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How to Fail Horribly in 2009!

What? Why write about how to fail? Everyone from job seekers to freelancers to Marketers are trying to figure out how to succeed in extremely challenging times! For starters, there’s a lot ot learn when you look at the question of success from the opposite perspective. Exploring opposites, sometimes called Reverse Brainstorming, is a great technique for creative problem solving.

Reverse Brainstorming
Start by taking any question or problem you are facing (e.g. How to succeed in 2009) and ask the opposite. In other words, instead of asking, “How do I succeed?” ask, “How do I fail?”. Then start brainstorming to draw out more creative ideas.

After you’ve identified all the ideas to solve the “reverse problem”, reverse the ideas and you’ll have potential solutions for the original problem or challenge.

Take a look at an example. If you wanted to improve “Customer Service”, brainstorm and map out all the ways that you can make customer service fail.

Here are sample questions that you can explore this technique with…

  • Ways to increase sales?
  • How to get a promotion?
  • How to improve product quality?
  • How to save more money?
  • How to earn more money?
  • How to find a job in a tough economy?

Ways to Fail in 2009

Now, getting back to the original question, how to fail in 2009. Here’s what came to mind in less than a minute of ‘reverse’ brainstorming…

  • Throw out your plan, who needs a plan!
  • No goals are identified for the year
  • All goals are not measurable
  • Goals have no assigned ‘owner’
  • Have too many commitments
  • Book too many meetings with no agendas!
  • Make things more complicated than they need to be!
  • Don’t leverage social media to promote your service or business
  • Break your commitments
  • Set unrealistic expectations
  • Fail to deliver and when you do, under-deliver
  • Fail to innovate
  • Ignore your customer

It’s fast and easy to get started with this technique. Give it a shot and see if you’re set up for failure in 2009. Or better, success…

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