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Fear of failure, making difficult decisions: How these leaders turned their mistakes into stepping stones to success – News

Published: Sunday, February 4, 2024, 6:00 am

When Emirati entrepreneur Mouza Alabbar launched a unique chocolate brand, she did the math, had a plan and created a product she loved. However, it was not received as she expected. Just two months after the launch of her outlet on Al Serkal Avenue, Mouza made a difficult decision

“I called my marketing manager and told her we had to change everything,” he recalled. “The colors, the design, everything was wrong. We delayed the opening and worked day and night to produce a new brand. “Two days before the opening, I looked around and wondered if anyone would buy it.”

Although it was a difficult decision at the time considering how much money had been invested and how many people had been hired, it was the best decision he made. Their Ganache brand is now 11 months old and very popular. “The numbers achieved by the brand have exceeded all expectations,” he stated. “On opening day the space was full.”

Mouza Alabbar

Mouza Alabbar

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Mouza was illustrating how mistakes are a stepping stone for companies. Speaking at the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2024 (SEF) on Saturday, Mouza further highlighted that failures can be the best teachers.

“Sometimes you have all the right numbers, plans and business ideas, but maybe it wasn’t the right time,” he said. “It happens but it hurts and you lose money.”

The two-day festival that brings together some of the best entrepreneurs from around the world saw thought leaders from various fields come together for inspiring talks across four stages as startups pitched their ideas to investors attending the festival.

‘Being afraid is good’

Another speaker at the event was adaptive mountaineer Fahad Badar. Fahad, the first Arab to reach the double summit of Everest and Lhotse in a single trip, lost four fingers to severe frostbite in 2021 while attempting to reach the summit of Broad Peak mountain in Pakistan.

“The only thing mountaineering and entrepreneurship have in common is failure,” he said, speaking with Khaleej Times. “Being afraid of failure is very good. It keeps you alert. It keeps you cautious. Fear is a positive thing for me. Being afraid does not mean giving up. Being afraid means you become more careful, you focus on yourself and the situation.”

Fahad Badar

Fahad Badar

With pitch competitions, startup lounges and informational workshops, SEF has become the meeting point for all budding entrepreneurs in the country to learn valuable lessons. Iman Ben Chaibah, Director of Community Engagement at SEF, said the aim was to inspire as many people as possible. “We try to showcase as many local businesses as possible,” he said. “People are inspired by companies. When they see a successful restaurant or e-commerce business, they are inspired to try giving it a try. And an inspired population is one that has the stars as its limit.”

‘Learn from experience’

Philips Bahoshy, founder of CEO and Magnitt, was one of the speakers at the event and highlighted that there were several common mistakes that startups made. “One is for them to go into business on their own,” he said. “It’s always best to have a team to bounce ideas off of and include different skill sets to be successful.”

He said it was also important for entrepreneurs to focus on making money. “Gone are the days of building companies at scale,” he said. “Gone are the days when you could create a social media platform where you could hopefully reach a certain number of subscribers and then make money. It is no longer easy to build a Facebook or an Instagram.”

He advised that anyone who wanted to start a business should spend time studying the market. “People should join a company and learn from the founders’ experience,” she said. “They should spend two or three years studying the industry and then plan their next move. Passion is the most important thing because it will be a 10 to 12 trip and if you don’t have passion you will get bored very quickly.”

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