Dear Entrepreneur,

Try to treat failure like a scientist would. Here is what I mean: when a scientist runs an experiment, there are all sorts of possible results that could happen. Some even unexpected. Some results are positive, while some are negative, but to a scientist, all of them are data points. Each result is a piece of data that can ultimately lead to an answer, and that’s exactly how a scientist treats failure: as another data point.

However, this is much different than how society treats or often talks about failure. For most of us, failure feels like an indication of who we are as a person. If you’re still in school, failing a test or examination means you’re not smart enough. If you’re trying to get in shape, failing to get and stay fit means you’re undesirable. And as an entrepreneur, failing in business means you don’t have what it takes.

But for scientists, a negative result is not an indication that they are bad scientists. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. To a scientist, proving a hypothesis wrong is often just as useful and important as proving it right because they will definitely learn something along the way. So as an entrepreneur, never forget that failures are simply data points that can eventually help lead you to the right answer.

With love,
Chidi