Success and Failure
One basic part of any strategy is success and failure. Everyone goes through life making choices that either work or don’t work. A major part in the success, failure matrix is deciding when to pull the plug, deciding if you want to keep on the path you are on despite a failing system, and when to know how and when to let something fail.
The first thing to discuss in any success/failure discussion is deciding when to pull the plug. We have all worked on things: cars, projects, games that just were not working out. Now, I know that perseverance is a heavenly quality to have and that never giving up is a wonderful thing, but what I am proposing enhances just that. To do things a little wiser and more intelligently, you do not want to waste precious resources into a project that doesn’t work. Say you have chosen a plan of action, you have put lots of effort, time, and resources into it but you’re not getting the proper results you are looking for. If you have done your research and found that you are doing just doesn’t work then it might be a good idea to pull the plug. You will be the best judge to say this is going to work or this is not going to work, so let’s do something else. I would say the best thing to do is set check points for your project. They can be small goals that you place along in your project or just certain points when you review your progress, so you can judge if this is really worth your while or not.
The second thing to discuss is deciding to keep on the path that you are on despite a failing system. I believe in perseverance in all things, sometimes you need to stick to the path you’re on to get success. This should be in no means an excuse to keep a failing system going. If you have done your checkpoint review then you should know enough to make a decision in keeping the path you’re on or junking what you have for a better system. I believe too many people abuse this step. If something is not working because it was a bad idea to begin with, or something just doesn’t have what it takes to succeed then scrap it for a better system. People get into ruts at this step and run themselves and run themselves into the ground because they are not willing to admit that it just isn’t working. Do not let this person be you. If you scrap something you can always make save it for later and if some advancements have been made then you can come back to it, but don’t put all your money on the wounded horse, diversify and seek other options.
The last thing to discuss is knowing how and when to let something fail. By no means should anyone keep a system going that they know is not working, If you are worried about what will happen when it fails then maybe you shouldn’t be in the business your in. Everyone needs hard lessons from time to time; we go through things like failure for a reason. Keeping something going that does not work and pretending it does is living a lie and should be stopped immediately. There is a natural course of action that life takes, if you let something fail you are allowing those forces to work in your life and allow it to shape your life for the future. Knowing what doesn’t work is half the battle. Hard lessons learned are often have monumental impact on our lives that pave the way for actual success. An example to use would be a job, yes, everyone needs a job, but say you are to the point in your career that you are loosing your hair, loosing sleep, and just plain fed up with it. You know it isn’t working out anymore, instead of just pretending it is working out, quit. Find another job. There are two types of people in this world, those that stay in dead end jobs because they are scared they won’t find any other kind of work out there and then there are the types of people that quit, go on to college, and make more money then the person who stayed in that dead end job, remained unhappy. While those that left went on to fulfill their dreams because they were not afraid of “what might happen”.
Part of success and failure is imbedded into any kind of strategy, some will fail and some will succeed. You need to know when to pull the plug, decide if you want to keep on doing the same thing despite utter failure, and know when to let something fail. Do not be afraid of the future do your homework, if there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, pursue it, if it’s only dark days, rain , and no sunshine; can it and go after something else.