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Success Advice

Hire Slow, Fail Fast, and Learn Faster



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“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” These words were once spoken by J. K. Rowling, famous British writer, and I believe they should be applied to a person’s success.

Failure is the best teacher. But we don’t often talk about the ‘F’ word in business because it’s often seen as a weakness, rather than a critical learning opportunity. Where this misconception came from, I have no idea. Some of your favorite musicians were rejected from major record labels before getting their big break. Many of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars tanked countless auditions before finally getting a single phone call back. Even Jeff Bezos wrote in a letter to his shareholders that, “If the size of your failures isn’t growing, you’re not going to be inventing at a size that can actually move the needle.”

Those who have made it to the big leagues all have stories — often multiple — to tell of failure, and they credit that to their success. So why don’t we talk about this more? Today’s business leaders must understand that in order to build a legacy, they can’t be afraid to roll with the punches. 

The business world is unpredictable by nature. You can spend years nurturing an idea only to have a half-cocked plan turn out to be a million-dollar deal. The path to success isn’t for the easily deterred. It’s packed with rejection and criticism, both constructive and devastatingly harsh. Leaders must be comfortable taking the risks that will keep them at the forefront of their industries. They must be wise about who they allow on their teams, while embracing their own failures as a strategy for growth. In other words, they must hire slow, fail fast, and learn faster. 

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley

Pause before you hire

Whether someone chooses to move on from your company or a new role is identified within your organization, it’s tempting to want to move quickly to fill the void. Instead of haphazardly posting online, exploiting your contact list, and frantically interviewing in hopes of finding a new hire that day, take a step back to regroup.

Hiring from a desperate place is a surefire way to get the wrong people on board, which could slow down production, devastate your company culture, and even damage your reputation in the industry. This slow-and-steady approach is not only the best way forward, it will put you in front of the best candidate for the job.

Leaders that are trying to survive while short-handed can be completely oblivious to the reliable employees and other options that lie at their fingertips. Take stock of who you already have on the job. Are they carrying their weight? Are they making the most out of the time and resources that have been afforded to them? Have they stepped up as a leader and are ready to take on additional responsibilities? Taking care of the workers that you have already appointed may help you arrive at the solution that you have been looking for instead of putting you in a predicament to lose your investment on a bad hire. 

However, if your tasks truly outweigh your manpower, getting more hands on deck will be the answer to your troubles. But you need to make sure you’ve nailed down a steadfast hiring process first. Think in terms of quality, and have a firm set of attributes in mind that will rule out those who aren’t qualified for the job, even if their resumes are impressive at first glance. This could take several interviews with various candidates, but it’s a small price to pay to level up your business with devoted workers who are capable of handling the challenges ahead.

Fail forward and do so often

In an effort to avoid mistakes, a lot of leaders allow fear to paralyze them to a point where they’re unable to convince themselves to take any action at all. This delusional stance leads to a failure by omission, which only ends in even greater fear and stagnancy. So, while it is expertly advised to make slow hires, the truth isn’t the same for taking the necessary risks to further a company’s success. In these cases, you will want to fail fast, but do so in a way that minimizes your losses and puts you further ahead than you were before.

This concept of failing fast may be hard for a lot of leaders to comprehend. It’s hard enough for people to admit to their failures, let alone welcoming those failures so that they can continue forging ahead. Failing fast in a forward motion does not mean jumping into poorly-thought-out situations or betting it all without the possibility of a return that is worthwhile. It is, however, about taking risks, executing ideas, and figuring out what went wrong so that you are able to jump back into the game as soon as possible.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

Learn from your failures

Failures are never fun in the moment, but they’re an inevitable part of business. Think of them as your best source of feedback. Mistakes shine a spotlight on any weaknesses and vulnerabilities that exist within your organization, and even within yourself. Let them inform your flaws so that you can strengthen your foundation as you continue to push ahead. When you gain something from failure, it isn’t a defeat at all.  

The next time you face rejection, take a step back, ask plenty of questions, and apply those answers to create an opportunity to make an even greater impact thereafter. Some of your most significant successes will come as a result of the tough lessons learned from your misfortunes, making failure worth the bet each and every time.

