Everything occurs in seasons and for a reason, from friendships to work projects. I like to take moments throughout the year to think about the season that my life is in and the reason that I and my organization may be at one point or another.
During this process, I exercise gratitude for all of the successes and seemingly failures along the way. I say "seemingly" failures because I consider failures as feedback for the next project. You can wallow in all that went wrong, or you can learn from every misstep.
If you examine some of the greatest business ventures of all time, you'll discover that there was a pivotal moment when the innovative company owner turned a mistake into massive profits.
For example, the Hersey chocolate bar's unique taste comes from soured milk, which was a mistake in the chocolate making recipe. Instead of going back to the drawing board, the owner, Milton S. Hersey, proceeded with the less than perfect recipe. Today, the $10 billion company is one of the largest manufacturers of chocolate in North America.
Milton's first two candy companies failed. But each failure was simply feedback. He regrouped and went on to create a product and a brand known around the world.
Furthermore, Hersey created a community and a culture that catered to his workers to ensure their loyalty and diligence. During the great depression, he refused to lay off his workers. He had to cut hours but his workforce stayed in place. During a time when making a profit was difficult and providing a good living for frontline workers was not valued, he followed his belief that if he was good to his employees that they would be grateful and would work hard to make the company successful. For the most part that was true.
He established a school that prepares youth for success in all aspects of life along with community buildings, civic centers, gardens and cultural institutions that continue to enrich lives today.
When everyone around you is doubting your decisions, it's easy to throw in the towel. When this happens take the feedback and use it as fuel to propel you to the next project or business venture. Practice gratitude for the lesson and you'll eventually enjoy the taste of sweet success.