Developing an entrepreneurial mindset - Failure

We close the series of self-paced videos for Module Three - Developing an entrepreneurial mindset - by preparing to use failure as a valuable learning experience.

We’re going to cover:

  • What is failure and how to find room for it​
  • Action: Embrace continuous learning with “Failure Autopsy”​
  • How to reduce fear of failing​
  • What to be aware of when it comes to failing​
  • Action: Practice the “Alternate Universe” exercise​

"Failure" means:

  • Success in progress
  • Finding 10,000 ways that won’t work
  • To miss scoring the game-winning shot
  • To live life properly, in the pursuit of meaningful experiences
  • A temporary detour, not a dead-end street

Embrace continuous learning with “Failure Autopsy”​

1. Set the stage. Explain the shift in perspective

2. Select & define a failure​. Choose wisely & work thoroughly

3. Analyze the failure​. Identify causes, decisions, benefits

4. Extract lessons​. See mistakes & key takeaways

5. Reflect & apply growth​. Shift the mindset & use the knowledge

6. Share with the group. Encourage collective learning​

How to reduce the fear of failing​

  • Analyze all potential outcomes​. Use a Decision Tree to visually map possible outcomes
  • Learn to think more positively​. Employ “The Work” by Katie Byron or “ABCDE of emotions” for this
  • Look at the worst-case scenario​. Ask yourself what is the actual worst that can happen and explore it
  • Have a contingency plan​. Put together a “Plan B” for those moments when you are most afraid​


  • Failure can teach you unexpected things about yourself!​
  • There is no universal definition: YOU define what failure is!​
  • Success is about progress, not about perfection!​
  • Find meaning in failure by seeing it as a piece of the puzzle!​
  • Forge resilience through repeated failures!​

Practice the “Alternate Universe” exercise​

1. Select a failure​. Ensure it is comfortable to revisit.

2. Set the context​. Provide a brief overview of the failure.

3. Imagine alternate Universes​. Go for different choices and decisions.

4. Visualize outcomes​. See each alternate universe.

5. Process insights​. Reflect on the newfound info.

6. Identify take-aways. Conclude with lessons learned​.

“Failure is the condiment ​that gives success its flavor.” - Truman Capote​

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