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Why failure is a key step in the path to success

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The success of that billion dollar startup you read about wasn't as easy as it looks. It will have failed along the way, as have most successful businesses.

The path to success

Most budding entrepreneurs read the success stories of the growing number of billion dollar startups, salivating as they picture the day they’ll steal the limelight and effortlessly close a $50 Million funding round.

And like a fly to a light, such warped accounts of the path to success draw them closer.

In 2014 alone, the UK’s Company House registered 582,173 new businesses.

It suggests the hunger for entrepreneurial success is growing, but what many don’t realize is that the path to success certainly isn’t straight.

In an exclusive interview with Hot Topics, serial entrepreneur, Ted speaker and Harvard Business School expert in residence Malcolm Bell, shares some of his failures.

Bell explains that without them, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

“I think you have to do things that don’t always work out. I think that’s a rite of passage… But I think that it’s important to draw the executional and operational lessons you can from the things that don’t work out”

“Zaggora, which is acclaimed for being a great success…made so many mistakes.”

Bell set up the company with his wife, Dessi in 2011. The business produced technology-enhanced workout wear to maximize workouts at the gym.

“We allowed people to order from the website from anywhere in the world. And so we had orders from customers in Vietnam, customers in Mongolia and even Iran, we had some customers from Tehran that ordered…We had no idea how we were going to ship them the product, at all. And that ended up as a bit of a mess.”

It’s an interesting thought, that even something as small as working out shipping can cause nightmares.

Malcolm Bell is testament to that idea, and has shown that the path to success is often not what it seems, or as the media present it.

Failure runs rife in startup land, but it’s an act of grave importance.

For success to occur, one must learn from the mistakes made.

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