Not Afraid to Fail

The real world doesn’t have very many rules. There’s a lot of stuff you have to figure out all on your own and you have to love (or learn to love) jumping… and falling.

Glenn Cole of 72 and Sunny gave the commencement address this year for the School of Journalism and Communication and this idea was his main point. Not being afraid of failure will allow you to stretch yourself far beyond you ever thought was possible.

It’s not comfortable. In fact sometimes it downright sucks. Because you will fail and sometimes you’ll fail spectacularly. But overcoming that failure is really the only way to know, and appreciate, success.

Learn to learn from failure because everything will not go smoothly.

  • Chill out! You can’t learn without making mistakes. And making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re not smart, talented, creative, etc. In fact, quite the opposite.
  • Build a good relationship with your manager, your client, etc. Being allowed to fail, and learning from it, takes a team and takes support.
  • Be honest about your failure. Conduct a post-mortem of the project or situation and figure out what went right and what went wrong.

Being an entrepreneur has been meant that I’ve learned many, many lessons through trial by fire.¬†What tips would you give? What lessons have you learned? Leave your comments.

Success? Definitely a Journey.

I was asked not too long ago to talk about building blocks for success… and specifically what my building blocks have been for my success. Odd, I thought. I don’t really think of myself as “successful.” I love my work, I adore my family and I’m pretty darn happy. But for me, I guess because I’m still in a growth phase of my career, I’d just never slapped the success label on any part of my life.

But request made me think… mostly because once I’d said yes I’d certainly have to come up with something to fill 30 or 45 minutes on this topic. So I got a little existential and pondered,

How did I get here?

For the purposes of my presentation and discussion, I defined three “building blocks”: the intangibles, the skills and the glue.

The Intangibles

What are your values? I identify three that have been important for me.

  • Empathy – the ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I’ve talked a lot about empathy here. You can read it here.
  • Generosity – generosity of time and spirit lets you put yourself out there and trust me, you’ll learn more than you teach.
  • Curiosity – be insatiably curious and always excited to figure out what’s next.

The Skills

You can’t be successful without the skills to do your job.

  • Writing – communicating clearly in writing and verbally is crucial regardless of your industry. Get some practice, get an editor and build your skills.
  • Verbal – you don’t necessarily have to give presentations, but you have to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and out loud. To other people.
  • Industry Specific – In PR, it’s writing and speaking that’s the crux of what we do. But it’s increasingly important to ¬†undersand technology (web, video, audio), too.

The Glue

Even if you have all the above pieces, you still have to have the glue that pulls it all together.

  • Networks: online and offline networking with other professionals. Learn to build your networks.
  • Mentor: My mentor has been pivotal in my career, and in turn I enjoy being a mentor, too. I’ve written about the mentor-mentee relationship before.
  • Friends & family: Pretty basic concept. My friends and family keep me grounded. And my partner is the household manager for our family, which really allows me to do what I do.

You can click through the Prezi here.

Building Blocks for Success on Prezi

What are your building blocks?

Related Posts with Thumbnails