Dealing With the Risk of Failure

Oct 23, 2019

By Penny Thurnau

You’ve done the research. You’ve done all the tests. You’re ready to launch that great, new initiative. But then it doesn’t perform the way you expected. Now what?

Everyone knows that each true business decision comes with the risk of failure. Not everything you create will be a sure-fire hit. We’ve all seen great ideas fall flat and been surprised by bad ideas that have thrived. You’ll never know for sure how well your new idea or project will do. This eerie feeling of the unknown has scared so many individuals away from pursuing some of their greatest ideas. Will our audience love this or hate it? Will we hurt or grow because of this? Will our new initiative be a dud or will it take the business to new heights?

Facing the unknown and the subtle fear that comes along with it can be tough to overcome at times, especially when the stakes are high. Dealing with this fear and learning to manage your doubts can open up the doors to your success. But how do you do it?

When I find myself challenged by the “unknown”, I practice these simple tricks to stay motivated and realize successful outcomes.

  • Be Focused on the “Why” – There is a reason you do what you do. When you know the purpose for which you are working so hard and can clearly articulate it, you’re more likely to motivate not only yourself, but those around you as well.
  • Be Confident – No one knows what will happen for sure, but the work you put into your project is indicative of the final result. Good hard work is a formula for success. If you feel like you did a great job, the likelihood is that you did!
  • Be Patient – Not all great things take off right away. Some of the “craziest” ideas floated 20 years ago – personal computers, the Internet, electric cars – are commonplace now. The list goes on and on, but the point is that some ideas take time to grow to their full potential. Don’t be discouraged by a slow start or resistance from others.
  • Be Prepared to Learn – Failure is a part of life. Even the most successful individuals have experienced failure. When an initiative fails it often means that something didn’t work the way it should have. This is your opportunity to learn. Find out what went wrong and why. Solve the problem and suddenly a failure becomes the launch pad for success.

Removing the possibility of failure is impossible, but with these four tips you can maintain your inspiration and motivation to find success.

About the Author
Penny Thurnau has been with Powernet for more than 19 years, working her way up the ladder to become Vice President of Strategic Alliances. Penny has found success in many of Powernet’s sales verticals, including the channel program, multidwelling unites (MDUs) and  carrier sales, which require working closely with partners while having a strong understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Thurnau’s work in the channel has been recognized by CRN, which named her to its prestigious list of Women of the Channel and in being elected as a 2019-2020 board member for the Alliance of Channel Women.