The Ninth Day of XYMas…..Fail Big

Dec 31, 2019 | GIS

Fail big.

Fail hard.

You learn a lot from Failing.

I hesitate to use the word Fail or Failure because it’s pretty harsh and maybe it’s not a good indicator of trying something new and sucking at it. Except I deal with Failure every day as a person in a technical field and a small business owner. I have failed a lot. About 5 years ago I stopped really hating the failures and looking at it as an opportunity to be better at everything from Tech to Business to just being lower case me.

How hard have I failed?

  • One year I made so very little money I don’t even want to give you a dollar amount.
  • One year I tackled a job that had hundred of flat files and I should have loaded it in a database. Instead I decided to muck through it using Python. Oh that hurt.
  • One time I let a client call the shots on a project and I went along convinced they knew what they were doing and ignoring every red flag up until I took the hit for the job failing.
  • I have yet to write a QGIS Plugin (that was my goal for this year).

BUT

  • I learned more about business
  • I learned more about database
  • I learned how to say “No” to clients.
  • I still learned a lot from my failures and got a chance to communicate with some QGIS Developers.

So I’d highly encourage you to take a chance and fail at something. Maybe don’t flag it as a failure – but not succeeding at everything has taught me a lot. I had a question a few years ago of “Hey I want to be a rock start like you in the GIS field!” and I said “A. I’m not a rock star and B. You have got to F*&%^ up a lot….and fix it. If you can break something you can put it back together and that’s the first step.”.

Which – my super power early on in my career was not worrying about things breaking. If it broke I would fix it. I might have to sit at my desk for 12 hours but I was going to learn and make it work. I did. Be it a computer issue or a data issue – break it and fix it.

Bonus – I fail every week at something….BUT – my repeatable failures get fewer and fewer. The new failures are a whole other discussion – but I do get the chance to learn.

My new favorite thing: People screw up and this guy fixes the screw ups (I have a jeep and dream of being a tow truck one day so it’s the best of both worlds)

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