Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Failing Your Way to Success Part 2

When it comes to our ROAR! E-Zine, we are definitely living the fail your way to success philosophy more than we probably ever imagined. This evening I am faced with yet another technical difficulty (the e-zine was sent basically "unreadable") and I realize that I have a choice.
Having recently began an in depth study of the book Play to Win! Choosing Growth Over Comfort in Work and Life by Larry & Hersch Wilson (a brilliant book) I know that the key strategy in these moments is to: 1) Stop 2) Challenge and 3) Choose. The challenge part being to challenge our assumptions and paradigms about how bad the situation really is. The reality is many of us take failures to an extreme with "end of the world" thinking.

When we started our business, almost ten years ago now, Rich and I had a printed newsletter that we mailed out to subscribers. We would agonize for hours editing and making sure everything was perfect. Upon getting our second issue back from the printer we discovered that the footer of the front page still said 'Premier Issue'. We then agonized and debated on what to do about this. Finally we decided to print out fluorescent stickers (labels actually) with a little message to our readership. It fit perfectly over the words premier issue and looked decent enough. I remember being quite upset about this "fiasco" at the time plus all the extra work it caused but I think this story illustrates two key points.

The first is, we are brilliant problem solvers and the second is... we now look back on that and laugh. We aren't nearly as crazed. We know now that turning "failures" into catastrophes does not serve us. Failing is art of the joy of what we do, it means we are living, learning, and growing.

So I choose to relax, understanding that this is at most inconvenient and that some day soon even this minor annoyance will weave itself into the tapestry that are the failures and successes of my life experience.

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