We’re all looking for ways to become better marketers, in one way or another. Sometimes, we take new classes or attend seminars that allow us to acquire new skills. Other times, we do online research and talk to peers in groups to learn more about a subject that was previously unfamiliar.
But some of the best and most transformative changes in your career come from a change in your mentality or your attitudes — and I think one of the most important is learning to not only accept, but embrace failure.
Why is this so powerful and how can you achieve it?
The way I see it, there are three extremely good reasons to embrace failure as a marketer:
1. Confidently addressing failure encourages you to experiment
First, embracing failure encourages you to experiment. When you aren’t afraid of the end results, you’re much more willing to break out of your comfort zone and try something novel that you hadn’t considered in the past. You’re also much more likely to take risks because you’re more comfortable with the worst-case scenario. It’s easy to get complacent as a marketer; you discover an approach that works somewhat well and doesn’t seem to ruffle any feathers, and it’s tempting to stick with it. But if you want to make waves and stand out from the competition, you need to find a way to be bolder.
2. Failure is often the best way to learn
We’re all secretly hoping to learn about some perfect strategy that works every time and is easy to use. But in the working world, it’s rare and difficult to learn about something that works. It’s much easier and much more consistent to learn about things that don’t work. Learning to embrace your own failure puts you in a position to fail more frequently on a smaller scale. This opens you up to lessons and modes of discovery that are completely inaccessible to people afraid of failing. Failure is often the best way to learn, whether you’re trying to discover some new power words for your copywriting or figure out which social media platform most resonates with your target audience.
3. Failure is inevitable, but recovery isn’t
In many ways, failure is an inevitability in the marketing realm. Sooner or later, if you keep creating and distributing advertisements in new ways, you’re going to hit some snags. Some marketers encounter these challenges and immediately crumble; they don’t have the confidence or constitution to continue experimenting or pushing their careers. But if you’re fully familiar with failure and you’re not afraid of it, you’ll enjoy a much smoother recovery.
So what steps can you take to learn to embrace failure as a marketer?
Once you become more comfortable with your own failure, or potential for failure, you’ll be in a position to create more creative and innovative campaigns. You’ll also set a course for faster growth in your career. Comfort with failure gives you a strong competitive edge and resilience when most other marketers would collapse.
Originally appeared in Entrepreneur