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9 Reasons Why You Can Succeed When You Fail

9 Reasons Why You Can Succeed When You Fail

If you asked yourself whether in order to succeed you’d be willing to fail many times, would you take the risk? Nine times out of 10 you’d get a reply with a resounding no! Avoidance of failure is a very human condition and settling for second best seems most preferable to risking it all and looking bad.

Yet as children, the thought of failure doesn’t even come into it. Children naturally will just go for it without a second thought. Why is that do you think?

As you grow, failure is everywhere. You are taught to not fail at school tests, to always be the best and anything else is just not good enough. You’ll get into trouble with your parents for doing things wrong, or laughed at by class mates for being different. You simply cannot win! Yet failure is vital for success. Failure makes what you want to achieve worth doing and doing well. So with that in mind, I’ve come up with a few reasons why this is so, and some tips on how to succeed through failure.

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1. It will provide you with a lesson to learn from

When something’s not gone quite as well as you had hoped, or indeed failed completely, there is always a message within that failure. Recognizing that failure is a lesson in life will keep you in good spirits each time it happens. It provides you with a chance to reflect back on what happened, what you would change for next time and what to not do again. Remembering that failure is an asset to your success is vital; it’s your greatest teacher and will make you far more grateful for your success when it arrives.

2. It’s a test of how committed you are

Failure can be hard to bear, it can make you feel like quitting and put doubts in your mind that weren’t there in the first place. However, if you look at failure as your ally and use it to push yourself even further forward than you were yesterday, it will make you realize how really committed you are to your goals. Failure teaches you to either give up or keep going, and will help you decide if you really want it enough.

3. Failure builds and refines your character

When life throws you a curveball, it tests your resilience and strength of character. Knowing that whatever happens you can pick yourself up and dust yourself down, builds confidence and a good attitude. No matter how hard things get, you know you can get through it. The knowledge that you are stronger than you were before is not only gratifying, but also makes you 10 times more attractive to those around you.

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4. It gets you trying new things

Instead of always doing what you’ve always done, which then makes sure you get what you’ve always got, failure will force you to try new things. The lessons learned from failure will be valuable, they will help you to work out what didn’t work before, what might work next, and in turn will get you to step out of your comfort zone. Staying stuck won’t be an option. If success is important to you, you’ll not want to fail again, so trying something new will be your only option.

5. It gives you room for growth

Failure teaches you that not everything happens when you want it to. However, it also teaches you that sometimes a change in direction or attitude is all that is needed to make something a success. Failure is important to your own growth because it makes you more aware of yourself, your choices and your actions. It also helps to question your belief system and values, making you realize you don’t always have to know the answers. Questioning more provides growth and change.

6. It increases self-awareness

Much the same as with growth, being self-aware helps you to understand your decisions and choices in life and your own reaction to them. When something doesn’t go to plan, you might have reacted in a negative way or perhaps felt angry about it. Failure will help you to look back on how you deal with it, making you realize, perhaps, that your own actions have contributed in some way to the failure. This makes you more accountable and responsible for your own life, and this is only ever a good thing!

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7. Failure helps you to seek out new relationships

When failure happens, whether it be in a personal or professional capacity, you will tend to seek out others for advice and guidance. This is a powerful way to establish new relationships, as they can help to nurture and complement you on your journey towards success. Also, knowing that you have someone or some people to discuss future strategies or failures with will help in the long term.

8. It reconnects you to your priorities

When you fail, it stops you in your tracks and helps you to question the reasoning behind your previous actions. It will help you to work out your priorities and what is most important to you. Your priorities are what makes you do what you do, and most importantly, are the reasons why you do them. Failure helps you to regain focus, take a step back and re-establish your roots.

9. It makes you realize you are not superhuman

Life has a habit of giving you stuff to get you thinking again, to knock you off track a little to make you realize you are not superhuman after all. Sometimes you have to take a few knocks to make you humble, and to recognize your perceived failures are really just chances to look at yourself again. It’s there to test you, to give you that sense that there is still so much more you can give and to help you to believe in yourself again. After all, success only comes to those who fail, and if not, it wasn’t worth it anyway!

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Featured photo credit: Flickr/DennisChow.com via flickr.com

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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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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