JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, talks about how failure in career, marriage and financially, led her to focus on the one area in which she was truly equipped to succeed.
She says that had she not experienced the failure, she might never have gone on to write one the worlds’s most popular series of books.
JK Rowling’s most memorable quotes, taken from the video, include
I talk about the benefits of failure – simply because failure means a stripping away of the inessential – I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into the only work that mattered to me – the one arena in which I truly belonged – I was set free…
it is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautious you might as well have not lived at all – in which case you have fail by default.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from set backs means that you are, everafter, secure in your ability to survive.
You will never truely know yourself until tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift and it is worth more than any qualification won.
Rock bottom was the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
What can entrepreneurs learn?
Firstly, failure is a part of life and a part of business life. It might be small – you missed out on a contract or sale. Or it might be bigger – your business fails. It might affect your marriage and it affects your finances and the car you drive (or perhaps, for a few years, you just walk).
Secondly, to avoid failing, means taking no risk at all – so means could never achieve anything thing and therefore is failure by default.
Thirdly, having experienced failure, whether small or great, the opportunity is to use it to strip away the inessential parts – to know yourself and focus on what you do brilliantly.
Only when you know what you can do brilliantly can you truly be successful.
Hence, failure is the rock on which all future innovation and long lasting success is based – just as JK Rowling said.