The journey of an entrepreneur is one of constant experimentation. Some experiments will succeed and some will fail. Regardless of the outcome, entrepreneurs will have many learning opportunities along the way. When I think about it, what propelled my founder friends to success was learning. Not the ability to learn, but the speed at which they learned from experiments and applied those learnings going forward.
A close friend had a marketing business focused on small businesses in a particular niche. He worked closely with his clients to learn their challenges in acquiring customers. Soon, he realized that one of their specific problems was shared by tons of other small and medium-sized businesses. He experimented with solutions until he found one his customers valued. The rest is history. Today that company is valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Everyone can learn, but great founders learn quickly and apply their new knowledge quickly. The next time you wrap up a project (whether the outcome was good or bad), make it a point to look for takeaways and think about how you can apply them in the future. If you do this regularly, you’ll learn rapidly and increase your chances of success.