Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts

Welcome back to another episode of The Poster Boy Podcast. It’s been a minute! Chad and Drew have been busy running our businesses in the middle of a pandemic, and it got us thinking about the timeliness of Winston Churchill’s quote, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 

Churchill certainly knew a thing or two about dealing with unprecedented times, and all you need to do is look at the list of companies that filed for bankruptcy in the last half-year to know that success is not final.

In this edition of The Poster Boy Podcast, we give updates on how our businesses are faring through everything related to COVID-19 as well as the lessons we’ve learned and what Churchill’s quote means to us. For Chad, spring was especially tough since live events — the lifeblood of his business — were shut down. Sales were $0 in April, but that brief failure wasn’t fatal. For Drew, the first few weeks of the pandemic saw clients putting a hold on marketing, but now his company is busier than ever and closing on a new project every week. 

This leads us into our discussion about how to be innovative in a time when it’s especially true that success isn’t final.

Characteristics of Survival

Maybe it’s that both of us were entering the job market back during the Great Recession, but we both share a strong aversion to carrying a lot of debt in our companies. That desire to be lean helped us stay the course even as things were shutting down. To grow a business, you have to constantly evaluate everything you’re spending money on. Lean business decisions will prevent your company from being weighed down when hard times strike.

Being lean is a great way to avoid heavy body blows, but it’s also allowed us to be quicker to react and find the innovative way forward. When your entire business model is disrupted by something as large as this pandemic, you have to look past today and try to build on what your best guess of what tomorrow will look like. 

For Chad, he had two innovative moments. First, because he had made to move his company toward more automation, his company’s net was the same this year as last year even though revenue has only been 60% of what it was. The other was to move quickly to create an online gaming events system that sold out every event during its initial six-week trial. 

Drew used that initial downtime in the spring to foster relationships with potential clients as well as develop a software that saves time and reduces effort. The software proving to be so beneficial, that he’s now considering the viability of selling it as a product.

We also dive into brands like Chipotle and Tesla that were applying innovative best practices even when the market wasn’t pushing them and are now reaping the benefit. How can you take their lessons and apply them to your own business?

After all, success is not final, failure is not fatal. If you’re experiencing failure right now, know that you aren’t alone and that it’s vital to find the courage to continue. Work on being lean, innovative, and curious as you build your business for success. 

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