“Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem – in my opinion – to characterize our age”
— Albert Einstein
I watched an interesting video last week about failure. (I’ll include the link later in this article) It was particularly interesting because what resonated with me about failure was how fear of failure applies to some small business owners that want to systemize their business.
We spend most of our lives trying to avoid failure. Probably because we were trained during our school years to not make mistakes, don’t fail tests, don’t fail the school year.
It’s that fear of failure that keeps many people in their jobs as employees, afraid to start their own business. But, even for those of us who strike out on our own to create something from nothing, to create a business, that fear of failure can still be lurking.
One of the top 5 challenges I hear from business owners is the need to have the “perfect” systemization solution before they try to systemize their business. I think one reason for this need for the perfect solution is that pesky fear of failure. “I don’t want to try systemizing unless I can get it right the first time.” To be sure, there are other reasons, but getting it wrong is a biggie.
The thing is there is no perfect solution. Perfection is a moving target at best. Today’s perfect solution might be inadequate next year.
When you build and work systems, when you have the System View, you see failures as opportunities to fix and improve. Failures show you what doesn’t work. Knowing what doesn’t work is as important as knowing what does work. When you work with systems you’ll welcome failure, even though there may be some pain involved.
I am from a computer software background. When we developed complex software systems we would force failure. We had a saying, “Integrate (complex systems) early and integrate often.” Integration means getting the various software components to build and combine into the product. By building and integrating early in the development cycle we quickly found out what did not work before a lot of time and effort was expended. Knowing that something didn’t work gave us the opportunity to correct and improve.
It’s the same for creating and documenting systems in your business, don’t wait for the perfect systemization solution. Start now, even if it is simply creating step-by-step procedures. Make mistakes, learn from them, make adjustments, and develop your know-how. When you start knowing, you will be ready to receive more.
One of the dictionary definitions for the word Know is “to understand from experience or attainment”. Only by doing can you know. Part of knowing is failing. So, fail early, fail often, and learn.
The Business System Organizer solution was developed through trial and failure. It’s not the perfect solution, but it is an excellent starting point. One of its benefits is that it is a document based, open solution. You can adjust it to fit the way you want to organize, manage, and document your systems.
We are at the start of another new year. Don’t let it pass like last year -waiting for the perfect systemization solution.