In a blog post on Techvibes, Knowlton Thomas talked about Canada’s risk-adverse culture, and how a cultural shift will propel the startup sector.

It’s a valid argument, particularly compared with how U.S. entrepreneurs operate. By nature, they are more aggressive, opportunistic, bold and optimistic. U.S. entrepreneurs are happy to tell the world about their wonderful products, even if their products aren’t so wonderful. Canadian entrepreneurs suffer from not being cocky enough.

But here’s the thing about having a bigger appetite for risk: it also makes it more likely that a startup will fail.

In Canada, unfortunately, failure is a four-letter word.

We treat failure as evil, embarrassing and something avoided at all costs. There is a stigma surrounding failure that terrifies Canadian entrepreneurs.

Why the fear of failure? Is it because Canadians are, by nature, conservative? Are we too timid, humble or happy to embrace modest success?

Whatever the reason, failure is bad.

The reality, however, is failure is good.

Failure is humbling but it is also an opportunity to learn, gain valuable experience and embrace a new or different approach. Canadians should embrace failure as an integral part of the entrepreneurial journey.

If Canadian entrepreneurs are afraid to fail, they are limiting their ability to succeed. 

The prospect of failing causes entrepreneurs to make safe, low-risk choices. It stops them from taking chances and throwing all their chips on the table.

It’s time for us to stop being afraid to fail. It’s time to embrace more risk. Are you ready?

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