Taking Responsibility is Essential for Successful Entrepreneurship By Galit Zamler
Michael Jordan: "I missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I lost more than 300 games, 26 times I was asked to take the last shot and I missed it, I failed again and again in life. And that is the reason I succeed."
The way to successful entrepreneurship is often accompanied by mistakes. Recognizing mistakes and taking responsibility for them helps the entrepreneur to learn lessons and eventually succeed.
From an early age, we can educate children to take responsibility for their mistakes. Our first inclination is to look for guilt. For example, a little boy who can't find his toy tends to blame the people around him, but if he had returned the toy to its place, he would easily find it. Therefore, if we learn to take responsibility for what happens in our lives, we can fix and improve our situation.
Therefore, if we learn to take responsibility for what happens in our lives, we can fix and improve our situation.
Taking Responsibility for What Happens to Us in Life
Takes responsibility for his actions and the results because only if we recognize our responsibility for the actions and results will we have the ability to get better, move forward, and achieve success.
An entrepreneur who refers to his entrepreneurial process, even if he eventually failed, as a practical school for life, in which he accumulates experiences and acquires practice in many areas that he encountered as an entrepreneur, will also be able to move on with useful insights.
Some people look for someone to blame when bad things happen to them.
If we do that, what message do we pass to kids? After all, we used them as a model.
When we think and say that we failed because of someone or something, it means that we did not take responsibility for our failures, because we blame someone or something else for our situation. This is true even when we don't blame someone else in person.
Blaming anyone else for our situation indicates a lack of faith in our ability to be responsible for our fate and our success.
However, when we succeed, we attribute the success to ourselves and to our efforts. When we succeed, we should check how we did it and draw conclusions so that we can repeat the success in the future. Israeli Air-Force pilots do just that. After each flight exercise they have an intervention and discuss whether the practice was successful or not to help improve performance in the future.
An example from a kid's world:
When a child succeeds on an exam, even if we are satisfied, we should find out what brought him/her to success to let him/her know what he/she must do to keep being successful in the future. In the same way, when a child fails an exam we should help him/her figure out the reasons why so that he/she can do better in the future.
An example from an adult's world:
Batya [pen name] looked for a job and found one. She was very happy to find a job and she talked about it with her friends. A week later, she was fired. Batya complained and said: "I have had the evil eye." However, a brief conversation with her revealed the following findings.
* She was late for work twice in the first week. Of course she had good reasons for that, in her opinion.
* The first week was defined as an attempt week meaning it was a trial week for her.
* She has already argued with her manager. She, of course, thinks she she was on the right side of the arguement.
The recommendation for Batya: take responsibility for your actions even if you think you are right. If you do not deduce conclusions then you may repeat the same mistakes and again you will find yourself fired.
The video below, taken from one of the Rocky movies, conveys the message of taking responsibility for what happens in your life, even if you have difficulties, very well. The Rocky movies also convey the message of believing in yourself very well.
Recognizing the Mistakes:
We have all experienced failures and successes in our lives. The way we treat our failures will greatly affect our ability to deal with them, overcome them, and succeed.
Denial of our failures or our mistakes will not encourage success. We should serve as a guiding hand for children from a very young age. We should not only be able to recognize their errors, but help them to understand that they have the ability to learn from mistakes, improve, and be successful.
There are mistakes that children, especially teenagers, perceive as irreparable and then they despair. Education on the importance of taking responsibility and dealing with mistakes encourages children to solve their problems and be optimistic.
An entrepreneur recognizes mistakes, learns from them, forgives himself/herself and becomes a better entrepreneur. If not, he/she will stay stuck and will not advance in achieving his/her goals.
Each of us makes mistakes. Mistakes are part of the entrepreneurial process because there is a reason for the saying: 'He who has not made mistakes has not made it.
Examples from the entrepreneurship world:
Many entrepreneurs have said that they made mistakes when they started out, but those mistakes did not prevent them from continuing until they found success. Assaf Naaman Hillel, business consulting entrepreneur for building a business online, said: "when I first started, I made many mistakes, but with the experience came the altitude."
Even Dov Moran, an entrepreneur and the inventor of the USB stick, said in an interview to G Magazine of the Globus newspaper in August of 2018:
"There's no doubt that I would go in the same path. I am what I wanted to be. With the experiences and successes and the scars and hard work. What would I change? A lot. I've done so many mistakes. I wish that I could avoid most of them. The main thing that I would change is that I'd plan better before the nosedive of each one of my projects. That is why today I insist to hear from entrepreneurs that come to me what is their business plan, where are the obstacles and what is their planning to "what would happens if?"."
When it comes to kids:
How should we perceive the mistakes of the kids? How can we help kids to catch a mistake?
When a child makes a mistake, does he/she realize he/she made a mistake? As educators, rather than being angry with him/her, we should explain to him/her that he or she made a mistake, We should also explain to him or her that he/she shouldn't worry too much because the mistake can likely be fixed. If not, he/she can learn from this mistake to avoid repeating it.
At this point, we should expand the conversation because one mistake can have many variations and children do not always see that. As adults we want to teach children to not repeat the same kind of mistakes and not necessarily the same specific mistake.
When a child finds it difficult to forgive himself/herself for his/her mistake, we should encourage him/her and explain to him or how understanding the mistake will help him/her in the future.
In business and in life in general
Yossi Yassour in his book Did you also have no hot water? A guide to preventing failures in decision-making published by Matar writes about a failure:
"It is especially hard for us to leave at once without continuing to try. It's difficult for us to accept the fact that we failed and even more difficult for us to accept the fact that we should not start," he said.
Investigation and Learning from Mistakes
Any start-up that wants to grow and succeed, needs to allow mistakes to happen on one hand, and investigate those mistakes on the other hand, learn from them and evolve.
We are talking about a culture that allow partners and workers to dare, try and also make mistakes.
As stated, acknowledging mistakes and taking responsibility for them are important, but in order for this to happen, we must allow a process of learning from those mistakes in order to achieve growth.
An approach that's looking for whom to blame, get angry at and fire for mistakes and failures, is one that doesn't encourage creative thinking, thinking big and involved, and eventually hurts the chances of the startup to succeed.
Skills & Entrepreneurship education