I have spent 4 intensive years in Google working as an Account Manager in Large Sales Department. It has been a turbulent experience with loads of ups and downs and definitely loads of learning.
Now, when I left Google I have a very clear picture of what were the most valuable learnings that still help me to go forward and can help YOU to break through your fears and succeed in achieving your goals:
1. It is absolutely OK to fail!
During one of trainings we had “a Failing exercise”. Basically, we just had to go around a class-room, face anyone on our way, give them a very high five with both hands and proclaim loudly: I’VE FAILED! It might seem like a stupid exercise, but it had a profound effect on me and my life. All of a sudden I have accepted my previous failures and was ready to fail again knowing that it is alright to fail. Fear of failure suppresses creativity, you get stuck and you don’t learn. Hence, you need to learn to accept it and don’t correlate it with how smart or not you are.
This quote was on my wall at work and it always helped me to go ahead: “Ever tried, ever failed, no matter, try again, fail again, fail better” by Samuel Becket. Whenever someone tries to let you down because of a mistake, just remind them that we are humans and not robots and you didn’t do the mistake on purpose, and that you have learnt something out of it. And then let it go.
2. Take an action, you will think on hows later
You have heard many times that Google is innovative, right? But the question is “What drives it”? The answer is:
- possibility of doing your own projects;
- and culture of starting things.
The latter is one of the most valuable lessons I have learnt in life. Later on it was reinforced by Dan Kennedy books where he says that the more you plan, the more chances you will fail because you will never start being overwhelmed by your grandiose plan.
Remember, 1 step at a time. Plan your 1st activity, lift your ass and DO IT! David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity can be of great help for you in that sense.
3. Build your social network and never stop learning
Why these two points come together? When you broaden your knowledge and share it with people, you end up creating amazing projects. It is both related to projects at work or your personal projects, business ideas, dreams, etc. You just need to keep your eyes open!
Let’s say you met a person who makes amazing furniture but doesn’t know anything about marketing, and doesn’t even has a proper web-site. And it happens that you are a brilliant marketing specialist, you are comfortable with Illustrator (great at making cool advertising banners), and you also know a great web-site designer. Do you sense cooperation here?