Look Forward to Failing
Bubble wrap, penicillin, post-it notes, silly putty, microwaves, saccharin (artificial sweetener), scotch guard, x-rays. What do these all have in common? They were products of failures. These were all accidents that came out of attempts to create something entirely different.
From a young age, we’re taught failure is bad. You don’t come home with an “F” feeling like you learned something. You come home with an “F” feeling inadequate. Why?
Look on the Bright Side
There are so many benefits to failing that you can experience once you shake the concept of failure being negative.
Failure creates clarity. Once you fail, you’re able to see where you went wrong and apply effort where it really is needed instead of wherever is convenient.
Failure encourages creativity. If working within guidelines works, why would you ever think outside the box? Failing creates an opportunity to try something new and different.
Failure liberates. After failing, there’s less of a concern regarding perfection. Failure gives you the freedom to continue without worrying about failing again- because it has already happened once.
Failure builds character. After failing, you must keep trying- if you ever want to succeed that is. Being determined to make something work creates character you wouldn’t normally find when you succeed on the first try.
Failure educates. Failure comes right after trying in the learning process. If you only ever experience immediate success, you’ll never learn anything.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Failures
So, failing can be good, but how do you make sure you don’t fail at failing?
Document and collect data. It’s hard to learn and grow from something you don’t understand. Documenting your process and results can provide you with data to analyze and learn from. Noticing that your plants always die, no matter how much water or what kind of soil you give them means you should probably consider the amount of light they’re getting. Without documenting this data, you’re just trying random stuff.
Talk about them. You’re probably not the only person to ever run into a specific problem. They might not have experience handling your specific problem, but someone has probably encountered an aspect of what your expereincing. Taking to Reddit to explain your issue could put you in front of Gary the Gardener, who knows avocado trees only grow in a moist humus soil in a warm area in indirect sunlight. Don’t fail on your own.
Refine your team. Not everyone you’re working with will be as determined and willing to put in the work to succeed as you are. If someone bails as soon as it starts getting rough, don’t hate them, just learn not to make them a part of projects where you have to rely on them.
Failing doesn’t mean you’re inadequate and it doesn’t have to suck. It creates a multitude of learning opportunities and encourages growth. Fail hard. Fail fast. Learn.
About Leeward Business Advisors
Leeward Business Advisors is a Wisconsin-based corporation that provides business strategy planning, business improvement implementation, and full IT operational support. They offer world class Cloud Computing services, Cloud brokerage, Managed IT services, and a full US based Support Service Desk (called Quick Answers). Michael Polzin, CEO has 20+ years of enterprise business and technology experience gained while working at Allstate Insurance and Microsoft Corporation. Jason Klein, CTO has 15+ years delivering effective and efficient technology to Midwest companies.