After reading about Mark Zuckerberg’s invitation to speak at Harvard few months ago, I tweeted “A successful Harvard dropout recently gave Harvard commencement speech. Change your definition of failure.” I should have added, ‘also change your definition of success.’ It is true that if you can’t handle failure, you won’t be able to achieve tremendous success. If you fail and you don’t see yourself as a failure, you are likely to achieve great success in future as long as you learn from the experience. WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton was turned down for jobs at twitter and Facebook in 2009, the year he and partner Jan Koum launched their start-up. This was Acton’s tweet after Facebook decided not to hire him. “Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life’s next adventure.” Interestingly, five years later, Acton and his partner sold their business to Facebook for $19 billion. A 2006 Harvard University study showed that entrepreneurs who have failed in their previous start-up have almost one-in-five chance of success in their next. This is however far higher than for first-time entrepreneurs. Signifying that failure is a blessing in disguise if you learn from it.
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill