The resilience of a boxer and the ambition of an Alpinist: serial entrepreneurs and learning from failure

Serial entrepreneurs: learning from failure

In an interactive session of the SME club (by The French Chamber of Great Britain), two entrepreneurs, Sophie Mirman, Founder and Director of Trotters Childrenswear & Accessories, and Alexis Grabar, Founder of AviaMediaTech recounted the triumphs, trials, and tribulations of their respective entrepreneurial journeys.

This article was first published in INFO Mag, a publication from The French Chamber of Commerce. September/October 2013 issue


The concept of failure is not one with which Europeans are particularly comfortable, but all entrepreneurs have to both confront and learn from it. As serial entrepreneurs, Sophie Mirman and Alexis Grabar’s experiences of success and failure have been very different, but both agreed that entrepreneurs have to have an ability to bounce back.

The issue of failure is a cultural one, as Alexis Grabar explained. ‘For Europeans – particularly the French who come from a Grandes Ecoles background – the ‘f’ word is one we can’t even pronounce. In Japan, it’s even worse – if you fail you commit suicide. Americans have a completely different perspective – they see the need to understand failure, learn from it and recover from it. The reality is that talking about what happened and learning from failure is very important’.

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