How Many Times Have You Failed?
How Many Times Should You Fail?
In marketing there is a process called A/B testing. You create two ads with slightly different language, and you then see what sort of response you get from each of them. You scrap the one that doesn’t do as well. The process can be repeated as many times as you like until you get an ad that resonates with your viewers, readers, and prospects.
That concept doesn’t have to stick with just marketing. In fact, most people would be better suited if they use A/B testing in their everyday life. The problem is that people tend to see failure, or lack of achieving their desired goals, as the end point and not the start.
10 Famous Failures
When you fail, what happens next? Do you give up, or do you push through tweaking one little aspect until you have honed your idea? Take a look at these 10 people that never gave up:
Steve Jobs – He is now almost a household name. But the founder of Apple was actually fired from his own company. When the company started to struggle he was brought back on, and led it to the success it now sees.
Bill Gates – The PC counterpart to Jobs was always into tech, but not always successful. One of his early business ventures was called Traf-O-Data, designed to monitor traffic patterns. It didn’t pan out, so the young entrepreneur revised his plan and went on to become a huge success.
Albert Einstein – It’s a myth that Einstein failed math class, he always far exceeded his peers. But he did fail in other areas, including being unable to speak fluently until the age of nine. He honed his strengths and went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Abraham Lincoln – Lincoln is seen as one of the presidential greats. But he started out by having his business fail, suffered a nervous breakdown, lost his first presidential run, and had every reason to call it quits. He tweaked his message and went on to become one of the most famous presidents in history.
Michael Jordan – Many believe Jordan to be one of the best basketball players of all time. He failed more often than most know. He missed the game winning shot many times, and had the ball bounce off the rim thousands more. Most see the results; he says there are thousands of hours of practice before those results come.
Walt Disney – Known throughout the world, Disney started out as a failure. He was turned down many times as an artist, and his first animation studio went bankrupt. Today, years after his death, his company still sees revenues into the tens of billions of dollars every year.
Colonel Sanders – We all know that it’s finger lickin’ good. But it wasn’t always so. Sanders had a fried chicken restaurant that started to suffer when he was 65 years old. He decided to sell his recipe and franchise his business. Despite over 1,000 rejections, he tweaked his message and finally was able to create the most famous fried chicken of all.
James Dyson – Some of us have Dyson vacuums in our homes. But James Dyson had to create over 5,100 prototypes during a five year stretch to create the first bagless vacuum. Every prototype tweaked one little aspect to come closer to the final product… which nobody wanted to make. He created his own manufacturing and now has the best selling vacuum in the world.
Fred Astaire – Now remembered for his incredible singing and dancing, his first audition was less than a success. MGM said he “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Persistence paid off, and adjusting his audition style helped him go on to become one of the most successful actors of his time.
Theodore Giesel – If that name doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps you know him better under his pen name: Dr. Seuss. His first book, To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, is a renowned children’s literary classic. But it was rejected by 27 publishers before it found success. Each failure was an opportunity to adjust his pitch slightly.
We could keep going on with example after example of those who ultimately succeeded despite setbacks. And they’re great inspirational stories. But how many of these do you think would have found success if they simply did the exact same thing the next time rather than adjusting their plan, idea, pitch, or product a little bit?
How to A/B Test Your Life
Not everything is business. But there are ways that we can make our lives better if we do simple little adjustments.
Do you have kids? Do you find yourself frustrated when they misbehave, and despite punishments and rewards they don’t seem to be changing their behavior? Look at the circumstances around the behavior, and then make little tweaks to see how things improve (or don’t improve).
Do you struggle with your finances? Instead of radically overhauling your budget, find the areas where you find the most frivolous spending. Adjust the behaviors that lead to those expenditures so that you don’t have to even think about the spending.
Do you find it hard to get up in the morning? Try different techniques, and determine which works the best. Go to bed earlier, move your alarm clock, prepare breakfast the day before, ask your significant other to write you a love note that you can look forward to each morning, or have the coffee set to brew a few minutes earlier.
The bottom line is: determine what you are struggling with, and see what little tweaks you can do to make it better. If it works, then implement that as your new routine and see how you can make it even better.
Big Sky Collision Center Trains Leaders
Here at Big Sky Collision Center we train leaders. We found that repairing collision damage was more efficient when we invest in our employees. The result is that we have people who take pride in their work, take ownership of their job, and you get a vehicle that is fixed as though it were their own pride and joy.
Questions on our process? Need an appointment? Call us at 406-259-6328.