Joanna Track is a mentor, media personality, marketing strategist, and serial entrepreneur. She founded eLUXE.ca and sweetspot.ca, and is now on her third venture, boutique consultancy firm Good Eggs & Co.

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By Joanna Track

 

There is nothing wrong with failing, as long as you know how to fail well.

 

Most often, people try and sweep their failures as far under the rug as their broom will reach. Consider this: at the boutique consultancy firm I co-founded, Good Eggs & Co., one of our key clients told us that they hired us not only for our successes, but also for our failures. Why? He wanted to learn from our mistakes.

With many of our greatest lessons—in business and in life—we learn what to do by spending some time doing the opposite: failing. Over-boil an egg a few mornings in a row, and you’ll soon figure out exactly how long it really needs. The key to success is not in the failure itself—it’s in the lesson learned. Acknowledging and growing from your mistakes is how you fail well.

Sadly, most people get caught up in their heads and egos, and try to deflect accountability or responsibility when things go awry. By owning the situation and dissecting what led to its outcome, you become armed with invaluable insights to carry into future experiences. Being a good egg doesn’t mean you’re always perfect. When you are honest and transparent, people see your value beyond your error.

As an employer, providing positive encouragement when employees mess up will create an open environment where people are willing to take risks, bring forth new ideas, and invest time and resources into unchartered waters. And that’s where stars (and winning business ideas) are born.

Does that mean every mistake should be forgotten? No. Once in a while, an egg goes rotten. Maybe it’s the person, maybe they’re not in the right position, or maybe it’s just past the expiry date. I’ve seen too many people hang on too long because they want to make it work, even when their gut is telling them otherwise. I always say, “Everyone is replaceable.” If the US government can replace POTUS in 15 minutes, you can find someone to fill the gaps in your business.

And if it’s your time to move on, don’t panic. Be honest with yourself and others, remember the lessons from your past mistakes, and in the future, fail well.

 

Related: Joanna’s post on how to find (or become) a high potential employee.


 

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