3 Things I Learned From Failure

Posted on March 30, 2018

My business never failed. Intern Queen Inc. is alive, well, and growing. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had ideas fail, projects fail, business plans fail – it doesn’t mean that I haven’t faced failure. When I think about failure, I think about shifting. Every time I’ve failed doing something, I’ve had to recognize that what I was doing wasn’t working and shift my focus. The hardest part about failure is knowing when to cash in your chips and go home or in my case – stop the project, regroup, and move in a different direction. Here are a few lessons that I learned from failure:

  • Great Ideas Fail All of the Time. Just because you have a great idea, doesn’t mean it’s going to work. I’ve had several great ideas since I started my business – some have worked and other don’t. It doesn’t make me a failure; it just means that the particular project I was working on didn’t work for one reason or another – more often than not it’s because the timing is off.
  • Shifting is Crucial. As I just mentioned, you have to know when to shift. Make a plan, give it your all, but if it’s not working after several months of trying, you have to change the plan and shift your focus. When we decided we wanted to make the Youtube Channel in-house, we wanted to handle all of the editing and production. We did a test shoot and the outcome was pretty bad. We worked on it for months, had people help us make it better, and it just didn’t look good – it wasn’t on-brand. At some point, we had to shift the way we thought about this project. We brought in a production manager for the series – and today, it’s a big success.
  • Keep Creating. I’ve been in business for seven years. When I talk to people, they always ask what I’m up to. They already know that I’m running the website, connecting students with internships, speaking, and probably writing. They want to know what’s new. If I have nothing to tell them – I’m becoming irrelevant and uninteresting. It’s important to always have new things to talk about. For example, when I talk to people now and they ask what’s new I talk about our office, our new employees, and our new Youtube channel. This keeps the conversation fresh.

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Also, don’t forget to read my second book Welcome to the Real World. 

Photo by Anna McNaught.