We (I) talk a lot about success here; what it is, and how to get it, but a key component to success in the business world is also failure. Failure for entrepreneurs is inevitable – if you're always trying new things that is. Buzzwords and phrases like “fail early, fail often” float around business circles, and entrepreneurs use previous failures as badges of honor, but ultimately, it's not something we REALLY ever talk about. At least not the deep-down, dirty, ugly feelings that accompany failure when it's happening.
Obviously, failure looks different to different people, and it also very much depends on what your definition of success is (for YOU), but most of the time, you'll know it when you see it. You'll start to feel drained, like what you're doing just isn't working, you're un-fulfilled, and you don't look forward to what you're doing anymore. How quickly you acknowledge your own failure is key; the faster you recognize it, the faster you can get back up and start again.
We're afraid of failure, and it's scary to think that something we've worked so hard on can just end, but it WILL happen. The key is that you're prepared to learn from it and move on to something else. And just to note here, failure doesn't have to be crashing and burning and losing everything (although it certainly can) – it also means trying a new strategy only to have it not work out, or invest in a new tool and never really learning how to use it. Failures come in all sizes; it looks different for everyone, but the good entrepreneurs, the ultimate successes get up and move on FASTER & SMARTER.
Do a complete 180; try something different than what you just tried. If you're testing out a niche that's just not catching on, go with a completely different niche.
Sometimes you have to just start all over again from scratch. If your first blog failed (it's up to you to determine what that means…blogs can fail because you stop posting to them, or you lose interest. Or they can fail when the content is no longer interesting or enticing and traffic starts to decline), start a different one. Figure out what went wrong and start over fresh with new ideas and inspiration.
Maybe you just need a re-brand? a new blog name or url that's more descriptive? new graphics, new blog design? Aesthetics are important to readers, and good content can only go so far if the name and design is incongruous with the message of the blog. Try going minimal. Or A new blog theme.
Just shift focus a little bit. If you tried to implement a new blog series and it didn't “take” or no one seemed interested, change the focus of the series to something else. Make it more useful, more interesting, more intriguing. Sometimes just a very small change will get you back on track and lead to great success. Analyze what went wrong and figure out how to fix it.
Sometimes you just have to let the blog/business die. This is the hardest thing to recognize and ultimately do, but a lot of the time, it's the best thing you can do. Trying to keep something alive that is just not working, and more importantly draining the life out of you, is not worth it. Let your old blog die and move on to something else. (I've done this..it's hard, but worth it!) *try all the other things first, before you end it…you never know, you may be able to save your blog/business just by making some small changes!
How have you moved on from failure?
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