Never Give up, Fail Early, Fail Often: An Open Letter to Entrepreneurs

Three reasons why you should never give up if you're passionate about your end goal.

At this juncture, most well-meaning people will tell you to quit.

I’m not one of those people.

Before you throw in the towel on your dreams I hope you’ll consider this:

1. Don’t adjust your dream, rework your plans.

When plans don’t work, it’s time to change them – not your goal. In general, entrepreneurs have a desired end goal. This prompts the development of a series of steps (plans) to attain it. You’ll find that not all of your executed steps will yield favorable results. But it doesn’t mean that you should adjust your dream, instead rework your plans.

2. When it gets really tough, it’s time to kick it into high gear.

If you believe in your business goal and the going gets tough, it’s time to kick it into high gear.

Get out a sheet of paper, write down  your goal and list each specific obstacle. Review your list and start thinking about solutions to eliminate each challenge. Some solutions may not be ideal, but in the long run they may be worth it.

3. Develop emotional discipline and stay the course.

Control your feelings, they will change tomorrow. Ignore your critics, they will change tomorrow too. Reflect on your “why” — the vision, mission and plans that fuel your endeavors.

One day you’ll feel great about business, the next day you may feel as though you’d rather not go the extra mile. Myopic perspectives — guided by “your feelings” — can disrupt business decisions. Don’t repress your feelings, instead actively develop discipline to manage and rise above them.

Robert K. Cooper, PhD, the author of GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY: The 5 Keys to Surpassing Everyone’s Expectations, suggests that “So many people experience situations where they say, “My emotions got in the way.” What if you can learn to utilize your emotions so that rather than getting in your way, they pave the way?”


“Unfortunately, there’s no way around the fact that the business world presents a treacherous and painful learning curve. The point is, the best companies failed – often many times – and still succeeded at surviving, or even thriving.”

Successful people know success is possible, however distant or small, and they know they won’t stop until that success is in their hands. So, don’t shrink back when your biggest business challenges confront you. They are your defining moments.

When you’re prepared to fail, you’re ready to succeed.


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