Not All Failure is Bad Failure

| December 28, 2009 | Reply

Posts like this are a big reason I like Duane Lester. Last year he set seven goals for himself and his blog. Now, at year’s end, he reviewed those goals and found that he had met only one (and that one, to be a paid published writer, didn’t last very long). You’d be tempted to look at his .142 batting average and call him a failure, but if you did that, you’d be wrong.

Duane showed me, and everyone else, three important things about himself that tell me that he’s still pointed toward success. 

First, he was open and honest about what he wanted to do and what he actually accomplished. He didn’t hide his failure. In fact, he did just the opposite. He showed us where and how he failed, then invited us to survey the initial ideas he has for succeeding next time. No one is successful all by themselves. It takes help to do something really well, especially in the realm of new media. Showing your work openly gives potential helpers an idea of where they can help you.

Second, he acknowledged the success he did have. That he didn’t reach all his goals doesn’t mean he didn’t accomplish anything. Okay, so he didn’t get 1500 RSS subscribers but he got 1225, which is a darned sight more than he would have gotten had he not set a goal at all. Rss subscribers just don’t all into your lap. If they did, Darren Rowse wouldn’t have a business today. Sometimes (Lots of times? Most of the time, even?) you don’t reach the goals you set for yourself but don’t ever discount what you did gain.

Third, he hasn’t quit. It can’t be easy looking at six failures out of seven but do you see even a hint of resignation in Duane post? You do not because he’s not done getting where he wants very much to go. He has a lot of ground to cover to grow his blog and he doesn’t have time to waste bemoaning what he didn’t get. What you do see is the beginning of a new set of goals, built with ambition and new wisdom gained from seeing what did and did not work in 2009. I wouldn’t bet against his reaching at least half of his goals for 2010.

If you’re a new blogger, you could do a lot worse than spending some time with Duane’s post. There is some gold in it to be mined.

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