“As it turned out”

It’s over.

Your company, project, product, or app failed. Perhaps it simply didn’t achieve the level of success you’d envisioned or the impact you’d hoped for, or maybe the failure was consequential enough to have long-term repercussions.

Every dominant player I know or with whom I’ve co-created with has had the stinging experience of a business failure–some more than once. It can take a good long time for the painful memory to fade.

After a business failure, it’s natural for us to blame ourselves. “I should have known better. Look at the time, money and energy I wasted and the opportunity costs that won’t ever be recouped.”

Still – you did your homework. You sought out trusted guidance, got some early consumer buy-in, and did your due diligence and market research. You handled the financial needs, and then — you went for it.

After all that you did right, it still failed. Circumstances weren’t with you this time.

“As it turned out.” A seasoned businessman and mentor recently shared those words with me. He said the phrase was not to be viewed as a safe harbor in case of failure or a justification, but as a truism about life. Not all endeavors turn out successfully, no matter how hard you worked or how much you believed that it would. Sometimes luck or timing plays a hand.

Had you known the outcome ahead of time, you would never have moved forward, but that doesn’t mean that the experience was a total loss. Use the rear-view mirror to carefully analyze whether there were warning signs you might have missed, and take the hard won business lessons you’ve learned and apply them to your future endeavors.

“As it turned out,” this wasn’t the success, the “cookbook,” platform or project you’d hoped it would be.

Nothing more.