Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Failure IS An Option

Those in the design community know Scott Belsky. He and his team founded the Behance network, a community of creatives from all over the world who share their works through their portfolios. They also run the very popular the 99 Percent site. There you can find all kinds of articles, videos and resources on design, the nurturing of ideas, and most importantly how to make ideas happen.

Scott firmly believes that in order to make ideas happen, you have to take action first. His mantra is based on a quote by Thomas Edison.

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

I had the pleasure of hearing Scott speak at an Ideation event in Long Beach recently. He spoke on the topic of failure for a brief moment. He mentioned the Silicon Valley, and how many of the technological innovations that we’re enjoying today would not have been possible without the streak of failure that preceded it. In fact, Scott alluded to failure being a good thing.

For creatives and entrepreneurs this is one of the scariest things we face in our professional journey. In fact, for anyone who dreams and aspires to something bigger then themselves, failure is the monster that keeps them up at night. As creatives, we don't want to start a design business for fear of failing. What if no one calls? What if I can't handle the workload? What if I'm not good enough? Because of that uncertainty, most designers stay where they are in their “9 to 5”. The only thing more addictive than heroine is the weekly paycheck, after all. But Scott did say one phrase that resonated with me.
Capitalize On Your Failure
I don’t know about you, but I’ve failed plenty. What I've noticed is it's been stinging less and less every time it happens. You see, you can fight tooth and nail not to fail, but it's after failing that we do most of our growing. It’s after failing that we realize if we have what it takes to get up and try again. Capitalizing on your failure simply means you’re going to get back up, learn from your mistakes and take a more intelligent and informed approach. You may fall flat again, but if you have something special or are offering something unique, there will be an audience or a client for it. So stop wondering whether or not you should start that design business you’ve been dreaming about. Do some research, brand yourself and market yourself. And if you fail, it’s not the end; it’s just a chance to begin anew. If you capitalize on your failure, you’ll always be that much closer to succeeding and all those moments of failure will feel like a badge of honor.
Happy Designing,
Dennis (aka tanoshiboy)
Have you risen up from failure? Are you stuck in a bad place after a bout with failure? Tell us about it in the comments section. And if you liked this post, please share it on facebook and twitter!