I usually wake up with my wife in the mornings at around 5:30. She is a teacher and it seems only polite that I don’t sleep in while she is getting ready for her day. (Plus, since I work from home, I can always take a nap mid-day)
My wife is a very vivid dreamer and loves telling me the weirdest of weird dreams that she has from time to time. The other day, she told me about a dream that I was featured in. Apparently she had bought a new dress (very exciting to women, apparently) and when she came home to show me her exciting new purchase, I had said “You Look Stupid.” This hurt her feelings not only in her dream, but in real life as well. Which, is a little unfair, don’t you think? We had a good laugh about it, and is currently a running joke at our house.
It got me thinking about business decisions and how someone’s ‘dream’ could be crushed by someone coming up and saying (maybe in not so many words) “You Look Stupid.”
How many times do you think Apple heard that in the mid-90’s with the Newton? Yet, they persevered, hunkered down and now is one of the most profitable companies of all time.
Or you could be the owners of Mars Inc and when Universal Studios came calling in 1981 to ask if they could use M&M’s in a new film they were producing, you say “no.” So Universal Studios went to Hershey’s instead and put Reese’s Pieces in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, sales of Reese’s Pieces tripled within two weeks. Did Mars survive this massive mistake? Sure they did, but in hindsight, they looked a little silly.
Bottom line, Small and Medium business owners are going to face tough decisions every day, some work out and some don’t. But if you don’t take chances in your business, you’ll never move out of the comfortable space that you are already in. You have to learn from your mistakes and your successes equally. You might ‘look stupid’ when you take a chance, but know that you can still make it a positive even when you flop on your face.
Just like I tell my high school soccer team, I’ll never let you get too down on yourself after a loss, or too inflated after a win. A loss isn’t always bad and a win isn’t always good – but if you take the time to evaluate your decisions at the end of the day, you always are learning & growing. (Even though we all know winning is better!)