It’s sink or swim they say, and I tell them, they’re full of shit.
It’s the mantra for a lot of small businesses. It was the mantra for mine.
I sank. I nearly drowned. That’s the problem with this view on business and in life.
You don’t just sink. You drown. You die.
You don’t just throw a kid in the pool and say sink or swim. It’s absurd. Sadistic.
You teach them to paddle. To float. To hold their breath.
The same thing applies to your life and career.
When you learn from your failures, you begin to paddle. You begin to swim. You don’t just sink, you start floating.
Here’s a simple framework to help you quickly learn from every situation.
Ask yourself, what did you like best?
We’re flooded with shit news telling us how bad the world is. Thankfully, I don’t read most of it. I suggest you do the same.
In the face of failure or a learning situation, always debrief and ask yourself, what did you like best?
This brings some positive thinking into the process. It also allows you to fix what went wrong and not reinvent the wheel for the things that worked well.
A great example is when I lost $500,000 on a deal. My like best is that I went over and beyond for the client. A core value at Skylink.
I did everything in my power to help them reduce their capital loss and ease the pain as an organization.
Now, the guy I was working with at the time lost his job, but over the course of three years, we spread out the loss, we continued to go over and beyond and to this day, their one of our top clients.
After you get clear on your like bests, ask yourself, what are my next times?
Its similar to the saying, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
You never want to make the same mistake twice.
To overcome this and actually learn from your experience, what would you do in this situation the next time?
To get back to my example, I would schedule a meeting with the client to be sure all of the details of the contract are correct.
The issue was, they didn’t inspect a critical detail in our proposal, which made the deal flop, something I wouldn’t have known, but it was my responsibility to be sure everything was clear.
As you go through your day and stumble on failure and even success, ask yourself,
What are my like best and next times?