“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, said George Santayana. It is in this vein that we shall look at 5 lessons that can be learnt from the experience of others – those who have come before you, and who have successfully skirted the challenges you will face. 

1. Learn From the Mistakes of Others

“One thing is in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes” said Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group. Entrepreneurs should strive to break the mold. Look to other businesses, both successes and failures, with a critical eye to identify and build off of best practices.

2. This Is Business. Don’t Get Emotional

This can be likened to the uphill battles many entrepreneurs find themselves in. It all can be very emotionally taxing. Separating emotions from business decisions is key to avoiding risky situations.

3. Prepare For the Worst

A plan B is mandatory, and there should be a well-formed plan C as well. On top of that, entrepreneurs should have an exit strategy that accounts for failure. Genuinely preparing for the possibility of failure enables you to best recognise it and to timely react.

“We had planned for it mentally, emotionally and financially and decided we weren’t going to take it personally, which was why it only took us two weeks to recharge and start our next venture.” says one serial entrepreneur when one of their ventures failed.

Identifying failure makes it easier to move on.

4. Consider Changing Things Up

Thinking in terms of strategic options for your business might not be a bad idea.

5. Be Realistic and Stay Realistic

Setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals (SMART goals) is the secret of successful entrepreneurs.

The above are all lessons entrepreneurs can learn from the experiences of others. Balance those with lessons from personal success as well. The best entrepreneurs know the benefits of both.

Culled from entrepreneur.com