If You Build It, They [May Not] Come

The common misperception with these new social media and emerging media tools is that if you build it (site, app, event, etc) they will come. This is good in theory, but is far from true. Half the battle is preparing for the possibility that your big idea might fizzle out before it even has a chance to draw a crowd, much like many of our favorite smart television shows or films do lately.

How have you prepared to win through failure? Every business owner and freelancer needs a healthy combination of future thinking and an ability to bounce back from failures and missteps. Failures make us stronger. To never fail is to never learn new skills, new ways of handling things.

How can you adjust after a failure?

• End on a positive note

Whenever possible, preserve relationships forged in the fire of a failure. Your staff, your clients, your peers all saw how hard you were working (assuming you were working hard – sometimes this isn’t the case) to bring a dream to life. They were rooting for your success, invested in your future. They may bring value to your next venture, so nurture those relationships. Resist any urge toward sour grapes.

• Take stock

Take stock of the good ideas you had, the parts of your venture that succeeded. You can use these as the foundation to make your next idea down the road work better and be stronger than your first attempt.

• Harvest good ideas

Keep an Evernote, DropBox or other type of list of your good ideas. Use mind maps to flesh out which ones are worth developing. Use your connections and former tactics to help make the new idea grow. Seeing your ideas in writing and on the screen will help you chart a visual course to success. This road mapping can create a backbone for a business or idea that will nurture it and keep it from struggling when speed bumps pop up on your way to success.

• Invest in Your Own Success

Gone are the days where a founder could expect to hire outside help immediately for all aspects of a project or new venture. Now a founder needs to be a business polymath, able to wear many hats in the beginning of their new business. This means you may have to learn to code, do accounting and much more. Roll up your sleeves and dig in, because if you wont invest in you, who else can you expect to do so?

It’s nice to be a winner, but know that the real winners are mentally prepared to bounce back from whatever life and business throw at them, dust themselves off, and take the reigns to start more big ideas and get people enthusiastic about coming on board to be part of their successes.