Success and Failure: Mutually Exclusive or Part of the Same Journey?

Success and failure are part of any successful business journey
Success and Failure are not opposite paths.

One of my favorite stock photo images is the one that shows success and failure as two completely different directions.   It’s simple right?  One path leads to riches and a story akin to Mark Zuckerberg or choose the other path that leads to your eminent failure. Are these two outcomes exclusive or do they go together as part of everyone’s larger journey in business and life?

This isn’t to say that you can start off on a better foot with regards to the choices that you can make.  You can increase your chances for success by doing research, due diligence, testing, etc.  We teach a concept called “Win Then Play” which is about how to create more certainty with your ideas.  I am all for that.

In the bigger picture, you get closer to success when you fail effectively.  Failing effectively is about learning from the failed experience.  You ask yourself what went wrong and why.  This is all part of the bigger vision of the destination that you are working towards.  I look at failure and success as tools that serve my ultimate vision.

To gather insight about your failures effectively you need to do a couple of key things.

  1. Be intentional about what you are doing.  This allows you to better assess what went wrong.  If you are constantly improvising then it’s hard to pin down where breakdowns occurred.
  2. Pay attention.  Pay attention to what’s going on.  If you don’t track numbers and outcomes then you can’t effectively learn anything about what you are doing because you don’t have a clear picture of what’s gone wrong.

Data is the key.  Business ownership is always about testing what works and what doesn’t.  If you don’t track web analytics, you can’t say how effective your website or where the issue is.  If you don’t track the sales process in your business, you don’t know how to fix your sales process.  Get the specific and start tracking the key metrics of your business.

Life and business is not about choosing the right or wrong path.  There are lots of paths to choose.  The key to your ultimate success is in how you walk that path.

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