Small business owners agree: Making mistakes is the key to success

NEW YORK — If you’re looking to be successful, it turns out being resilient is a key factor. A new study of small business owners finds that being unsuccessful is an important part in learning how to become a winner!

That’s one of the takeaways from a new global survey, which reveals that 88 percent of respondents share that sentiment — saying that to be successful, people can’t be afraid to make mistakes. In fact, 85 percent don’t believe they’d be where they are today if they stopped trying after making a mistake at work.

The global survey of 8,000 small business owners and employees across 15 countries included data from 2,000 Americans — 1,000 small business owners and 1,000 employees with 10+ years of experience in their fields.

Succeeding to fail

Results show that 84 percent of small business owners and employees globally see making mistakes as an opportunity for growth. The small business owners surveyed reported experiencing an average of two unsuccessful ideas before finding one that worked — but these ideas created learning opportunities and were therefore still important in their growth.

Of those who’ve had previous unsuccessful ideas, 89 percent learned lessons from each one — showing that, for most respondents, missteps are actually part of their success.

Commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition, ahead of National Small Business Week in May, the survey asked respondents about the specific lessons they’ve learned through their workplace mishaps. Topping the list of lessons is learning how to be more productive (41%) and gaining a better understanding of their tasks (34%).

Respondents also say they’ve learned how to prioritize (32%), picked up a better understanding of the big picture (30%), and found a willingness to learn best practices and innovate with continued education (27%).

“Good business fundamentals and hard work, when combined with planning, organization and surrounding yourself with supportive people who can offer an honest opinion, can be the essential drivers to success,” says John DeSimone, president of Herbalife Nutrition, in a statement.

Small business tips

The survey by OnePoll also asked small business owners what they’d say to someone starting a business. The top piece of advice is to make a business plan (41%) first. In addition to that, small business owners believe it’s important to get organized (39%) and not to be afraid to make mistakes (38%).

Other respondents add, “know your own strengths and play to them,” “get out there and have fun,” and “never give up.”

“In business, just like in life, what matters most is seizing the opportunity to learn and improve,” DeSimone says. “Entrepreneurs are constantly learning and growing and ultimately making their businesses stronger in the process.”

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