Sometimes, a little perspective helps.
As we look back on 2016, maybe there have been some setbacks in your business. Maybe a major client dropped out of a contract or one of your best technical employees quit. Maybe you even went bankrupt or decided to give up on the dream to start a company.
That's peanuts compared to what Samsung went through. According to a Reuters report from a few weeks ago, the tech giant will likely lose about $17 billion in lost revenue due to the battery problems, recall, and shuttering of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
The problems started around early September of this year. As you may recall, there were issues with a faulty battery, one that could potentially start on fire or explode. The company issued a recall, but even then, the new battery tech was faulty.
A few weeks ago, Samsung decided to cancel the product altogether. Just today, they announced a new update, available December 19 just in time for the holidays, that will make it impossible for anyone to charge the phone. (Unless you use Verizon, it seems.)
That's a dramatic turn of events. It's quite possibly the worst tech product of all time, and potentially one of the worst marketing snafus of all time. On my recent flight to Europe, one of the first things they announced to those boarding the plane: Do not bring a Note 7 on board. In fact, there are ongoing ripple effects from the Note 7 battery nightmare. I was barely able to bring a high-tech suitcase on board the plane because it had a battery inside and the gate personnel had never heard of that before.
Perspective is incredibly important in business. If you lack perspective, you might not ever find success, because the way you define success might be totally unrealistic. Let's say you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. Seems like a good goal, right? You want to start a company like Facebook or Apple. That might lead to some serious disappointment. As we enter a period of quiet reflection over the holidays, forced or not forced, it's a good idea to ask a few questions and ponder your lot in life.
One question to ask: Did you achieve what you set out to do? Maybe you didn't accomplish everything on your list, but did you put the effort into something? You can't always control the outcome, but a perspective that says you tried, you put in your best effort--those are the important variables when it comes to looking back at the year.
Not every product or service you create will be an immediate hit, but at least you are creating a product or service. At least you are pushing toward a goal.
I really like what Barbara Corcoran has to say in this video about leadership. She talks about being an inspiration to others as a leader. What's so great about that? To me, it's a decision. You can decide to inspire others, to give them a new perspective on the future. Maybe you don't have the most experience in the real estate field or making a new mobile app, but you have incredible drive and incredible optimism. To me, inspiration and perspective are closely linked. They both involve vision. You look out into the future, into 2017 and beyond, and you hold your head up. You point in the direction of success and tell people: "Hey, go that way." You're not bogged down by indecision and "what if" scenarios. You're committed to a cause, any cause.
In the end, you can look back and say: "Well, I must have something to offer. My business won't lose $17 billion dollars. They don't tell people on a plane not to use my product. I didn't have to close down my product line because it can burst into flames."
Perspective. It's like inspiration mixed with hope.
See if you can dig deep and find some.