Limited by Failure

I think that it is fair to say that we enjoy doing what comes easy for us, but avoid the things in life that are difficult, out of our comfort zone, or resembles past failures. However, the things that are difficult are usually worth while. The stretching of our comfort zone brings new opportunity and fresh perspective. Our past failures, are just that, the past. Why do we assume that if we failed before we will fail again? We can easily agree that most inventions and breakthrough in medicine, technology, etc… came as a result of many failed attempts.

I visit a lot of woodworking companies with a flawed mentality when it comes to software and technology. They might have chosen the wrong product or otherwise failed to achieve the results they originally purposed, but instead of making a better decision or trying again, they mark the experience up as a failure and attempt not to repeat the same mistake. The flaw in that thinking is that there was an obvious need for a solution or they wouldn’t have made the investment in the first place. In the woodworking software business we refer to failed attempts with software as “shelfware”. The product sits on a shelf and isn’t used or isn’t used to capacity. Here are a few tips:

1) Do your homework. Make sure that the product you are planning to purchases can achieve the results you desire. Don’t get distracted with a flashy demonstration, write out specifically what you intend to achieve and make it part of any agreement you make.

2) Protect yourself. We like to think that we understand each other, but sometimes it is just not the case. If you need assurance such as a guarantee, get it in writing.

3) Prepare yourself. False expectations of super simple and quick implementation without any real effort is a leading cause of failure. Count the cost of time and effort before you even begin to make sure that you are prepared to achieve success.