Permission to Experiment Fearlessly? Granted.

Have you ever wondered why it takes you so long to do some of the things on your to-do list? You know, those new ideas that you think could radically improve your business?

You probably think that you don’t have time. I think you struggle with courage. I know I do. See, as humans we fear failure. It’s a barrier that stops most of us dead in our tracks. It’s almost unnoticeable and we rationalize it in dozens of ways. But it all comes down to fear of the uncomfortable, the unknown, and the potential for failure.

Why is it so difficult for people to fail? Here’s a good excerpt from LifeHacker:

Trial and error are usually the prime means of solving life’s problems. Yet many people are afraid to undertake the trial because they’re too afraid of experiencing the error. They make the mistake of believing that all error is wrong and harmful, when most of it is both helpful and necessary. Error provides the feedback that points the way to success.

I’m not suggesting that you run off and experiment with your client’s accounts. What I am suggesting is that you reframe your new ideas.

Call them what they are: “experiments.” Relabel your expectations to “hypotheses.” Now when you think about trying that new service, software, or social network there is no failure or success, just, “is this helping my business?”

You’re now applying the scientific method that you were taught in grade school to your business. Form a hypothesis and run an experiment to test it. Record the results, rinse and repeat. As long as you get a result, whether positive or negative, you’re culling valuable data; a success that moves your business forward.

You’ll be amazed at the progress your business can make in this way. Choices in marketing or operations aren’t permanent commitments that must be right. They are short lived tests to be abandoned if they don’t work for you.

Congratulations, you’ve just learned how to innovate in the same way that the world’s most creative companies do. Use your new power wisely.

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yvonne Yvonne is a dynamic social media entrepreneur. Her expertise lies in creating identities and branding for clients within the digital space. Engage with her @Yvonnetnt
  • yvonne, it reminds me of this article from npr music this week: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/19/148918545/the-mix-50-failed-first-impressions?sc=tw&cc=twmp ^tim

  • yvonnetnt

    Thank you Tim. I loved the last line of the article “So here’s to humble beginnings, eventual success, and, most of all, development.” The permission to live, learn, and fail is a process that proves to be very useful when embraced. 

  • You should check out Brené Brown’s TED talks if you haven’t already.  I think you’d enjoy them, and they’re very much on topic here.

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