Everyone fails, even though no one plans on it when setting out. There are plenty of articles that will talk about failure as a necessary precursor to success. There are countless famous failures a lot and popular bloggers have their own take. That doesn’t mean you should plan for or embrace failure. Planning and preparation certainly help to minimize the chances of coming up short, but even then, there are no guarantees.
Scarce resources, a lack of focus, and under-capitalization are frequent contributors to the reasons people fail.
As much as anything, failure is born out of the assumptions we make before we even begin.
You thought your partner was going to contribute a certain skill set, only to find out they can’t deliver.
You assumed you knew the criteria your prospect was using to select a vendor, only to find out you were wrong.
You assumed the salespeople on your team were motivated solely by money, but no one seems inspired or energized.
Here are a few quick tips to consider before you set out on your next venture:
List all of the assumptions you’re making. Ask a friend (or a few) to look at the list for anything you may not be thinking of. Sometimes you are too close to a project to even realize what your subconscious is taking for granted.
Force rank them. List them in order from the riskiest assumption to the most conservative. Which ones have the least data to support them? Where are the gaps in your thinking? Where are you taking the biggest leaps?
Test and Re-test. Carefully consider those at the top of the list. Is there are way to gather more feedback or test the market? Can you ask more questions or gather more information to minimize the risk?
These aren’t bullet proof strategies. There’s no such thing. Instead, they are tools you can add to your arsenal to fight failure at every turn, instead of just accepting it “as part of the game.”