Just One More Time
Over recent months I’ve been reading about, listening to, and watching conversations involving many successful and high-performing entrepreneurs. There are always two qualities that stand out. The first is their uncompromising drive to be successful. The second is their resilience to bounce back from any disaster, failure, or mistake. These abilities combined epitomise the acronym F.A.I.L or First Attempt In Learning.
It is easy to think of success and failure as mutually exclusive, but they are far from it. Failures create teachable moments that provide the knowledge to achieve success. And as a business flourishes, development is required to achieve further growth, making mistakes more likely. This cycle forms a strong foundation for success, which this image from Liz Fosslien cleverly demonstrates.
But many people have brilliant ideas and choose not to develop them, with the fear of making poor decisions leading to procrastination, which stops the project from materialising. Thomas Edison famously said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
This anxiety from making mistakes or failing develops over time, often subconsciously. Negative experiences or societal norms start censoring curiosity, a quality that is abundant during childhood. The risk of embarrassment prevents further growth. Nobody wants to put their head above the parapet to get shot down. The worry of adverse reactions on social media can breed the same feeling. So, why put yourself in that situation?
Those that continue to develop, who bring their ideas to fruition, don’t care what people think. Embrace every day as a school day, regardless of age and experience, and the phoenix of success will rise from the ashes of failures.
Even if you decide to follow your dream, there is no escaping failure or making mistakes, despite what social media would lead us to believe. The most important thing is to understand its impact, how it affects thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and what actions to take moving forward.
You can increase the probability of success by adopting this straightforward process, which provides a framework for projects, meetings, and even simple conversations.
Plan, Do, Review
This three-stage cyclical approach to learning, developed from the work of statisticians Walter Shewhart and William Deming, has been adopted by many organisations to improve quality, performance, and outcomes.
The first goal is to understand what you want to achieve, challenging both the understanding of the business and the current outcomes. The focus may be product or service quality, business processes, or delivering actions from meetings. The applications are far-ranging.
During this stage, consider how to measure success and what resources, information, and time is required to deliver the outcome. Deliberate problems envisaged in advance and potential resolutions.
While executing the plan, it is crucial to remain aligned to the original challenge and the desired outcome. Bring large-scale change about slowly and iteratively and interpret outputs to celebrate small wins and flex the approach where applicable.
At this stage, return to the desired outcomes and compare the actual results. Ask these three questions.
- Why did the specific result occur?
- What could be done differently to improve the outcome?
- Who can support in achieving these revised solutions?
Often, businesses create a scoring system for expected outcomes, asking themselves, “What would have made that 10/10?” when reviewing scores below ten.
Once the review is complete, every learning, outcome, and action feed into the next planning stage. And as the cycle continues, failure and success are revisited, improving results constantly.
So, next time you have a problem, challenge, or obstacle you seemingly can’t resolve, remember these four words, Just One More Time, and use Plan, Do, Review to seek out that right solution.
Have a brilliant week!
Founder & CEO, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd