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41660066_SIn our culture today, we hear a lot about success, but rarely the other side of the coin. Yes, we can’t really talk about success without putting failure in context. How do you increase the chance of success and limit failure? Consider this insight when approaching your next big project or endeavor:

1) Carve out space for self-reflection. Where do you thrive? What work makes you feel the most alive? In contrast, what types of work or projects give you trouble or produce anxiety? When you get to the point where you can decline work and focus on what you do best, i.e. specialties, is when you are poised to produce consistently good work and keep clients coming back for more.

2) Beware of burnout. Physical and mental fatigue can really do a number on quality and productivity. The secret is to find time for rest and relaxation every day. Whether it’s reading, yoga or unplugging for 30 minutes, you have to make time for yourself or else deal with the negative consequences.

3) Be picky. We all can’t excel at everything. Likewise, you can’t be all things to all people. By turning down projects that don’t fit your long-term goals, you are actually turning a “no” into a “yes.” While you might be leery of passing up paid work, know that you and your business will benefit in the end.

4) Reframe the conversation about risk. Next time you are presented with a potentially life-changing, opportunity, take a step back. Ask yourself: “what do I really have to lose”? Know that even if it’s an epic fail, it ultimately can take you to places you’ve never explored with your business. Then you change the whole conversation in your head and you suddenly realize that it’s more risky not to take the leap of faith than to capitalize on it. After all, no one does great things inside their comfort zones.