Everyone loves stories especially when such stories are based on real life experiences. Everyday news is filled with stories of individuals who made or broke it. Human naturally love challenging stories; stories of exploit, stories that touch and connect with them emotionally. Now I want to bring the subject of stories down to entrepreneurship.
The media is constantly graced with stories of successful entrepreneurs that built multi-billion dollar businesses and became billionaires. The media sometimes also publish stories of entrepreneurs and business that got hit by a storm. I once watched on the news the story of a billionaire that committed suicide during the recession.
Now my aim of writing this article is not to share stories with you but to impact something into you. I am writing this to re-direct your perception. You must have heard different kinds of stories about entrepreneurs and their businesses.
While I am not trying to discredit either of them, I want to draw out some points you can ponder over in your quiet time. Success stories or failure stories: which teaches you the most? While I may not know your answer, I want you to know that I love failure stories.
Why People Love Success Stories
- Success stories inspire the spirit
It makes us know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Above all, success stories give hope. That’s why people love success stories; they want to be convinced it can be done and they are always happy to learn that someone has actually done it. Success stories encourage entrepreneurs to press on. It makes us see the big picture in our imagination. Such pictures are very important in helping us maintain focus and stay true to the entrepreneurial process.
- Success stories make you famous
Share your success story in public and the next minute; everyone wants to be your friend. This is because people love been associated with success. That’s why it’s often said that success has many friends but failure is an orphan. Most of us are conversant with the notion that the best way to learn is to learn from the experience of others. Now where can such experience be found? Such experience can be found in failure stories.
Why I Love Failure Stories More Than Success Stories
- Failure stories teach you more than success stories
Most people hate sharing their failure stories because such stories make them look dumb. But it’s in such failure stories that real life and business lessons can be found. Failure stories are usually about mistakes made and the resulting consequences. Though it sounds painful, scary and unexciting, its message can be very valuable. Mistakes are the way humans are designed to learn; without mistakes in life and business, there will be no progress.
“Success is a poor teacher. We learn the most about ourselves when we fail, so don’t be afraid of failing. Failing is part of the process of success. You cannot have success without failure.” – Rich Dad
- Failure stories make you humble
Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we get arrogant and egocentric but hearing a failure from a once successful entrepreneur puts our mind back in check. Failure stories bring us back to the reality that the odds will always be there; irrespective of how successful we are. It makes us remember that we may lose all someday; it helps us realize that the only constant thing in life is change and nobody is infallible.
“One of the great things about being willing to try new things and make mistakes is that making mistakes keeps you humble. People who are humble learn more than people who are arrogant.” – Rich Dad
- Success stories attract fools and lazy bums
Have you ever been pitched by a multi-level marketer before? Have you ever been pitched into investing in a get rich quick scheme? Have you ever been scammed before? If your answer to any of the questions above is yes, then you will understand why I said success stories attract fools and lazy bums.
Humans naturally are lazy, they want the good things of life; yet they are not prepared to pay the price to acquire such lifestyle. The reason I hate sharing my success story is because such stories attract fools and lazy bums. It tends to make the entrepreneurial process of building a business look like a smooth ride.
If you have read the articles on this blog where i shared my personal experience, you will observe that I would rather share my failure story than share my success story. Tell a story today of how you made a million dollars overnight selling a single product and you will see thousands of people jumping into that same line of yours; hoping to make a million dollars.
But failure stories increases your cautiousness. It makes you respect the odds; thereby helping you avoid throwing caution to the wind. Do you know why Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic was able to win the fight against giant British Airways? The reason Virgin won was because Richard Branson leveraged the failure story of Sir Freddie Laker’s airline to help Virgin resist the competition.
- Failure stories bring out your inner strength
Success stories inspire; but failure stories bring out your inner strength. After reading the book “Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way”, a book that highlights the business challenges and struggles faced by Richard Branson; I made a stern resolve to succeed.
It was consoling to know that I wasn’t alone in the struggle; it was comforting to know that the business challenges and failures I am experiencing wasn’t personal, it was part of the process of starting a business.
- Failure stories makes you a better entrepreneur
The last thing I love about failure stories is that it makes us better entrepreneurs. When we listen to failure stories, we learn from the mistakes of other entrepreneurs and we strive not repeat such mistakes. Failure stories increase our business intelligence; it helps us avoid silly business mistakes and above all, it makes us smarter.
The above are the reasons why I love failure stories over success stories. Success stories inspire and motivate our spirit but we learn the most from failure stories. So whenever you hear a failure story; don’t laugh or wave it aside. Try reflecting on it because you might pick up a valuable lesson.