I’ve written profiles for about 80 values-driven businesses, and one of them shut down last week. As I think about it, there are probably 7 or 8 which have failed in the last five years.

That’s better than average, actually, as the SBA estimated that 95% of startups don’t survive their first five years. But it’s not a comforting thought.

As someone who is trying to do something special, even world-changing, in your business, why don’t statistics like this cause you to just give up?

Because even the failure of a business is an opportunity to learn, and can make a difference.

When I was in the corporate world, I had the opportunity to start up a couple of businesses. It saddened me – and still gives me twinges – that both of them were shut down about a year later. It had nothing to do with me moving into a different role – hindsight has shown me that neither was really viable at that time.

But the value from that time in my career was absolutely amazing, including:

  • I was able to employ up to 50 people over a couple of years.
  • These projects launched the careers for several people.
  • We learned TONS of things about how to start up innovative products inside a larger company.
  • This was a key part of why I’ve ended up in business coaching decades later.
  • In part, it formed my philosophy around values based businesses – and indeed, was a testbed for many concepts I use today.

Yes, this was a business failure. But because we learned and grew from the experience, it was immensely valuable to many people.

But don’t let that take you away from devoting your full passion and energy to business success today!