What Will Always Change in Your Business—And What You Should Build to Last

What Will Always Change in Your Business

Adapted from The Power of Failure: Succeeding in the Age of Innovation by Fran Tarkenton

In my experience, on the field, in the huddle, in the locker room, in the marketplace, in the venture capital meeting, and even at the cocktail party, almost no one is willing to talk about failure, its pain, its benefits, its inevitability. Most of us fear failure, disown it, deny it, or simply try to ignore it.

What we should be doing is talking about it, exploring it, embracing it, and squeezing out of it every priceless insight it offers.

Things are beginning to change—even if just barely. We are in the early days of a Failure Revolution, in which the business environment is finally starting to catch up on the idea of failure as an opportunity to learn, improve, and win. The question for today’s entrepreneurs is whether to join the revolution or be kicked to the curb by it.

We are in a world of change. And change is key! But also recognize the things that endure and continue. Technology drives, demands, and enables change. Markets are created, are reshaped, and sometimes vanish entirely. But people are forever. Relationships will always be at the heart of business.

The products and services you offer, the means by which you reach your markets, and the markets themselves will all change and, these days, change quickly. In contrast, the culture you create for your business can and must last a long, long time. Culture is the single most important factor in determining success in life as well as business. Create a culture based on kindness, willingness to help others, respect for differences, open-mindedness to new ideas and diverse attitudes, and love.

Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton is an entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer, and the founder of GoSmallBiz.com and Tarkenton Companies. With a passion for small business, he’s started more than 20 businesses during and after his NFL career. Fran is a small business coach for entrepreneurs and business owners, providing advice and guidance through sites such as GoSmallBiz.com, SmallBizClub.com, and more. He has written about business issues in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. New and World Report, and USA Today, along with regular appearances on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. You can follow Fran on Twitter @Fran_Tarkenton.