“Every failure, every adversity and every heartache, carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill.
Are you open to failure? Do you admit your failures? Do you learn from them?
Failure Makes You Stronger
A big failure of mine was getting fired. I was a fresh MBA and took a job as Marketing Director of the Spaghetti Shop. I worked in their corporate office and was hired to run campaigns and help all the franchisees. I really didn’t know what I was doing that fresh out of college. I worked long hours and gave it my best shot, yet was let go after about six months. At first, I was angry. I had moved my life across two states to take the job. With time and self-reflection I realized I wasn’t the best person for the job. It was a good thing because I continued to develop Taylor Studios, too. As a business owner, I have also made tough decisions when someone wasn’t the right fit. It has given me empathy and perspective in the rest of my life.
I have also fallen off a horse many times in my life. If I never got back on after being knocked around a bit, I wouldn’t have the joy they have brought my whole life. “Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
One of our core values is IMPROVEMENT. It includes evaluating our mistakes. We ask ourselves how we can make sure the mistake isn’t made again. We come up with plans, systems, processes, or whatever to make sure it doesn’t. Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We try to make sure we don’t go insane.
Failure Brings New Ideas
When we analyze potential new markets or products we have a saying to “fail fast and fail cheap.” Ok, that investment failed, lets move on to the next one. Don’t be afraid to say this didn’t work or your resources will not be used to their most effective potential.
Contingency Plans Make Failure Manageable
It is also important to think about what might go wrong and have contingency plans. With my Spaghetti Shop failure, I had skills and a strong work ethic so it didn’t take long to get over that loss and get on with life. Sometimes I’ve been called a pessimist when I ask, “what if _____ happens.” I even have the management team discuss what would happen if one of us dies or is disabled and can’t work. My team has a plan if something horrific happens. These contingency plans help handle life’s curve balls and palliate failures.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas A. Edison
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ― Thomas A. Edison