We caught up with PayFast merchant Nic Haralambous and The Money Show’s host Bruce Whitfield during a compelling Heavy Chef talk on the meaning of failure when you’re building a business.
Making mistakes in life is inevitable but it’s how you deal with these failures that separates successful entrepreneurs from those that throw in the towel when the going gets tough. Serial entrepreneur Nic Haralambous took us through some of the personal low points he’s experienced on his entrepreneurial journey so far with one key message: only those that DO can FAIL and we shouldn’t let the fear of failure prevent us from doing.
Instead, Nic implores that we should embrace each failure as a valuable lesson comparable to the age-old anecdote that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Failing here and there doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you a doer who is prepared to take risks, accepting that some risks will pay off and some don’t and that’s just life.
There is no failure-free path to success when building your business, whether it’s making a poor staffing decision, choosing the wrong business partner or being responsible for a costly strategic blunder. Nic and countless other entrepreneurs have been there and, most importantly, will continue to make mistakes as they grow and expand their businesses. As long as you’ve learnt from your failures and paid your proverbial school fees, nothing is lost and everything is gained.
In this spirit, Nic also urges entrepreneurs to take a long-term view of building their business rather than aiming to make a quick buck. A closer look at some of the world’s most successful brands and businesses indicates that businesses prosper over time. Even Facebook is 14 years old. So if you’ve been hustling for the last five years and don’t have investors knocking down your door, don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep doing, keep failing, keep learning and enjoy the process as you grow personally and professionally.
Thanks to Heavy Chef, there’s still time to catch Nic in Johannesburg. Get your ticket, which includes a free copy of Nic’s book Do.Fail.Learn.Repeat, here.
Nic Haralambous is the owner and founder of Nic Harry, a luxury sock and underwear retailer. Before that, Nic had founded the social networking app Motribe, which was acquired by Mxit in 2012.