Trial and Discovery

We’ve all heard of the oft touted method of “trial and error.” Entrepreneurs especially may have had to swallow a major loss whilst reassuring themselves that it’s all about trial and error. As an entrepreneur now for over two decades, I’ve adapted to this enterprising roller coaster involving highs and lows, a recession, a pandemic, among other things. Admittedly, though, some days prove more challenging than others in walking the walk and talking the talk. A recent theme I’ve adopted is reframing, I’d like to share how I’ve reframed “trial and error” into “trial and discovery.”

Inherently, “trial and error” connotes a mistake — and of course, we all make mistakes, sometimes epic ones. And, when a decision falls under the mistake category, we should acknowledge and learn from it. However, in my experience, I can recount many times in which I (and/or we) have made a business decision based on extensive research, knowledge, prior involvement (to name a few) and yet, the decision did not result in the desired outcome.

In such cases, I’ve chosen to reframe “trial and error” into “trial and discovery” as not only did I (or in some cases we) not err, per se, but rather engaged in a calculated risk that didn’t turn out as envisioned. Then, when our team conducts a post-mortem on said decision, I’m continually amazed at the level of discovery, indeed, often enlightenment that follows.

In turn, we leverage this newly discovered information, enabling us to fine tune our related subsequent business decisions. For me, this positive spin on a classic method fuels my entrepreneurial motivation and enthusiasm to continue to innovate, create, and grow and learn. To boot, this process bolsters my resilience — a non-negotiable trait for entrepreneurs.