After 25 years in business, I sit here late on a Sunday evening (having polished off yet another board pack) contemplating what I’ve learnt. And it’s the same old realisation that I keep coming back to. Namely, no matter how difficult it might be – it always pays to have the humility to know when to let something go. To bail rather than fail, if you will. And when our colleagues are faced with this very same challenge, be it in their professional or personal lives, nothing is more important than treating them with compassion and humanity. We’re not robots, after all.
Don’t be afraid of ‘bailure’
I can’t help but feel strangely privileged to have experienced such a gamut of emotions through business and commercial dealings. I’ve known success when I believed it would happen; and success when it was least expected. I’ve endured failure when it was so inevitable, I lacked the faith to even try to course-correct. And I’ve experienced the gut-punch of a GFC, been mauled by creditors and denigrated by the market just when I thought I was on the cusp of success.
I’m glad. The humility generated from my failures has tempered my (somewhat ridiculous) entrepreneurial appetite for risk. And, in doing so, has left me with a conviction in what I’ve coined ‘bailure’: when something isn’t viable, I’m not afraid to bail. This means that I now look far more judiciously at the potential of a business, initiative or project right from the start. As a result, I’m less likely to perpetually brew, and drink, my own Kool-Aid.