Cherie White is noticing that something is not quite right in the financial area of the job. This and more on today's episode of the FOM Coaching Podcast!
How To Use Failure For Success: With Cherie White
It doesn’t always matter how much we plan ahead. Even if we want something specific — such as career success — life is a process of trial and error, and failure is going to happen at times. And that’s perfectly okay!
Unfortunately, in a business setting, failure can seem to have greater consequences than in some other areas of life. So, the question is: is it possible to turn those failures into more than just setbacks? When challenges bubble up, can you move past them and fail forward instead of falling down? And might there be a “secret formula” to career success that can break your business out of a try-fail cycle?
The answer (to all of these questions) is yes. Let’s look at how — with the right information and great coaching — your business can continue to grow and prosper despite experiencing roadblocks.
How can failure lead to success?
To understand how failure leads to success, we’re going to drill deep and look at one individual business owner in particular. Then, we’ll extrapolate lessons from her experience, and provide universal insights that can bolster your business success.
Steadfast Developments CEO Cherie White oversees real estate developments that mitigate poverty through preventative models. Despite her success in offering affordable housing and resources to community members in need, Cherie is having financing issues.
While she’s had some luck enticing investors to back her business, Cherie needs more engagement to ramp up her operations. She feels like a failure for being unable to provide as much as she wants for the communities she serves. What can she do to succeed despite facing such a significant roadblock?
What is failing forward?
In this particular instance, it’s important for Cherie to consider why she’s failing to attract investors. What kinds of questions is she asking them during her meetings? And what happens during the process that stops investors from buying in? Here are some ways Cherie can reexamine her situation to increase her odds of succeeding in a business setting:
- Look at why failure and success occur: Whether business owners succeed or fail, they rarely look to understand the reasons why. Instead of analyzing the processes and systems that lead to greater success, they simply accept good results, which leads to misunderstandings and frustrations when failures happen. In this instance, Cherie needs to look at what made her pitches to investors successful in order to replicate that process with future backers.
- Target the right audience: Sometimes failure is a result of marketing to the wrong audience. Bringing the right people to the table with careful forethought and research — from historical backgrounds to core values and mission statements — can help mitigate failure and move the “success needle” in the right direction.
- Don’t be afraid to ask what went right or wrong: It might sound unorthodox, but it never hurts to ask clients, colleagues, customers or coworkers what went right or wrong. In Cherie’s case, returning to the investors she succeeded with and asking them what went well during her presentation could be a valuable way to learn more about her future approaches to additional investors.
- Look for patterns: Analyzing patterns between successful and unsuccessful tactics is key to breaking out of bad habits. What similarities or differences are there between projects that went well and didn’t go well? What was the mindset going into those projects, and how were company leaders thinking when they approached them? Was the expectation to succeed or fail? And what was the relationship to the client, customer or coworker when that expectation was formed?
- Capture tangible and intangible data: Most business owners don’t distinguish between the types of data they collect. But it pays to keep in mind that there are actually two kinds of data when it comes to failing forward: tangible data, and intangible data. Tangible data points involve the aspects of a project or presentation that can be pointed at and studied. Tangible data involves questions such as, “What did I do? How did the project turn out? Who was involved? What kind of business did we conduct?” Conversely, intangible data involves information that might be less straightforward and more difficult to discern. Intangible data involves asking questions like: “How did I connect with my audience? How did I feel about the process? How confident was I?” Asking both of these types of questions can help you simultaneously fail forward and strive toward better career success.
By engaging with all of these details, Cherie should be able to get a lot more out of her failure than frustration. The lesson, then, is plain: in order to succeed, it’s important to get the most out of every failure possible. Put simply, failing forward is the notion that every failure teaches you something that can then be used to succeed.
That’s the secret recipe to greater career success.
How to fail better through coaching
“Failing better” might not sound like something you’re interested in doing — but since all of us fail sometimes, it pays to fail better than to not prepare for failure at all. If you’re looking for ways to fail forward and enjoy greater career success, then you might be the perfect candidate for a coaching program.
An FOM Coach can prepare you to get the most out of every failure so that each setback becomes less and less disastrous. By training you to navigate failure with grace and ease, your coach will help you reach your goals more effectively — whether they’re business goals, personal goals or both.
Interested in more tips on failing forward, career success and coaching? Check out Frame of Mind Coaching™ for details on our coaching philosophy, success strategies and more.