Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan. This popular proverb unfortunately does not hold true for an entrepreneur. When he sees success, he feels the need to acknowledge the contribution of a lot of people. But when he fails, he has to stand up and take ownership. He has to become the father to that failure. This happens to most entrepreneurs naturally, without making an effort to be empathetic.
When you claim responsibility of failures one after another, self doubt creeps in, no matter how strong you are. And trust me, there are more failures than successes.
The struggles in the life of a first generation entrepreneur are very real. Successful enterprises, need complete involvement of the entrepreneur. The intensity of the profession is such that Business and Life get mixed up inseparably. Losses make you more humble. In other words, they bring down your self esteem, humility is just a side effect. When there is a series of losses, it does take a toll on you as a person and it easily percolates in your personal life.
In India, failure is looked at as a taboo. But risks and failure are an integral part of business. You need to take risks in business. Some of them don’t pay off. Smaller businesses can get away with small setbacks. The results for larger businesses are catastrophic.
In the world of capitalism, business and economy make a nation powerful. Super successful businessmen will take India forward. To become super successful, businesses will have to take great risks, and some of them are not going to pay off. Some businesses who try to become big, fail big. This is where the role of the society is important. We need to look at failed businessmen, as failed businessmen. If they are in a legal tangle, the judicial system of India is competent enough to bring them to justice. There is no need to brand failed businessmen as cheats, villains or anti-nationals. Such societal pressure will kill the spirit of entrepreneurship, one blow at a time. The real heroes of today, need to be empowered, not mutilated.
In 4th Century BC, a Prince Siddhartha from India discovered that happiness comes from detachment. 2500 years later, another Prince Siddhartha from India couldn’t follow suit. I guess involvement with detachment is the paradox of life.