From Big Business to Bankruptcy: Overcoming Failure in Start-ups

“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.”

– Robert T. Kiyosaki

It’s not an easy task to establish a successful start-up. Competition is fierce, and even those companies that have a solid plan and great idea, are never guaranteed survival. In fact, last year Business Insider ran an article that calculated that the start-up success rate (a “success” being defined as selling for at least $40 million) is 0.4%!

Those odds are terrifying. Although the figure can be debated, the other estimated success rates aren’t exactly favourable either. Failure in start-ups is a viable outcome—and the inability to deal with failure can lead to the demise of an entrepreneur.

Martin Bjergegaard, serial entrepreneur and author of Winning Without Losing, understands how to react when facing failure. As a guest speaker at Iværk og Vækst’s “From Big Business to Bankruptcy” seminar, Martin explained the dangers of being afraid of failure. Of course, we would all prefer to succeed—but the key to making it through failure is to remember that your company does not define you. See what else Martin has to say in the short video below.

“[Entrepreneurship] is a learning experience. You need to remember to have fun while you do it, and no matter what happens—you’re still just a human being.”

-Martin Bjergegaard



There are entrepreneurs out there who become completely unrecognisable if their company goes down. They dwell on the mistakes, and concoct endless “What if” scenarios that end up taking a toll on their personal lives. Martin makes it clear that it isn’t failure that isolates you from others—it’s how you react to it.

Martin is known for his balanced attitude and approach to business. Having started multiple successful start-ups, as well as some failures, his goal has always been to have work-life balance at the core of his companies. Of course no one is completely unfazed by failure, Martin included, but as a man who practices what he preaches, Martin shows us that there is more to life than work. Focusing simply on business and financial success will not make you happy as person.

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Philip Trampe
3 Nov 2014

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