Does this mean we are just mistake-driven people? Not necessarily. There are some cases, of course, when we act before thinking. However, but because most of us are thinkers (eventually anyway), we often find ourselves dwelling on how our outcome could have been better had we acted differently.
As marketers and other business professionals, this exercise is actually rather important. Whether it be about a decision, a startup, a campaign, an event, or whatever the case may be, evaluating and looking for ways to do it better next time is how businesses grow and improve.
Sometimes these situations involve certain fads or trends and you wished you’d foreseen their fleeting elements. Other circumstances involve the people around you that provided a positive or negative influence.
These types of factors will likely, and really should, change over time. But there are some factors that should remain constant whether you’re starting a business, on a marketing team, and even in your own personal life.
Don’t compromise your values.
Whatever your situation may be, you should hold your values high. If you have a business and are wishy-washy with your core values, you can’t expect for anyone or any other business to take you or your brand seriously. The same holds true for your individual life. If you don’t stand by your beliefs, you will be perceived as flaky, which is neither professional nor complimentary.
Instead, set standards and stick to them no matter how difficult a decision may be. You’ll come out stronger in the end.
Your situation isn’t the end of the world.
When you begin to have a pity party over whatever has gone wrong for you or for your business, understand that there will always be someone else somewhere facing something worse, unless you’re Enron or Bernie Madoff. (Just kidding!)
You get the idea though. It’s human nature to, as my Mom says, “make a mountain out of a molehill.” When it involves us, it’s always big. I’m not trying to belittle any serious situations, but the point is, when we recognize that there are, in fact, bigger fish in the sea, it’s easier to focus on solutions.
Support is a must-have.
If you try to do it alone, you will fail. This is not an easy statement to make, but it’s true. For a company or individual to grow and develop, they need help. So many times, startups that turn into businesses struggle when they grow since the founder(s) doesn’t know what his or her place is. For instance, just because you come up with a great business idea doesn’t mean that you have the ability to execute it fully and lead it into something bigger. This is why a founder will often bring in a CEO or president to lead the business.
Twitter is a perfect example of this principle. As the service grew exponentially, the founders knew that they needed to bring in someone to take the company to the next level and brought in Dick Costolo to lead the microblogging service.
On another note, management and employees also need to support each other. You simply cannot have one without the other. In a nutshell, support is absolutely necessary at all levels.
Don’t give up. Ever.
Whether you are building a business, a division within a company, or yourself as an individual, you can’t quit. Even when the going gets tough, try again. This is easy to say, but not so easy to implement.
There will always be options that seem better, AKA easier. The question is, will they make you happy? Will they allow you to succeed to your full potential? If the answer is no, you must never quit.