To be truly exceptional in such competitive and volatile industries, you must be willing to try your hand time and time again. Last week’s ‘nos’ won’t doom you to failure, and a recent ‘yes’ may soon lose its relevance if you neglect to show up again. True triumph lies in your ability to endure failures like a champ, make fast recoveries, and be on your way to conquering your next mission.

James F. Kenefick is a New York-based entrepreneur, early stage investor, and technology expert. He is the Managing Partner at Azafran Capital Partners and is a Board Member at Yobe, Inc. and BetterWorld Technology. James is also an active, long-standing member of the 
Young President’s Organization (YPO).

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How to Choose the Best Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers



how to choose the best affiliate programs for your blog

Picking the right affiliate programs for your blog is really important. It can make a big difference in how much money you can make and how much your readers get out of your blog. With so many choices out there, deciding which ones to go with can be tricky. 

This guide is here to make it easier for you. It will give you clear steps and helpful tips to choose affiliate programs that fit well with what your blog is about, what your readers like, and what you stand for. 

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Understanding Affiliate Marketing

Before you start picking affiliate programs, it’s important to really understand what affiliate marketing is and how it works. 

Basically, affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service on your blog, and then you get paid a little bit every time someone buys something or does something because you recommended it. 

It’s great for both the person selling the product and the blogger, because the seller gets more sales with low risk, and the blogger can make money from their blog.

How to Choose the Right Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

1. Assess Your Niche and Audience

The key to doing well in affiliate marketing starts with really knowing what your blog is about and who reads it. Consider the following:

  • Your blog’s content: What topics do you cover? Ensure the products or services you promote are relevant.
  • Your audience’s interests and needs: What solutions are they seeking? Choose affiliate programs that offer products or services that solve their problems or enhance their lives.

2. Research Potential Affiliate Programs

Once you know what your blog is about and what your readers want, start looking for affiliate programs. Choose ones that are well-known for good products, great customer service, and helpful support for affiliates. Resources to find these programs include:

  • Affiliate networks like ShareASale, Commission Junction, and ClickBank.
  • Direct searches for “[Your Niche] affiliate programs” in search engines.
  • Recommendations from other bloggers in your niche.

3. Evaluate the Commission Structure

The commission structure is a critical factor to consider. Look for programs that offer competitive rates that make your efforts worthwhile. Consider:

  • The percentage of commission per sale.
  • Whether the program offers a flat rate per action (e.g., per sign-up).
  • The cookie duration, which affects how long after a click you can earn commissions on sales.

4. Consider the Program’s Reputation and Sureness

Join affiliate programs with a solid reputation for quality and sureness. This not only ensures that you’re promoting good products but also that you’ll be paid on time. You can:

  • Read reviews from other affiliates.
  • Check the program’s history and background.
  • Look for any complaints or issues reported online.

5. Analyze the Support and Resources Offered

A good affiliate program gives you things like ads to use, training on their products, and helpful managers. Having access to these resources can really help you do a better job at promoting their products.

6. Understand the Terms and Conditions

Before signing up, thoroughly review the program’s terms and conditions. Pay close attention to:

  • Payment thresholds and methods.
  • Any restrictions on how you can promote their products.
  • The program’s policy on affiliate marketing on social media platforms.

7. Test the Product or Service

If possible, test the product or service before promoting it. This firsthand experience allows you to offer genuine charge and build trust with your audience.

8. Look for Recurring Commission Opportunities

Some affiliate programs pay you again and again for subscriptions or services that charge fees regularly. These can provide a more stable income compared to one-time sales commissions.

Implementing Your Choice

After choosing the best affiliate programs, the next step is to smoothly include your affiliate marketing in your content plan. This includes:

  • Creating valuable content that naturally incorporates affiliate links.
  • Disclosing your affiliate affairs transparently to maintain trust with your audience.
  • Tracking your results to understand what works best for your audience and adjusting your strategy accordingly.

Picking the best affiliate programs for your blog involves careful planning, research, and making sure they match what your audience likes and needs. 

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers. 

The real key to doing well with affiliate marketing isn’t just about the products you talk about, but also how much your audience trusts and values your advice. 

With enough time, patience, and hard work, your blog can grow into a successful space that earns a good amount of affiliate money and helps your readers choose the right products.

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