Recently I’ve been watching this show called Rick and Morty. If you don’t know what it is, its like Back to the Future mixed with Family Guy. I say that because the show airs on Adult Swim and is clearly not meant for children. There are two protagonist, a foul mouthed, uncaring mad scientist grandfather by the name of Rick and an uncomfortably awkward, noble 14 year old kid named Morty. Well just like Back to the Future, Rick and Morty often travel through space, interdimensionally and sometimes through time.
Naturally, the typical plot arises. Rick and Morty go to these different timelines with knowledge that could alter the past and future. Of course, it starts to make you think about yourself. If there were five words you could say to the past version of yourself, what would you say. Marketing is a big aspect of my life and I spend most of my days trying to learn more and more. However, whenever you are committed to something you will also become insecure. Its normal. When I got to thinking what I could tell myself when I was in my early days starting this career, I’d tell myself,
“Embrace failure. It’s going to happen and the more you do it the better you will become.”
The sentiment of this message is actually quite common and popular now. You’ll find it uttered by most entrepreneurs who are interviewed about their success. I can’t tell you how many times I heard it when i was going to school, sitting through all the different guest speakers who came to campus. What I think isn’t conveyed though is the degree of failure. When you say the word failure, you often think of a big fat red F on a elementary school test. Then you start to think of inferiority and lack of worth. It then seeps internally as you worry about whether or not you as a person are a failure. All the goals that you had set, how many did you not attain?
Well pull yourself out of that. Your not a failure.
What you need to realize is that when people talk about failure, it doesn’t mean catastrophic, end of the world failure. It means little mistakes and hiccups that occur on the road. Maybe its sending an email to the wrong person, saying the wrong thing 8at the wrong time in a meeting. Yes, catastrophic failures will occur as well, but the little ones also teach you a lot. You have to make sure that you are mindful and asking yourself about these little mistakes and failures. How can you adjust, what can you do better, what did the other party do to cause you to commit that mistake?
I’ve blogged about it so much, but I think this topic helps round out a common message I’ve given to those who are conducting marketing campaigns. Stop trying to be perfect. You cannot anticipate all the road bumps, angry customers and mistimed execution. All you can do is get started and when little obstacles trip you up, get up, take a note and keep going. Marketing is failing often and failing fast.