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Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

By: Guest | January 17, 2012 | 
33

Today’s guest post is written by Jay Dolan

I was trying to think of the most influential social media campaigns of 2011 the other day, and I couldn’t think of one.

I honestly can’t think of one social media promotion that was so innovative, I had to tell people about it.

Much of what I read these days is all about failures. Blogger outreach failures. Twitter failures. Facebook failures. Even Pinterest failures (Ok, not yet, but give it a month).

Haven’t we heard enough about failure? We’re not even four weeks into the new year, and I can already think of four examples of a social media disaster.

Ouch.

We should be getting better at this. Not worse.

I’m not above pushing others down to make myself look good. I love to revel in the defeat of others as much as anyone else.

But ugh.

Where’s the proactive thinking in constantly sharing failure? Where’s the idea that’s supposed to inspire someone? Are we just working to continually terrify people and employers that every piece of information, action, and stupidity will come around and take a bite out of their ass?

We are better than this.

I’m sick of other people’s stupid mistakes being the examples we should be sharing every day. I’m a big fan of acting like an adult, and trusting other people to do the same. I have better things to do than read one more reason I should stick my head in the sand rather than have a conversation.

As the content creators and idea-shapers, the examples we share should inspire awe. They should drive people to think harder, laugh harder, and be more creative with the work they do. They should make people stop thinking of social media as a chore to be mitigated, but rather an opportunity for better communication.

They should drive us to overcome our fear.

We all make mistakes. Some of them little. Some of them huge. But you’re not going ever get past those mistakes if you’re too afraid to do anything.

Be an adult. Stop being afraid. Carry yourself with the confidence that you can create the stories, photos, podcasts, and videos that are so awesome, they have to be shared with people.

Otherwise you will live your social media life from tweet to tweet, waiting for the moment when it all blows up.

And if you’re afraid, bloggers like me will tear you apart.

The cartoon was created by Jay Dolan for Spin Sucks. Thanks, Jay!

Jay Dolan writes The Anti-Social Media, which is the best social media blog ever. He currently works as a social media project coordinator at Capstrat. His cat, Chibi, is probably better at Google+ than you are. You can find Jay on Twitter

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33 Comments on "Don’t Be Afraid to Fail"

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whitneyt1
whitneyt1
4 years 4 months ago

Great advice– “Be an adult. Stop being afraid.” RT @ginidietrich Social Media Campaigns: Don’t Be Afraid to Fail by @jaydolan

MorganBarnhart
4 years 4 months ago

Love the advice, Jay! I have failed many times over and while it sucks to fail, just gotta get up and keep trying. If we don’t even try because we’re paralyzed with fear of failure, then we’ll never get anywhere. Thanks for this!

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@MorganBarnhart Everyone hates to fail, especially awkwardly, and in public where any blogger can come along and keep shaming you. But I’m not going to live my life afraid of bloggers like me.

Milaspage
4 years 4 months ago

Great post Jay! The only way to see success is to take risks, as simple as that. jaydolan great to see you putting it out there. 🙂 Living in fear is no way to live.

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@Milaspage The only thing to fear is fear itself. And possibly The Bloggess.

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@Milaspage The only thing to fear is fear itself. And possibly The Bloggess.

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@Milaspage The only thing to fear is fear itself. And possibly The Bloggess.

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@Milaspage The only thing to fear is fear itself. And possibly The Bloggess.

MSchechter
MSchechter
4 years 4 months ago

Jay Dolan, unlikely voice of optimism! I like it! It’s gotten to the point where the claws of people who are taring others down feel more effective at squashing the resolve of the average brands resolve rather than showing them what they can try. We freak out and end up using the channels to ensure no one says anything bad about us rather than giving them something amazing to talk about. We’ve all gotten to be “experts” in the field, yet no one is doing amazing work… go figure…

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@MSchechter I’m still a terrible pessimist. I’m just optimistic I won’t let fear be my limiting factor in social media.

