4 Important Lessons About Failure

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4 Important Lessons About Failure From Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran

This article is courtesy of BusinessCollective, featuring thought leadership content by
ambitious young entrepreneurs, executives & small business owners.
Embracing fear and failure is a key component
of becoming an entrepreneur
. You need to take a leap of faith to be a
success in the startup world, and no one knows this better than Barbara
Despite her $80 million net worth
and tremendous success as a businesswoman and TV personality, “Shark Tank” star
Barbara Corcoran is no stranger to failure. She received straight D’s
throughout her academic career and held 20 different jobs by the time she
turned 23. But that all began to change in 1973 when she cofounded a real estate
business that flourished into an exceptionally successful company. In 2001, she
sold her business for $66 million to NRT Incorporated, the largest residential
real estate brokerage company in the U.S.
Corcoran’s many successes
over the past several decades are linked to several key insights and
philosophies. She recently compiled an online
 titled, “The Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship: Pitching Your
Business and Yourself.” The goal of the course is to force people off the
fence: to push them either to go into entrepreneurship or to keep their day
Here are the core
philosophies highlighted in the course that all successful entrepreneurs
should have:
Corcoran firmly believes that
success and failure are undeniably linked: All
successful entrepreneurs know how to fail well and deal with rejection.
Every failure has an equally
great upside if you’re willing to stay in the game. The first time Corcoran
gave a presentation to a large audience, she lost her voice. While many people
would have avoided public speaking at all costs after this, Corcoran
volunteered to teach a real estate night course at New York University. She
decided that she had two choices in this situation: stay in hiding and be
embarrassed and ashamed, or learn how to do it right.
Embracing and learning from fear
has paved the path for Corcoran to accept opportunities and
continuously pursue her dreams.
Immense Optimism
In business, optimism is more
important than intelligence. Sometimes, being too rational can lead to missed
opportunities. Meditation will start every day with a clear and concise
mind that is ready to be optimistic in
the face of failure
You have to become hopeful
beyond all logic if you are going to be a successful entrepreneur. Based on
Corcoran’s philosophy, you will need to see everything as half full even when
everyone else sees nothing in your glass.
Pressure and Don’t Over-Analyze
You can’t always study to be an
entrepreneur, you just have to take a leap of faith. Corcoran believes that
creating pressure is important. She thinks that people under fire react more
intelligently than those standing on the outside making careful assessments.
As mentioned above, logic can
sometimes be more hurtful than helpful. If you wait to discover the best way to
do something, you’ll be waiting forever. Corcoran doesn’t subscribe to the idea
that there is a correct time to expand a business. Waiting for all the
variables to fall into the perfect place will equal no results and waiting
Fake It
‘Til You Are It
To be a successful entrepreneur,
you need to look and act the part. If you follow this strategy, without even
realizing it, you will soon become the part. Insecurity never goes away; even
highly effective entrepreneurs like Corcoran say that they struggle with it
daily. The difference is that, for Corcoran, insecurity
is a motivator
For example, Corcoran finds that
women struggle with insecurity more than men. Part of her solution is to ask
herself, What would a man do? She acts as her own
cheerleader and sometimes even thinks arrogant thoughts to propel herself
forward: “I have every right to be here as this guy does; I have the right
to be as rich as he is.”

Entrepreneurship requires proper
planning and successful control over emotional change. Inspirational people
like Barbara Corcoran show us that we are not alone in the struggle of
successful entrepreneurship. Moreover, failure, pressure and positivity are key
components of entrepreneurial success.

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