“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” C. S. Lewis.
Did you make any mistakes today? Who doesn’t? We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Do you realize that failure is really only failure if you don’t learn something from it? With the right mindset, you can go through your entire life without ever really failing.
If things came too easy for you, you would never be challenged to improve? Thomas Edison didn’t fail 1,000 times when he was trying to invent the incandescent light bulb; he found 1,000 ways that it didn’t work, which ultimately lead him to the one way that did work. And, he never gave up!
If you try something and it doesn’t work out exactly as you had hoped, step back and ask yourself a few questions: What did work about it? Was there something it achieved that maybe wasn’t your ultimate goal, but moved you in a forward direction? What did you learn when you tried it? By learning what your customer’s don’t want, did you get a bit clearer about what they do want?
Maybe it wasn’t the idea that was the problem, but the target audience wasn’t the right match for the strategy. Maybe you didn’t give the idea enough time. Just because something doesn’t work overnight doesn’t mean that it won’t work. So, don’t abandon ideas too quickly. Give them time to see if they will work.
“There was a journey in being an entrepreneur. “It was about going through failure and bouncing back. Are you going to bounce back and take the chance to go to bat again, or let this failure stop you? If you look at all of the ultimate success stories, both personally and professionally, they all had to bounce back at one time or another.” says Nicholas Hall, CEO of Start-upFailure.com. Failure is part of the success journey. You simply cannot have success without the learnings that come from failure. They are interchangeable.
How big of a risk should you take in trying something for which you may fail? In his book The Empowered Manager, Peter Block writes about 'non-suicidal courageous acts'. The goal is to take reasonable risks, not commit suicide. Those are risk-taking behaviors that are related to facing harsh realities, admitting our own contribution to the problem, and being authentic in the face of disapproval. Courageous people are not socially or politically suicidal or homicidal. You don't need to be extreme to be brave.
Weigh the risks, don’t give up and make sure you learn from your mistakes. You are bound to make mistakes, everyone does. Learn from them and allow them to propel you forward. Fail fabulously!