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Somehow You Have To Lose To Win In Your Business

In business and in life, so much of what you do is perspective. When things are going well, when the money is flowing in, and you are so busy you don’t have time to think, it’s human nature to tend not to change anything. But when you don’t change anything you also don’t grow as a business person. You essentially stay stagnant, whether you realize it immediately or not. The same can happen with your business even though, at the moment, you may think things are moving along at a productive, profitable pace. You just feel good, not as stressed or worried about the business. But this comfort zone can also give you a false sense of security because you may not be looking at or thinking about your business in ways you should. That is why sometimes you have to lose in order to win in your business.

A business loss can be anything including:

  • the loss of a valuable or key employee
  • losing a long time, major account or customer that leaves a significant dent in your sales and profits
  • an unforeseen catastrophe such as a flood or a fire
  • making a bad business decision
  • buying the wrong equipment
  • making the wrong marketing choices which leads to a loss of revenue.

We live in a society where people have been conditioned to think they should win most of the time, if not, all of the time. Television shows and commercials often depict unrealistic circumstances. We expect our favorite sports teams to win; to be number one. There’s controversy about giving children trophies for participation rather than if they placed first or second or even, third. Winning in business is somewhat different than your favorite sports team winning. Still, it is all about competition.


To be successful in business, somehow you have to lose to win.

Here’s why:

Winning in business means as a CEO, president or business owner, your company needs to make a profit with the least amount of stress involved. To earn profit with each transaction, contract or project, goods and services are provided to a customer or client experiencing a problem. The problem could be anything. It’s often a problem the customer doesn’t want to deal with directly themselves or have the resources available so they engage a company like yours. When they do, there is a money transaction.

But, as you may well know from experience, it doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes, your company takes on a project that just doesn’t go well. Other times, you hire a new employee only to discover it’s not going well for you or the employee. You thought you had the perfect client or employee, but you didn’t.

Business success is an accumulation of experiences. Some of those experiences are not going to be pleasant. As a CEO, president or business owner, you want to make sure the majority of business experiences are positive; have a successful, profitable outcome with everything done right. In other words, you win. The customer wins. The employees win. It’s a win-win for all involved.

But there will be times, no matter what you do or say, when you cannot win. Sometimes it’s out of your control. Sometimes you make a mistake; even a BIG mistake. Sometimes there’s unexpected weather which impacts a business situation. Sometimes the competition beats you and you come in second rather than first. Coming in second doesn’t count in business when it means lost revenue for your company.

Remember: Somehow you have to lose to win in business.

If you think everything is just going fine, you’ve never made a mistake, you’ve never lost a contract or a customer or you’ve never really had a problem then you’ve never lost, you are not prepared for business.

When things do not go well the result is: You get stronger. You gain more understanding about business and people.

Of course, that’s a choice, isn’t it?


Any time something isn’t going well in your business, say to yourself:

What happened? I want to make sure this never happens again. I am going to continue to build a strong business. Every time the company loses at something, the goal is to analyze what happened and why.

That’s how you build a dynamic business!


Even after you build a dynamic business you’ve worked at for years along with all the mistakes, though you’ve gotten better at anticipating and managing the company, there will still be mistakes. Different than the mistakes previously but still mistakes.

The only way not to make a mistake in business is by not doing anything. Hiding under your desk. But that’s a mistake too because your business will just crumble. You won’t have a business. Then what?

When things go wrong in your business, don’t panic. Certainly, you’re going to be upset but look at the situation logically.

Ask yourself:

  • Is this something that was directly the company’s fault?
  • Is this something the company could have averted?
  • Is there training or coaching that needs done with employees?
  • Do company policies and/or procedures need to be updated?
  • What happened? Why?


Commit to it not happening again!

That’s why sometimes you have to lose to win in order to make the company better and stronger.

When you build a strong business, build it on a strong foundation. The strong foundation will serve you well. As time goes on, the company is growing and making a profit, everything is going well including when mistakes are made because other mistakes were corrected and learned from along the way. With experience and a strong foundation, the mistake will not be the problem or issue it may otherwise have been. It’s just a momentary inconvenience. It’s just something you need to take care of in the most professional, business-like way possible.

When a mistake happens, embrace it. Don’t deny it happened. Find out why it happened, how it happened and what the long term solution is so it doesn’t happen again.

You can’t do business without making mistakes.

From loss can come real success.

Just don’t make the BIG mistake that will cost you your business.


To your success!


Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises – CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Get MORE from your business! Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.


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