3 Truths About Failure

Whether you’re in the aftermath or still trying to trouble-shoot to avoid defeat, here are important truths to keep in mind.

We spend so much time avoiding making mistakes, but sometimes our most concerted efforts can’t prevent the inevitable. A couple of years ago, Katleho Tsoku, then 25, founded a restaurant called Bliss. It was a passion project and one she dedicated herself to wholeheartedly. 

Katleho Tsoku

Despite her hard work and commitment, the restaurant struggled. Less than three years after opening the doors, Tsoku had exhausted all the savings and capital initially invested into the business. She had to retrench the staff of 13 and close down. With the benefit of hindsight and having healed from this slight, she can reflect on lessons learnt from this season.

TRUTH: Sometimes We Are Not Ready To Handle What We Ask For

“While I can blame location or lack of funding for the demise of Bliss, sometimes our biggest dreams do not fully manifest because we are just not ready for them,” says Tsoku. “I now know that sometimes, your biggest dreams WILL be given to you so that they are used as vessels to teach you the lessons you need to learn in order to be ready for bigger, better, grander dreams.”

TRUTH: Failure is Not Pervasive

“BLISS did not make it because of financial difficulties,” says Tsoku. “But I know that it was successful in so many aspects and it is those successes I can take into my future ventures. A year after Bliss was closed, I was in line at Woolworths minding my own business when I overheard two ladies ahead of me have a conversation saying how amazing that Bliss at 44 Stanley was and it was a pity that it was no longer around. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing that feeling was to me. Yes, Bliss had failed, but was successful in a sense that it had left an impression on people that they were still talking about it long after it closed. I still get people asking me when I am re-opening BLISS, which affirms that I did succeed in some aspects and I should OWN that success.”

TRUTH: There Is A Bigger Picture

Failure Recovery

“A dear friend of mine once asked me what my purpose was and how did Bliss fit into it,” recalls Tsoku." I was unable to answer him, but for some reason the question remained the orange monkey on my back. It was a question that pulled at my core. I am now certain, until you are clear on what your purpose is, you are in big trouble forever. Certainly Bliss was built with love and good intentions, but I was not clear on how it served my true purpose. But it certainly was a catalyst in awakening me to my purpose and how my current entrepreneurial pursuits are in line with that.”