It took Thomas Edison ten thousand tries to perfect the light bulb. It’s a, if not the, classic story of overcoming failure through perseverance.
But the reality is that the founder of GE had resources unavailable to most private business owners today. It begs the question: how many failures can you afford before you get it right? Certainly, it's far less than old Tom.
Failures are part of business, and life. If we are smart, we learn from them. If we are not, we are soon out of business, and sometimes out of life.
But let's not dwell on the negative. There are plenty of motivational and instructional quotes on the value of trying but failing, one of my favorites being "A man's errors are the portals of discovery."
If failures are inevitable, can we minimize their occurrence and impact on our businesses and our lives? How do we turn them into teachable moments, into Joyce's "portals of discovery?"