If you’ve listened to all the hype on the TV and radio, you’ll probably be thinking that Mo Farrah failed dismally this weekend at the London Marathon. After all, he finished a miserable 8th in his first ever competitive marathon. He was only the fastest ever Englishman to run in London, and the fourth fastest Brit. Am I missing something? That sounds pretty awesome to me!!
Brendan Foster and most of the other commentators were writing him off and saying he ought to stick to the track in future. But Mo is a class act and I have no doubt he’s now got the measure of this arduous race and will be back with a better-adapted strategy next time. He’s already said “I’m not going to finish it like this. I will be back!”
People are very quick to criticise – after all, he’s a world and Olympic Champion, surely he should have done better?
It’s the same in business though isn’t it? You get really good at ‘the thing’ that you do. You know how the market works, how the ebbs and flows run, what to subtly change in your marketing to get the result you need.
But when you enter a new market, or develop a new product or service, you don’t have the same intimate knowledge or experience. You do your research, make your most educated assumptions, deploy what’s worked for you in other sectors and give it your best shot – and then, when you get your first dose of REAL experience THAT’S when the journey properly begins.
If everyone in business gave up after the first time they tried something new, what a sorry state the economy would be in? Richard Branson has had his fair share of ‘bombs’, as have all the other big names in business. What unifies them is their ability to learn from the experience.
Like Mo Farrah, business owners need to be made of brave and resilient stuff if they are to adapt their experience and try new ideas. They need to take the rough with the smooth. Learn when things don’t go as planned. And keep doing the hard work when most other people are still tucked up in bed, or have gone home for the evening.
And, just like Mo Farrah, they can’t afford to listen to the nay sayers and the doubters.
So, when’s the last time you tried something new in your business? I’d love to hear how you got on.