trial and error

Trial and Error Your Way To Success

Are You a Trial and Error Specialist?

If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, the title on your business card should likely read “Trial and Error Specialist”. We are all experts in the process of coming up with a new idea, believing it will be the one, putting a ton of energy into it, and just before we get to the finish line, the next one comes along and we start the process all over again.

Trial and error is a good thing. After all, if it weren’t for those propelled by this silent drive, then the world would still be looking at rocks, as cavepeople, wondering how to get things from here to there. On the other hand, as I am sure you will agree, there can be a lot of wasted time and effort in the process and sometimes it simply doesn’t yield results.

So how do you improve the odds in your favor when it comes to knowing on the front end whether you should or shouldn’t put energy into a new idea?

Here are three things to consider:

  • Get clear on the outcome you are trying to achieve. For example, if you think about revising your website or advertising, ask yourself, “For what purpose?” It will likely be that you want to increase the awareness of your company to increase your sales. This being the case, the outcome is to increase awareness. Focus your efforts around, “how do I increase the traffic to my site” and you will come up with ideas far different than changing the wording on your website. Measure your ideas against achieving that outcome, rather than falling in love with the next “great thing”.
  • Find expertise and use them to create results. Sometimes the inherent need to create means you go at it the hard way, rather than the smart way. There are marketing experts, accountants, lawyers, sales professionals, etc. who live and specialize in their discipline. You know your field of expertise in a way most people don’t and yet, will have examples of where you have tried to assist someone and they simply don’t listen to you. They need to do it the hard way and learn for themselves. There is no way that each of us can possibly know everything about everything, so find excellent expertise and let them be the experts.
  • Follow through. An idea is only an idea without the push to see it through to the end. Too many times people don’t get results because they lose interest in an idea before it is complete. They put in a pile of effort on the front side and then some other “shiny bobble” comes into play and even though they promise themselves that they will get back to it, they never do. Write down all your different ideas, however be selective around which ones you choose to take on. Once you latch on to an idea, put together a tight timeline to get it done and then commit to not taking anything else on, until it is complete.   If you make the commitment on the front end to follow through, regardless of what happens, it will do two things. First off you will get to see results and secondly, it will help you be selective around which ones you take on.

Having the courage to tackle new challenges and to move forward on ideas is a great attribute for any leader. As you move forward you learn new things and realize others that you didn’t know before, so it can seem logical to shift, but real success happens in the follow through. Take a step back from time to time and you will find yourself able to accomplish a lot more, with a whole lot less energy.

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