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@MSchechter I’m still a terrible pessimist. I’m just optimistic I won’t let fear be my limiting factor in social media.

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@MSchechter I’m still a terrible pessimist. I’m just optimistic I won’t let fear be my limiting factor in social media.

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@MSchechter I’m still a terrible pessimist. I’m just optimistic I won’t let fear be my limiting factor in social media.

Chris_Eh_Young
Chris_Eh_Young
4 years 4 months ago
It’s hard to believe that we spend all of our time showing prospects how damaging social media is and then try to sell them on it. Wouldn’t it be a far easier sell if we showed them some good? The issue is, too many are too busy blowing their horns about crappy made up numbers than getting actual results. They’re building their reputation, nothing more. In this day and age where we’re all worried about our personal brand, failing is harder than ever. We can no longer fail privately, it’s all public now. I’m told constantly that I can’t reveal… Read more »
Chris_Eh_Young
Chris_Eh_Young
4 years 4 months ago
It’s hard to believe that we spend all of our time showing prospects how damaging social media is and then try to sell them on it. Wouldn’t it be a far easier sell if we showed them some good? The issue is, too many are too busy blowing their horns about crappy made up numbers than getting actual results. They’re building their reputation, nothing more. In this day and age where we’re all worried about our personal brand, failing is harder than ever. We can no longer fail privately, it’s all public now. I’m told constantly that I can’t reveal… Read more »
_danphillips
_danphillips
4 years 4 months ago

@HelReynolds What a great post, and food for thought!

HelReynolds
HelReynolds
4 years 4 months ago

@_danphillips I thought so too! Nice to see a post reminding us to be positive 🙂

Tinu
4 years 4 months ago

Interesting point. But I try not to think of social media in terms of campaigns. I think of marketing campaigns that leveraged social media, sure. Say hi to chili for me. 🙂

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago
Two things: I think there is a lot of value in examining marketing campaign failures, from an outside perspective to both make you smarter about the things you do and give you perspective. It used to be you would have to experience something before you knew what worked and what didn’t work. Now we have access to case studies – good and bad – to refer to before we make decisions. Of course, that means you have to actually do that research/work. And maybe it’s naive of me to think people will do that. Secondly, failing is good! It’s how… Read more »
brasonja
brasonja
4 years 4 months ago

@zriha Hvala za rt, ugodan sunčani dan 🙂

KDillabough
KDillabough
4 years 4 months ago

@LearnIt2EarnIt @ginidietrich Thanks Lynn:)

Jill Tooley
4 years 4 months ago

Well, I’d certainly hate to be torn apart by bloggers like you, Jay! Guess this means I have to stop being afraid. Failure isn’t a stranger to me, especially as a writer, but sometimes it’s difficult to turn rejection into a positive experience. There’s no better time than now though, eh?

Bring it on, 2012.

JayDolan
4 years 4 months ago

@Jill Tooley I like to fail spectacularly. I’m also used to rejection from iiving with a cat for six years.

Integra_Flex
Integra_Flex
4 years 4 months ago

@bdorman264 @ginidietrich Great article, thanks for sharing. We need to live a life of confidence, and not lose to the fear of failure.

Byron Fernandez
Byron Fernandez
4 years 4 months ago
Great perspective as always Jay. A challenge is being patient as a leader — we forget that not everyone has the same GPS when it comes to consciousness or self-actualization. But yes, removing the blankies, thumb-sucking and coddling would be a start. Infantile behavior cannot be tolerated in this realm, with the exception of satire or YouTube videos. Proactively remaining positive/keeping NRG levels high and focusing on bringing the best out of people’s tough work, and honestly sometimes it’s hard to remember mercy/grace. The manager or biz fire curls up that hot lick in your gut, and you just wanna… Read more »
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rocks98
4 years 1 month ago

This is where they start feeding false news and manipulating the public’s view.  http://newscenter.springhillgrouphome.com/

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