Entrepreneurship for Kids™
By Galit Zamler
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The Entrepreneur Dares and Overcomes Fear of Failure
By Galit Zamler

The courage to dare and not be afraid of failure

The entrepreneur dares to take risks. Being an entrepreneur means fulfilling your dream overcoming fear of failure.

After all, if we listen to fear, we will not try, we will not dare, and then we will not succeed.

The American president Franklin Roosevelt said in his first speech to the commission: "The only thing which we have to fear is fear itself."

Dare and Don't Be Afraid of Failure

Being an entrepreneur means fulfilling your dream and not being afraid of failure. After all, if we listen to fear, we will not try, we will not dare and then we will not succeed.

The entrepreneur:

The entrepreneur has courage and is proactive. The entrepreneur doesn't listen to fear, because he knows that fear is paralyzing, and you can always find reasons not to initiate and to do nothing.

The entrepreneur examines the fears and checks: Are these true circumstances or excuses?

Fearless of failure and the courage to dare are particularly important after the entrepreneur begins to tell his surroundings about the enterprise.

Maybe the developer will get some support, but there will almost always be those who will explain and give an infinite number of reasons as to why this project has no chance to succeed. Only an entrepreneur who is willing to take chances, to dare and not to fear failure will be able to neutralize the noise around them.

One of the cultural characteristics of Israelis who turn Israel into an entrepreneurial country is the attitude of entrepreneurs and their environment to failures. Israelis do not see failure as a problem. After failure, they immediately think about the next project, and even if they fail several times, eventually, they succeed, and that is what contributes to Israel's being one of the world's leading startup nations.

Sometimes we see people who are successful, and we believe that everything they put their hands on succeeds, but those people also experienced failures.

The successes that we heard about stem from the courage to dare and not be afraid of failure.

Guy Provisor, an Israeli entrepreneur and was once the owner of food network Eden Teva Market, touched well on this point, and said in an interview to the Israeli magazine 'Business' of Ma'ariv [25.23.2011]:

Entrepreneur must go with his faith, with his instinct, and take care of things as soon as everyone agrees with him. Entrepreneurship is to create something new in a place that it was not. If everyone thinks you are doing the right thing, you are not inventing anything new. That's why it is forbidden to imitate someone else. If you have the feeling, faith, and vision that this is what you want to do, you must do it. No matter how much you fail on the way - go by yourself until the end. People who are waiting to be entrepreneurs are not really entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs jump to the water.

Most people recognize Steve Jobs' success with the Apple Company

Most people recognize Steve Jobs' achievement with the Apple Company, and before that, the success of Next Company, but people who know the long process that Jobs had as an entrepreneur know that he also had some failures. The first model of Apple computer, called Apple I, sold very few units, and although later the Apple II was a commercial success, the computers that came after, Lisa and Apple III, failed commercially. Those failures did not discourage Jobs, however. They did just the opposite - they made him improve his technology and consumer understanding.

This video shows people known for their success, but it was hard to predict this at the beginning:

Another example

Shaul Shani - who was behind the acquisition of the Brazilian media company, GVT, in 2002, said in 2010 about the acquisition: I was alone for many years when everyone thought it was a crazy idea. Everyone talks about how it will fail, and I must admit that I had nights that I began to doubt. It later emerged that GVT has become one of the companies with the highest growth rates among those operating in emerging markets, and sold at a value of 4.2 billion dollars.

From Entrepreneurship for Kids Program

The third subject of the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program is about learning from the experience of others. On this subject, the students learn about entrepreneurs who succeeded and entrepreneurs who failed, and how to draw conclusions.

This subject emphasizes the ability to overcome failure and move on, if by making improvements or by going to the next project - but never be desperate.

  • The ability to admit failures is not a less important part of the process than success; here are examples of technological projects:

    Eran Gefen, founder and CEO of FanGager, which operates in New York, has developed technology that allows brands to manage their fans on Facebook and Twitter, told the Israeli Calcalist website of the failures on the way to success.

    His story shows that the road to success is paved with failures. And only dealing with them and being fearless will lead the entrepreneur to success.

  • Also a huge company like Google was forced to close several projects they worked hard for, and in 11.2011 the company announced the cancellation of seven of their various projects, including the enterprise of Renewable Energy Cheaper Coal and Google Wave.

