Don’t Fail, Experiment

Earlier this year I offered a workshop called “The Opportunity Workshop.” I thought it would sell out instantly. I marketed the event heavily to my customers, and I even booked a room at top-notch Private Golf Club. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as I had imagined. Nobody signed up. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Not a single person.

You could call it an utter failure. Some entrepreneurs let a failure like this smack them down for the count. Failure, though, is one of the worst words we can use as business executives, owners, and entrepreneurs.

Here’s a better word – “experiment.” As entrepreneurs we experiment with new ideas and opportunities. This was an experiment and it didn’t work, so I quickly moved on to the next “experiment.” Teach yourself to think in terms of experiments and lessons learned – not concrete successes or failures. Then teach yourself to experiment quickly, assess your results, and either move on or tweak and refine.

As far as opportunity goes, here’s one of the most important lessons. There’s no shortage of opportunity. We see it all around us. Even though we’re the type of people who are able to move quickly and test new ideas, we must use our judgement when it comes to those opportunities. You might see a great opportunity, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best opportunity for you – or right now.

Be selective, but when you move, move quickly. And if you get knocked down, take the lessons learned from your experiment and move on to the next one.