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2 Reasons Why It’s Okay To Be A Failure.

2 Reasons Why It’s Okay To Be A Failure.

Growing up, I’ve always had a little slogan Born and raised to fail. Crazy right? People would often respond with, “Why so negative?” The truth is, failure isn’t a negative and in what world do we live where challenging yourself is considered a negative? You have been given roughly eighty years worth of time on this planet and when it’s up, it’s game over. It’s time to stop fearing failure and accept it for what it is : A way to grow.

1. We Are All Afraid To Fail.

We as people since the time we are born and till the day we die are always told to try and be successful. Your parents, teachers, mentors, will have shunned the word failure from your vocabulary, and if you are a normal kid, then you have yet to experience proper failure through participation ribbons, equality in the classroom, and “Everyone wins” style of games.

You learn to fear failure. People have accepted that failure in itself is the most embarrassing or degrading thing possible. We have associated failure to being unsuccessful and it’s kind of funny because most people see successful, as having success. They don’t see that failure is pushing beyond your success to be successful. There is a reason all time greats in sports come from failure. Because failure, unlike success, is something that you can drive on. How many famous celebrities do you know say “Well, they told me I wasn’t good at it.” The truth was, they weren’t. We all know they didn’t go to bed and wake up as the greatest thing on TV. The truth was they were at home or in the gym, failing by themselves thousands of times over. But we pretend that those events never occurred. We act like those who are successful just are. Failure is just a little undertone every successful person holds on to.

Successful people can’t count the number of times they’ve failed and they won’t mention failure because in our society if you fail a thousand times you’re not a dreamer or a challenger. You’re a hopeless failure, who should just stay working nine to five and if you manage to succeed a thousand times the moment you fail it’s game over.

I idolize people that have reached success, and you do too. Yet, sometimes we as people forget to realize that the people before them who failed and quit, are the people that built them the podium they stand on. We will always forget the johns that could have been, by only remembering the have been.

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But how many kids grew up aspiring to be successful, only to ignore that guitar in the corner for the fear of being laughed at because they started guitar lessons? Or maybe a little kid started writing to themselves wishing to be an author, only to hear in the back of their head or from their classmates “you will never be an author!” followed by ignorant laughs?. Or that kid on the basketball team who wants to be the best basketball player in the world. Yet due to failure, he doesn’t spend the extra time in. You see, we always flaunt the greatest yet refuse to acknowledge the sacrifice to get there.

I’ll have you know I was told once that I spent so much energy becoming good at everything, that I never became great at anything. I told them it was true, as to much as I love failure, I’m afraid of failure. I’m not perfect, I have written hundreds and hundreds of pages, and attempted to be published numerous times that all have led to: failure. But every time I fail, I pick up past written books, chapters, and I don’t see unsuccessful I see successful. Why? Because although I may never be perfect, I can tell you one thing: I see growth.

From my first chapter ever written to my last I know I’m getting better. I’m growing from my failure.

So please, go pick up that guitar, go experiment with paint. Do what makes you happy.

2. Growing is Learning to Understand That Failure is a Natural Part of Living.

I read an article once that involved a nurse in a hospice who asked every patient that she ever had a five step question. You can find it here

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But what breaks my heart is the very first answer :

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it. Most people will never accomplish their dreams for many reasons, but the biggest when it comes to choice? Is the fear of failure. The fear of being ripped from beneath that comfortable space in society where people expect you to be.

But will you be content in dying and not giving your dreams a voice or a chance? All because of a little thing known as failure? Something, that if you choose you could take and learn from it. You could ask yourself “Why did I fail?” and, “Is it a bad thing?” You could even smile about it. I know it sounds weird, smiling over FAILURE. But I want you to look back right now and think of everything you’ve accomplished in your life.

If you can find one thing where you succeeded before failure you better let me know. Because you can’t and never will. You didn’t wake up already having the knowledge of swimming, riding a bike, walking. You didn’t wake up and know proper English, math. At one point you probably failed a test and was forced to relearn the theory until you knew it.

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You failed, and you did it. Failure is the natural process of growth. No one just creates perfection the first try. No one just wakes up one day and runs a marathon, writes a book, creates a painting, invents Facebook or the next thing to save mankind. And if you can conquer failure, you can conquer anything you want in the world.

The only thing that is stopping you from living, and reaching your goals/dreams is the little thing in your head screaming “I want to do that, but that’s not me. I’ll never be good at that.” People roll with it. When they see something they like that little voice comes up again, and says, “Hello Johnny! Don’t touch that, don’t even think about it. That’s not you, You will NEVER be good at that! Goodbye!”

You say, “Okay.” and continue living mundane, because you’re not meant to be famous, meant to be successful.

You’re meant to be you. Except ironically, you’re not living you because you allow all your dreams and aspirations to drown in failure. You need to study so you can learn and then one day you can teach, one day you can show and tell. You can be an example. You can be an example to your children on what success is. You can be an example of someone who challenged failure and became great. Or you can be an example of someone who had dreams and aspirations and with the fear of failing, accomplished nothing. Forgotten.

You could look at the world and say “There are 7 billion people out there, I will never be successful.” Or you could realize this one important detail.

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If I wake up today, go to work, then die. I will have died unsuccessful.

If I wake up today, pursue my dreams, fail, then die, I will have died successful.

If I wake up today, pursue my dreams, succeed, then die, I will have died successful.

So next time you hear failure slip from your mouth you better taste it. Because anything that screams failure also screams a possibility for success.

Your room to grow.

– Elliott Morreau

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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