Guest Post

The Nerve to Fail Harder

by Simon Mainwaring

In my experience nerve is something that propels you forward rather than a defense that you rely on in the face of trouble. Obviously you may still be fearful of the risks you take, but fortunately nerve compels you to keep going. As such, it's the key to untold possibilities.

Once you embrace nerve it can become addictive and your preferred state. That's because when you constantly challenge yourself you consistently stay ahead of changes in the marketplace. This enables you to contribute to thought leadership in new areas of technology and business.

In a marketplace that is increasingly driven by real time communication the one essential quality we all must cultivate is our capacity to change, transform and reinvent ourselves. There is no business solution or definition of what your brand is today, that will be exactly the same in three months, six months or twelve months time, simply because the marketplace is changing so quickly.

So you need to put your shoulder behind yourself and demonstrate leadership by embracing your nerve and constantly expanding your skills and business into new areas.

I can't name a better encapsulation of this attitude than a sign I recently saw at Wieden & Kennedy in Portland. It simply read: "Fail Harder". That means you give yourself permission to try harder than the next person, and to fail. It's a mindset you must have in this marketplace if you want to compete and succeed.

In the end, all you can do is clearly define who you are, articulate your core values and behave in accordance with them. Then let the chips fall where they may. If you do, you'll have no regrets, your integrity will be intact and you won't have failed for want of trying.

Simon Mainwaring is an advertising creative director, branding consultant, speaker and author. A former Nike creative at Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy, Los Angeles, he now consults for brands and creative companies that are re-inventing their industries and enabling positive change.

  1. Or said another way (by a favorite author, Sherman Alexie, “How can you live a special life without constantly interrogating it?”

    Nice piece!

    Comment by David Wiggs — 12/11/2009 @ 6:09 PM

  2. Fantastic advice!

    Comment by Brooke Rosenthal — 12/12/2009 @ 2:48 PM

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    Pingback by How to succeed in 2010 | Simon Mainwaring — 12/14/2009 @ 11:21 AM

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