    The Google Israel CEO was asked in an interview: Google posted some failures, how to deal with unfavorable reactions from all sides?

    His answer was: If Google was successful in everything they do, it would mean that the company is not taking any risks and innovating anything.

  • The same applies to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who invested in various projects. Despite Amazon's great success today, some of these projects failed, even though a lot of money was invested in these projects.

    On failures alongside successes, Jeff Bezos said: "Failure and innovation are inseparable, and if you are truly a person of innovation, you must allow yourself to try things, and be prepared to fail."

    This video presents a collection of failures by Jeff Bezos and Amazon:

Tolerance for Failures

Success is the goal of every entrepreneur, but alongside the chances of success, there is tolerance for failure.

The Entrepreneur:

Tolerance for failure, especially from the entrepreneur's direct surroundings, will help him continue to try, and not give up.

In the book Start-up nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, the authors point out that one reason that Israel is a Start-up Nation is its tolerance for failure:

...Despite the fact that everyone knows that even in Israel, the chances of success in start-up companies are low, it is okay to try and fail. Success is the preferred option, but a failure does not stain, it is an important addition to the resume.

Israel Startup nation

Under the invention value in Wikipedia, it is written: One of the striking features of the organization that deals with inventions is the right to fail [others said, the duty to fail].

Moshe Peled, who was the CEO of Rafael in the eighties, said: If everything succeeded, it means that you do not dare. I would expect that 50% of my tries will end in failures.

Dr. Kobi Vertman attributed the organization's success to the management approach that allowed people to fail and not execute them. This approach encouraged people to initiate.

An example of an indefatigable entrepreneur:

Stef Wertheimer is an entrepreneur who founded a fancy company named Iscar. In his book The Habit of Labor, he talks about tolerance and dealing with failures:

The Habit of Labor

We have seen how to do things, we also tried, in many places we have failed. We had numerous problems in producing parts, in supply... We were beaten on a daily basis. The troubles were our development foundations. We did not panic, but we also disregard them.

Stef writes: Like I said, I have failures nearby the successes, and I think that the failure part does not fall from the successes part.

Preparing for Hard Work

The preparation and willingness to take on hard work, without reduction and shortcuts is a recipe for a long-term success.

Eli Horowitz, R.I.P

Eli Horowitz, R.I.P, who led the Teva Company for many years, said in an interview with Lady Globes magazine on 5.2.2009: Indeed, I succeed, but everything was always with hard work, without brilliancies, step by step with a lot of sweat.

Learning from Failures

Learning from failures

Learning from failures and the ability to look forward, make changes and improve - are skills that are required for the entrepreneur's success.

How failure is part of success, we can learn from an article published on the Calcalist website about the mistakes leading up to the successes:

Google's and Amazon's cash cows, the electric light and Beethoven's compositions are not made by bursts of brilliance, but in the process of exhausting polishing of failed ideas and medium products. They became successful, thanks to the failures.

An example from light and strong entrepreneurs:

In an interview with 'Business' magazine of Ma'ariv dated 25.12.2011, the Light and Strong entrepreneurs talked about the beginning:

'The idea created from nothing, and basically there, in this project, we start everything: fundraising, business plans, and management program at a detailed level.'

After a year, the project was buried due to financial problems, but they chose to learn from it instead of despairing. 'It was our first experience in the field in which we are engaged today, the failure of the project has caused us to look ahead and start planning the next thing.'


In order for any person to gain confidence and dare, in any field and not just in entrepreneurship, he must believe in himself and his abilities. Only a person who believes in hims/herelf will try and deal with hardships and overcome them.

Self-esteem is the feeling of being capable. We can embed the sense of capability in children, by believing in them and in their abilities and by signaling that to them.

The self-esteem is built slowly, through gaining small successes on one hand and meeting challenges and dealing with mistakes and failures on the other. The ability to deal with both of those situations builds self-esteem and a sense of capability.

An entrepreneur with self-esteem will make the calculations to check the percentage of success against failure, and will establish an informed decision. As soon as he/she decides that he/she should progress with the project, he/she actually chooses to try and fulfill the dream instead of staying where he/she would have thought about what could have happened if attempting to fulfill it.

People with self esteem will also forgive themselves for mistakes and carry on, and that is also one of entrepreneurship's features.