I’ve done plenty of failing in my time. Failing to have a trophy lined a shelf, failure to read between the lines at a job interview when they say “we are dedicated to improving our culture” (because it’s currently terrible), failure to recap a bottle of wine in fear it might go off. Yep, that’s me a lot of failing …. and I still do a lot of failing.
And let’s face it we all do. Every conversation we have, every meeting, every presentation there is always something that could have gone better. Instead of beating ourselves up though, let’s congratulate ourselves for being dedicated to reflection. If you’re that person who thinks what you did was 100% and couldn’t be better, I 100% guarantee your wrong.
There’s always room for improvement and we don’t know what we don’t know. We can never understand the true potential of what we can become the realms of what we know are only within what we experience, watch and do each day. It’s limited.
I’ve seen presentations where people politely thank the presenter on the way out only to hear their comments about how mortified they were at the language or the constant innuendo the presenter used, or seeing the presenter being completely unaware that they got the name of the organisation wrong every time they said it, or was unashamedly sexist amongst an audience of 98% females including the entire management team. So yes these are ‘fails’ but this isn’t the alarming part it’s the lack of self-reflection and ability to read the room or read the conversation that is most alarming. It’s my hope that in those examples that those individuals did reflect on their performance, their bias and their impact. Continuous improvement, is just that continuous.
We are never a complete masterpiece and sometimes people won’t tell you that you got it wrong. It’s up to you to figure it out.
The same goes for customers. Unfortunately, we are so used to terrible service that its rare we are prompted to complain. Then when service is undeniably awful that complaint or that letter that we intend to make or write never sees the light of day. So majority of the time no one is going to tell you changes need to be made.
If you are stepping out into entrepreneurship and innovating expect failure. I love the saying that “if businesses fails, entrepreneurs learn“. It’s a key differentiation. Failure needs to be seen as an opportunity to learn and we need be doing something that aligns with our purpose so we are motivated to try again.
In order to be successful you must learn from many failures. Success is never immediate it just appears to be.