakes”. So much so that experiential learning is now recognised as one of the most valued strategies in educational institutes the world over.
One of life’s most difficult lessons to learn is perhaps how to be financially independent and healthy – to begin with, many of us fail. Living in a consumer culture it is easy to overspend or commit to borrowing that is difficult to pay back – more people than ever before going bankrupt.
Luckily, there are now options such as bankruptcy bank accounts that can help us get back on our feet should we be unfortunate enough to suffer this ordeal and have to learn a harsh lesson in life.
Learning from the experiences we have in business and life is an integral part of the human disposition and one that holds intrinsic value for those who can avoid making the same mistakes a second time.