The fear of failure often holds us back from doing something new. Taking a chance on something new is risky, you might lose money, and you might not even succeed when all is said and done. However, if you’ve ever tried anything new, like a new recipe or riding a bike, you’ll know that failure is sometimes inevitable. Success is not a straight line – just ask Oprah, Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling, and just about anyone else who has found success. They’ll be able to tell you about all the bumps, trials, and tribulations that got them where they are today.
Here at Tallwave, we encourage failure. We know that our failures have been the key to our growth, both in business and our careers. While the slumps are often difficult to look past, here are a few things to keep in mind in order to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
1. Admit When You’re Wrong
Have you ever bombed a presentation? Perhaps an ad campaign gone awry? Maybe your client didn’t like the proposal you brought to the table? It’s easy to blame our teammates for our failures, but when you’re part of a team everyone is accountable for those mistakes, including yourself. Admittance is the first step to recovery and also to getting your business back on track. This might be a difficult pill to swallow, but it has to be done in order to reach your full potential.
Like any other mistakes, admitting you were wrong is key to a successful business and . Perhaps you already know you should’ve sent your proposal to someone else for review, or you didn’t fully understand your client’s needs. Admittance can help you find the flaw in your process, which in turn helps you make the necessary changes to be successful in your next process, product, business plan, and life in general.
2. Don’t Rely on Others, Make Yourself the Expert
The difference between young, innovative companies and old, stale companies is where they look for expertise. An established company pays thousands for a consultant, innovators figure out how to do it themselves. Remember that not every business is created equal – the path that one company took may not be the best route for you and their failures may be what makes your company successful. Don’t compare yourself to others and definitely don’t try their same exact business plan. Set yourself apart. At Tallwave, we want to draft the book on Digital Transformation, not read the writings of someone else. This uninhibited ambition is what both Tallwave and good new ventures have in common.
The amount of intelligent and innovative minds that we have under one roof is awesome and we know how to leverage them. We hire people from all walks of life who can teach us new things every day. There’s never a shortage of knowledge within our office walls–we know exactly who to invite to our brainstorms when we encounter a problem. We pick each other’s brains and dissect where we could’ve done better when we lose a pitch or a client. We treat every problem or failure for exactly what they are: a learning experience. The early innovations at Tallwave simply came as a result of knowing squarely what we didn’t want to be. No one told us how. We learned it ourselves. As we grow, however, we do hire and partner with other companies and individuals who can help us move the needle and streamline innovation.
3. Don’t Follow Every Shiny Idea
As you grow, keep in mind that innovation either starts at your core, at the beginning, or it’s very hard to foster. At the same time, the desire for innovation can also lead you astray. Remember when you thought thin eyebrows and oversized jeans were a good look? How are those trends working for you now? It’s often difficult to turn a blind eye to something that seems too good to be true. Keeping your organization focused and on the right path should always be your guiding light when it comes to making business decisions. It’s not easy and leads back to tons of difficult choices, the majority of which lead back to hiring and ensuring the team you build is of like mind. That makes all the difference.
The opportunity to innovate on a daily basis comes down to a simple equation for us: Will it yield a value beyond the immediate problem? If the answer to that is yes, your eyes should light up like a kid on Christmas morning. That's the good stuff, and where you start to get the feeling that something exciting is coming.
Whether it’s riding a bike or starting a new business, there’s a lot to learn from our failures. And guess what? You will keep making mistakes, failing, learning, and growing along the way. By making changes in your business when it’s not working, making yourselves the experts, and knowing when you’re chasing the wrong idea, you too can turn your company from a naïve idea into a successful business. Remember that comparing yourself to others won’t get you anywhere. After all, you don’t know what they had to overcome in order to get to where they are today.
Need some guidance? We’re here for you. Give us a call.
Written by Alejandra Guillen—Content Creator