A Fancy Name for Failures

Pioneer is just a fancy name for failure.

Other synonyms are trailblazer, innovator, groundbreaker, leader.

I know what you’re thinking: “Pioneers are celebrated. They are heroes. They are successful.”

But there’s no way you move forward into uncharted territories without making mistakes. Lots of mistakes. Really big mistakes. In other words, failures.

But the difference in a pioneer and a true failure is that the pioneer addresses the mistake, then moves on. A failure let’s a mistake stop them in their tracks, and accepts it as unsolvable.

Some of us face things that have never been done before. At least specific enough to our situation. It may be a completely new product idea. Or maybe a break from your company’s traditional way of doing business. And when that happens, you have no reference point, because you’re the first. You’re the pioneer. And when you’re the pioneer, you have to plan for unforeseen challenges, mistakes and failures.

An expedition with Lewis & Clark was filled with carnage. Hiking to the North Pole guarantees a bout with frostbite. Safaris are characterized by encounters with lions, killer bees, snakes or all of the above.

And if you’re a pioneer, you’ll experience plenty of stuff you didn’t see coming. Shipping costs are 15% higher than expected. The Chinese New Year screws up your timeline. Product testing unveils a major flaw.

But if you plan for it, accept it, address it, fix it and move on, that’s when you’ll be a real pioneer.


3 responses to “A Fancy Name for Failures

  1. Brett,

    Inspiring and correct. Being at the front of the battlefield will get you opportunities…to fail and to triumph. Those in the back, behind the frontlines, only make for good “Monday morning quarterbacks” dishing out of what they would have done (had they only had the guts and insight to lead the way).

  2. what does this have to do with “the hefty lefty”?

  3. Bill – well said. Any opportunity has a minimum of two outcomes – success or failure.

    The Monday Morning Quarterbacks thing is worthy of a whole other post – thanks for the inspiration.

    The Hefty Lefty will lead the Giants to another loss, but at least the Kentuckian is finally getting his shot. Let’s see if he can do better than Tim Couch.

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