The greatest teacher failure is

If you haven’t yet seen The Last Jedi, I’ll just say that the latest words of wisdom from Yoda are ‘the greatest teacher failure is’.

Wise words.

And I thought it a timely reminder this New Year’s Eve. It is likely that you set goals to achieve in 2017 and that you realised some and missed others. That you had some wins and even a few losses. That for every success you probably had a failure too.

Because that’s how it should be. The person who never made a mistake never took a risk. And taking risks is what being an entrepreneur is all about. Business owners get this as do investors. Pretty much everyone else, including your family and friends, don’t. And don’t expect them to.

But we do. And we also get that risk and reward are related: the greater the risk the greater the reward (or the greater the reward should be). If this is so, why – I am often asked – do most self-employed business owners earn less than their employed counterparts?

The answer is that rewards are not only financial. Running your own business delivers the ultimate reward: time freedom. The freedom to choose what you do, when you do it and, yes, the freedom to take risks and to fail – which the greatest teacher is.

Which is why, if you are stuck in an unrewarding job or know someone who is, my wish for you in 2018 is this: take a risk and be prepared to fail. Life is short. Meaning and happiness are what matter.

Noel Guilford, Principal at Guilford Accounting
Noel Guilford is the principal of Guilford Accounting a small business accountancy practice specialising in advising owner-managed businesses on current accounting, finance, and tax matters. You can reach him via email at or by phone at 01244 660866. He is the author of the 'Figure it out - an entrepreneurs guide to understanding your business numbers' which you can obtain by visiting​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ His latest book, How to Build a Successful Business' will be published in 2018.

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