Some people believe that you can learn more from failure than success. But not every failure is a learning experience.
I believe that you can learn a great deal more from success than from failure.
Here’s why: knowing what not to do helps you focus and avoid setbacks, but doesn’t help you adapt to changes. You know what didn’t work – does that help you next time when you need to figure out what will work?
If you ask successful entrepreneurs whether they would rather hire someone who has failed or someone who has succeeded, I suspect most would prefer to hire the person who has succeeded. This is not surprising – scientific research shows that we learn more from success than from failure.
I would go even further. Some people are successful because they can repeatedly perform a task well. Others are successful because they know how and why something works. Hire people who know how and why something works, not just those who know how to do something.
If you’re looking for a marketing person to focus on SEO, you may be looking for someone with prior SEO experience. You can talk to thousands of people with SEO experience, many of whom will know the basics of SEO because they’ve helped other companies with SEO strategies. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find many people who truly understand how and why SEO works.
We’ve made the mistake at crowdSPRIGN hiring people who knew how to do certain things well. Unfortunately, those people could not scale as our company scaled.
Knowing how to do something is important, but it is limiting.
When you know how to do something, you have a skill that you can replicate to do the same thing again and again. But when you understand how and why something works, you not only have a skill, but you also can adapt your skill to changing situations.
In our SEO example, the person who understands how and why SEO works will be able to help you when search engines start making regular major SEO-related algorithm changes. The person who merely knew how to implement SEO will hit a wall – they will have a tough time adapting to the changes.
Learn to repeat your successes, not your failures. Failure is overrated.