If you’re anything like me, you’ve suffered your fair share of failures. You’ve probably even learned a lot from them. But have you shared you failures? Have you given someone else the chance to learn from something you did the wrong way? Maybe not. It’s scary!
And of course there’s the fear of failure, and the fear of being seen having failed. This means that sometimes we don’t even try.
And what’s the cost of that?
Or: we try to hide our failures — which means denying everyone else what might have been a helpful example.
Freakonomics podcast, episode 561
“How to Succeed at Failing, Part 1: The Chain of Events”
This week we’re going to take some time to learn from others’ failures so we don’t have to make the same or similar mistakes. I’ve also added a couple of articles that will give you some thoughts on how you can reduce the chances of failure in your own enterprises. I even add the story of one of my own business failures.
First up – Failures
Forrest Pritchard is a pretty darn successful farmer and author. But here he describes two of his own failures of farm product distribution.
Next up – Tools to Avoid Failures
Here’s a business I dodged thanks to a little planning that highlighted some things I was ignoring in my enthusiasm and optimism to get started.
And here’s one I didn’t dodge, something that was a great success on the one hand a failure on the other. In it I give you a new tool: the Pre-Mortem. It’s a way to think about how something might fail so you can make changes before you start.
Looking Before Leaping Tools
You can also do your own testing before you head too far into adopting a new practice. From our series on how not to get bamboozled, here are some ins and outs of trying it before you buy it.
Looking at What You’re Doing Right Now
Finally, here’s a piece from Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great.” It’s not so much about failure as it is about succeeding by making a “Stop Doing” List. And since we’re still in the vicinity of New Year’s Resolutions, I thought it was appropriate.