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You must have heard many times of the term "premature success."
Well, there's also what I call premature failure.
Premature failure is when you just started to fail and not when you have failed and tried hundred of times but didn't find an ounce of success or simply an opening for a reiteration.
Premature failure is giving up way too early when in fact, the pains of any early startup or journey or first few steps are always longer, harder, and perseverance-required than in any other stages. It is just what it is. An indication of something that must be done, evaluated, and relaunched again.
Realistically our concept of failure is flawed in a sense that we always have high expectations of our initial actions. We allow this momentary discovery elude us of the benefits of the real results that come after many tries and retries.
We see a well-polished book and we thought that the author must have written it in one go while watching Netflix or a new app that we install in our tablets and phones had been imagined and developed with a matter of months just by talking to friends. We seldom see the behind the scenes of product development of many companies whose tasks is to lower customer barriers to acquiring, using, and marketing their product for them. We often don't look at how the after-office hours of business would look like when this means revamping everything that they think great about their product to build a better one. Start-ups know this by heart. But the non-profit sector doesn't, not even those who are serving a purpose-centred mission.
There is an idealistic notion that they should be successful at their campaigns because they have lofty goals. That the public should be donating more, supporting more, the government giving more budgets because the needs are greater and that squares a lot of the wrongness in society. When that didn't happen, they blame it externally rather than look within their own limitations.
Honestly, this idealism leads to regular failure. Regular failure is what we need. Regular failure is premature failure. Regular failure becomes the necessary ritual to attain the next level of competency.
The culture in the purpose sector should be stripped away from idealism to pragmatism. Regular failure is under appreciated. Premature failure is not the time to make a direction-changing course of action yet.
Ask more questions and listen attentively to market signals. Go back to the drawing board and recalibrate. Stay in the learning mode until you get it right. And when you get it right, do you really want to change course?
If you're interested to deep dive into your strategy, change, and engagement issues, reach out to me at email@example.com. Don't wait for the perfect time, situation, or budget.
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