Failure is a Place of Potential

By | June 11, 2014
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Overcome Fear of FailureLike it or not, we all fail at different points in our life. Trust me on this one. It took me plenty of bruises as a kid to learn how to ride a bike, plenty of missed shots as a guard to make a basket and a healthy amount of rejection as a salesperson just to gain one “Yes.”

Instead of avoiding failure, we should embrace it.

Mistakes and mishaps foster growth. Failure is a place of great potential that allows us to accelerate success and improve through experience. But the fear of failure can be detrimental to our creativity, resulting in a lack of risk-taking and innovation stagnation.

As agency professionals, we must combat the fear of failure, or risk a reactive attitude toward clients. If you have strong client relationships rooted in trust, knowledge and past success, then proactively bring unique, creative campaign ideas to the table without hesitation.

Below is a checklist to help you stifle your phobias and start confidently suggesting new ideas to clients.

1. Confront Your Fears

If you put in the time and work required to fully understand your clients and their businesses, then you know what’s best for their marketing campaigns.

So, ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” “What’s stopping me from pitching something new and creative?”

Out-of-the-box ideas that align with a client’s overall business goals and brand identity may just be your winning lottery ticket. The worst thing that can happen is that the idea gets shelved. No harm, no foul.

Remember: Crazy ideas are only crazy until they work. Then, they are just brilliant ideas that someone else didn’t consider.

2. Facilitate Brainstorming Sessions

Practice brainstorming consistently—both with your colleagues and your clients.

As a team, generate as many quality ideas and solutions to existing problems as possible. Keep in mind: Initial attempts should not be designed for analysis or decision-making, but rather to get creative juices flowing.

Once all options are on the table, then you can decide which ideas are worth pursuing.

3. Create a Wish List

During a team brainstorming session, keep a record of the quality ideas that you can revisit when timing is right and budget available.

Wish lists make sure that good ideas aren’t forgotten and that you’re being proactive in bringing new ideas to the conversation.

If you hit a strategy block or gain additional client campaign budget for new projects, your wish list will serve as a good reference point for some solid ideas.

4. Test and Evolve Ideas

The Wright Brothers conducted plenty of tests before the flying glider ever got off the ground. These extensive trials provided valuable data, further developed the brothers’ piloting skills and helped in the invention of the first successful airplane in 1903.

Continually test and evolve your ideas with confidence. Benchmark performance, and then take thorough notes of what worked and what didn’t. Use this data to make educated decisions for future campaigns.

You never know if something works until you try it, right?

What other suggestions do you have to help overcome fears of failing? Please share below in the comments.

Image Source: PJ Johnson