We rarely talk about failure as a people. We talk about failure in hush tones because society abhors failure and people who fail. You stand the risk of getting ridiculed when you fail. One thing is for sure, nobody succeeded without failing at least once in whatever endeavor they find themselves in. This is why we at Mobile Web Ghana came up with the idea to create a forum where upcoming entrepreneurs can be bold to speak about the failures in their career and also listen to the failure stories of those who have gone ahead of them. The objective is to learn from failure and not merely to celebrate it.
The #FailureForum was held at Mobile Web Ghana on Saturday 3rd June 2017. In a society where we hardly talk about failures, this initiative focused on breaking away from the norm.
The event kicked off at 10:30 am with Mrs. Florence Toffa the Director of Mobile Web Ghana opening the forum by welcoming all the participants. Shortly after, she commenced the introduction session by telling the participants about one of her greatest failures as a technology entrepreneur. The participants also followed suit by mentioning their names and sharing their failure stories. Although it is not the norm to talk about one’s failures, the participants showed through their introductions that they really enjoyed sharing their failure stories.
One of the speakers of the event, Paul Zeim (founder of NerdCore) gave a brief history of his company and talked extensively about how to deal with failure as a startup. One of the profound statements he made was: ‘From personal experience, always pick attitude over skill every day (when choosing team members). You can always teach skill’.
This he said in reference to the struggle entrepreneurs go through in selecting team members. His advice implies that entrepreneurs should always value the attitude of their team members over their skills because skill can always be taught. He further added that though sometimes entrepreneurs can get emotionally attached to their employees, it is always better to fire quickly lest their inadequacies cause your business to fail.
Stephen Gyasi, CEO of Precise Communications Ltd. also shared a few nuggets with all gathered there concerning how they can come out of failure. He mentioned that “Some of the failures you experience will ruin your relationships with people and sometimes you might get into lawsuits”. He cited an example where an entrepreneur borrows money from a friend and isn’t able to pay when the time is due for him to do so. This alone might cost him his relationship with his friend and he might even be dragged to court. Such situations are hard to deal with, however, Stephen admonished all gathered at the event to always accept failure as part of the journey to success and work hard through the setback and learn from it rather than allowing one event to hamper progress in their career.
At the end of the day, all who came were delighted that they came. There was a brief networking session at the end of the event before all the attendees left our premises.