As my final post in preparation for my upcoming panel at SXSW, “We F*cked Up. Now What. Exploring Failure, Together,” with our pals at Happy Cog and Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive, I bring you "Failure Sucks". Listen folks, there are just going to be...
As my final post in preparation for my upcoming panel at SXSW, “We F*cked Up. Now What. Exploring Failure, Together,” with our pals at Happy Cog and Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive, I bring you "Failure Sucks". Listen folks, there are just going to be some times when there is no rainbow after the storm, no shiny pearl in the shell, no valuable nugget of wisdom at the end of the battle. Sometimes you fail, and it just sucks. I was reminded about this in a recent post by Penelope Trunk titled "The biggest triumph is getting out of bed". She is correct. Often we spend so much time trying to find the bright side, or tell others about our fabulous tales of overcoming adversity, that we forget to talk about when something just plain sucks.
At the end of the day, failing at something, or having something fail, feels bad. There is often a sense of relief when something fails. It was usually heading in a bad direction if it ends up failing, and often it is a freeing feeling to have it finally just fail. If bad things linger, you can't move on.
Recently I was asked how I justified firing clients when Fastspot was younger and every dollar felt much more critical to our survival. My response? I wish I had learned to fire clients sooner than I did (let bad things finally fail) in order to use that time on more fruitful pursuits, like our own marketing or internal projects, or even fostering less financially profitable projects with healthier long-term prospects in our communities. What I realize now is that working on a project that is failing and not dealing with it can do much more harm to spirit and morale than what is offset by the paycheck. Even if the project ends up finishing and you get paid, everyone is so demoralized and frustrated that it's hard to pick up and dive into the next project with enthusiasm and energy.
Not everything can be great all the time. We try, but it's simply not achievable. I do think things can steadily improve with wisdom, experience and patience, but along the way things will fail, and things will suck. When they do happen to you, remember this - it will pass, as all things will pass, and something else will come down the road that will be so wonderful and successful, you will enjoy it that much more because you had to suffer through those sucky times. Enjoy the successes, they don't last either, and you never know when the next one will come.