Failing Forward

Posted January 24, 2022 in

Bob Ruffolo

CEO of IMPACT, student of marketing, sales, leadership and people, avid reader, needs to pick better sports teams.

I used this term a few months back with my management team, saying that 2021 was a year where we failed forward.

We made a lot of investments, took a lot of chances, placed some big bets. And a lot of them were wrong.

Had I not made that hire or two that didn't work out, I would have saved a lot of money.

Had I taken a little more time to critically think through an opportunity, I would have probably made a better decision.

Had I paid a little more attention to the right details, I would have noticed things sooner.

So yes, I failed. A lot, especially in 2021. It was not an easy year. We felt pain that we'll never allow ourselves to feel again and discovered roads we'll never go back down.

But every failure was failing forward.

Because two powerful rules of business are at play.

1. A bad decision is better than no decision. We would have wasted even more time, money, and opportunity had we sat on our hands and done nothing at all.

And 2. Success is just breaking through after falling over, and over, and over again -  unless you're just really lucky.

Every bad decision was an investment in our growth and future, providing us experience and education that we could never learn from a class, course or book.

We never gave up. We addressed the brutal facts head-on. We made tough decisions and embraced change. We lived in the solution. And we turned the ship around.

Business is hard. What we do every day is not easy. It's not supposed to be.

If you're feeling like you're failing, don't give up. It's an important part of the process - it's how we learn. And you're normal. We all go through it. Learn from your mistakes, stay in the fight. You'll figure it out.

We did. When the numbers turned around and were getting better and better every week, I got emotional and choked up in front of my management team. I was filled with joy and gratitude.

Had I not failed as much as I did, and felt all of that pain, it would never have felt so special.

There is no success without failing forward.

Don't give up.
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John Bendever, Jr.
Bob Ruffolo  THANK YOU for sharing this...sharing failures, even when moving forward is tough.  Thank you for the transparency...for me, it helps me to know I am not alone or weird, or hopeless. 
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Bob Ruffolo
You're definitely not. It's just a shame that too few people are willing to share their actual journeys, not the good parts.
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