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3 Ways to Master and Deal with Failure as A Startup Founder

It is very important that startup founders learn and master how to deal with failure since it’s part of the success journey. Though this is not easy, it’s very learnable.

Don’t be deceived by the perfect status updates of founders on social media about a recent investment deal closed, a selfie with a global business icon or a pitch award at a major startup event. There are a lot of hustle and sometimes tears (men don’t cry, right? Well…) that go on behind the hood that a lot of founders can’t deal with not to talk of sharing it to encourage people.

I believe sometimes there are more lessons to learn in failure than success. Most entrepreneur success stories that inspire us a lot are because there were so many failures to deal with until they became successful and then we say to ourselves we also can if this person was able to do it. Strive Masiyiwa says he never gets frustrated by failures and challenges but rather he focuses on finding the opportunities being created for him.

Bill Gates puts it that, “…it’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Personally, I have had to deal with some failures in my journey as an entrepreneur. I may not have lost a billion dollars or a million users. But I have failed at closing an important investment deal, losing a good amount of money, failed businesses and many more. It really hurts when all the devoted time, hardwork and money you have put into a business doesn’t pay off. But these failures thought me a lot of success lessons and made me a better person.

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I developed these three ways to deal with any failure that comes my way. This is not because I expect failure but to master it when it comes. Below are the three ways;

1. Revisit your vision

Every founder has a deep burning reason why they started a particular business and hope to accomplish them. I started out to contribute to fighting hunger and poverty by building a robust food system that has the capacity to end hunger and poverty. Going back to this reason will rekindle your passion to get you over it. Focusing on the bigger picture blurs the current failure.

2. Talk to people about it

One of the important ways to deal with failure is to share with employees, friends and families. This will ease the pain resulting in a better feeling. Failure increases a lot of negative energy in our body and the more we share the more we decrease this negative energy and replace it with a positive one. But choose the right people since talking to the wrong person is worse as the failure itself. Know your trusted circle and approach them in such times.

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3. Draw out lessons

Every failure teaches unique success lessons. It is up to you to look deep and ask yourself what can I learn from this? This will help you to avoid future failures. Mistakes are okay but not when you have not learnt any lessons from it and repeat the same mistakes (though sometimes it can happen). Thomas Edison found 10,000 ways that won’t work to create the light bulb until the breakthrough.

Sometimes in the failure exists the breakthrough. So don’t beat yourself the next time. Use these three tips and master failure.

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Abraham Nii Omane Quaye is an entrepreneur and founder of Agrocentry, developers of Ghana's online farmers market - . He is on a journey to change the world through Agriculture.

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Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce

Egyptian e-commerce

Egyptian e-commerce: the county’s digital drive has not yet gotten to the growth typically seen in European countries and North America. However, as businesses have started shifting online, customers are now following suit, resulting in the gradual development of the digital eco-system.

Innovation, such as digital marketing, is reinventing the consumers’ path to purchase. The Egyptian e-commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 33% annually to approximately $3bn by 2022, according to Oxford Business Group.

Source Beauty and disruption

The increase in e-commerce comes from rising internet penetration rates, driven by connected and digitally savvy millennials. Several platforms, both locally and internationally, such as the direct-to-consumer beauty platform Source Beauty, have disrupted the beauty industry in the region to drive their growth by truly connecting with their customers.

By being aware of the changing consumer behaviour trends in the e-commerce landscape, service providers like Source Beauty are continually fostering customer engagement with a community they have created. The customer service team, along with the editorial and marketing teams, respond to each comment and direct message, making customers feel listened to.

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Lydia Schoonderbeek, the founder and CEO of Source Beauty, said:

Egypt has traditionally been a price-driven market. After devaluation and high inflation rates, people have become much more price sensitive. People are consuming less and are shifting away from imported products due to price, accessibility and inconsistency in supply. As a result, they’re looking for local alternatives.”

Egyptian e-commerce
Founder of Source Beauty, Lydia Schoonderbeek

In line with its digital transformation and financial inclusion agenda, the Egyptian government has set in place directives to raise the limit for electronic payments for individuals via mobile phones to EGP30,000 (USD1,905) per day, and EGP100,000 (USD6,350) per month, since March 2020. Traditionally, 70% of online purchases were cash on delivery, which has proven to be a major challenge to e-commerce growth throughout the region. This preference has changed to credit card payments, increasing to 30% from 16% due to the spread of Covid-19, but it remains to be seen whether purchasing behaviors will be affected in the long term.

The CEO of Source Beauty further added that, the company had seen substantial growth thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with existing and new customers wanting to limit in-person beauty services and adhering to social distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Beauty customers, she says were changing spending habits, moving towards products that allow them to recreate the salon experience in their homes and protect them from the potential impact of an increasingly digital lifestyle. Finally, she believes they have seen customers prioritising skincare and haircare purchases over makeup.

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The question is, ‘Is anyone in Egypt going to buy beauty products online?’. Who thought people would buy books on the internet from a website called Amazon! Well, the answer seems to be YES. Consumer spending in Egypt on non-essential goods has reached EGP 3.90bn in 2020 and is set to reach 8.81bn in 2021, according to FitchSolution’s 2021 Report.

According to the Egyptian e-commerce beauty company, Source Beauty, it believes that the world is in an era where consumers are looking to associate with brands and not products, to make their beauty purchasing decisions and this is where homegrown brands like theirs will doubtlessly lead to economic growth in Egypt.

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