The fear of trying

Jenn DonovanCulture, Featured, Fun Stuff, Must Read Blogs, Operations, Uncategorized0 Comments


You’ve probably heard a quote like “if you’re going to fail, then fail fast.” I used to be afraid of failing, let’s be real, no one wants to fail. But working at Red Barn has taught me that, hey, sometimes you fail, and that’s OK if you fix it and learn from it. It’s a tough transition, especially if you work in Corporate America where when something goes wrong, it turns into the blame game. It’s a nauseating feeling always trying to cover your ass in case that finger turned to you. It became more than a fear of failing and more of a fear of even trying something new. But now, I’ve learned to embrace learning and trying new things because the fear of failure isn’t so stifling.

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Before I started at Red Barn I had NO marketing experience. Sure, I used Facebook and LinkedIn, but that was about it. I’d never written a blog, sent out an e-newsletter, or used any design software. But I had to learn these things, and being remote, Cindy couldn’t hold my hand and walk me through things. I relied heavily on 2 very good friends – YouTube and Google. Trust me, if these 2 don’t know how to do something, then it’s not meant to be done.

I learned how to make updates to a website, edit art files in Adobe Creative Suite, create e-newsletter templates, create and implement Drip email workflows, the list goes on and on. Have I messed stuff up – ABSOLUTELY! Go ahead – ask Cindy – she’ll tell you. Most of the time I was able to fix any issues before they went live or to a client. That’s why we proof each other’s work – those extra set of eyes are key.

Here’s a secret that I learned from my mistakes and it wasn’t to stop trying! First – take accountability for your actions. Pointing the finger to someone else doesn’t fix the issue. Own it, fix it, learn from it, and move on. Secondly – follow up! This can save you a ton of headaches. Here’s a great example – We have a client that we schedule blogs for that post on a specific day and time. I send the link ahead of time to the client to share on social media and via an email to their clients. Well, I went in to check to make sure the first blog posted as scheduled and to my surprise – for some technical reason, it didn’t post! Had I not followed up, the client would have posted a dead link on their social media and in their email. I was able to fix the issue before it created a problem. It was no one’s fault, but you can bet I would have felt horrible if the client felt any negative effects from the error.

Trying new things is what makes my job exciting and fun. If I was afraid every time I had to try out a new software or implement a new marketing idea, I wouldn’t get very much done. Trying and failing is just part of the learning process. Sometimes you try things and get a win right off the bat – I LOVE when that happens. But most times you must try things a few different times before you get it right. It’s a process as Cindy likes to say. I play around with something, test it, make it live, test it again, make more tweaks, test it again, and so on and so on until it’s perfect. Another Cindyism – progress not perfection. Trust me, you learn a lot about yourself when you self-teach, and I get really excited when I teach my self new things and can put them into action.

So, my PSA for the day – Don’t be afraid to try things. Pull the trigger so that if you do fail, you fail fast and have time to fix it and learn from the mistakes.

If you have any great failure turned success stories, I’d love to hear them!

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