How to Fail Faster

Everyone starts out their new business with certain goals. Maybe they want to become successful enough to quit their current job. Maybe they want to make enough money to pay for their family vacation, a new vehicle or their children’s college tuition. Or maybe they are saving for their eventual retirement. Regardless of their long term goals, most business owners have a more immediate goal, and that is to become the best inspector in their area.

best home inspector ever

While this is certainly an admirable goal, there are many hurdles to overcome before this can become a reality.

The main hurdle to becoming the best home inspector in your region is that there is no blueprint for doing it. Yes, there will be many people telling you that they have the blueprint, in fact many of them will try to get you to buy their version of the blueprint. Unfortunately, the people that tell you they have the blueprint for doing it are lying to you, because if they had the blueprint they would be doing it themselves.

So what is the blueprint?

Is there anything that we can know about it?

Any part of it that we can find on the internet?

While there really isn’t a blueprint written down anywhere (at least there better not be, because nobody told me about it), there are things that we can learn from the successful businesses that have gone before us.

Obviously, you need to have similar skills and a similar product to everyone else in your field: that’s a given. But if you want to be better than your competition, really want to shine in your market, you need to figure out something that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Think about when you’re shopping for a new shirt online. You search for the type of shirt you’re looking for; let’s just say a long-sleeve, blue dress shirt. Hundreds of different dress shirt pop-up on your screen, but they all look very much alike. There you are, scrolling through hundreds of dress shirts trying to decide which one to get. How do you decide which one to pick?

You are most likely to stop on the ad that has something different about it: something that sets it apart from the crowd. That particular shirt may not be much different from the others, because, really, how many different ways you can make a blue shirt?

But something about their ad that was different. Something caught your eye; something made you click on that particular ad. Something made them stand out from the crowd.

standing out from the crowd of home inspectors

In order to be successful in your business venture, you need to take a similar approach. You need to do something to make your business stand out from the crowded field that is your competition.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what that thing is; every business, every region and every situation is different. What I can tell you is that if you don’t make a conscious decision that you’re going to be the most dominant business in your region, then it’s never going to happen. However, if you decide that you want to be the biggest and best business that you can be, then one way or another you’ll figure out how to make that happen.

What I can tell you is that it’s not going to be easy. If it were, then everyone would be doing it. I can promise that it’s going to be difficult and I can promise that you’re going to experience failure along the way. No one has ever gone from startup to massive success without some roadblocks and potholes along the way.

You don’t get better unless you figure out the things that are keeping you from getting better, learn from those failures, and grow as a business and as a person.

Often, fear of failure is what keeps us from growing our business. Everyone is afraid of failure. We’ve been taught all our lives that failure is a bad thing and something to be avoided. However, if you know going into a project that you are likely to experience some level of failure (as most of us do when starting something new), this knowledge can alleviate some of the pressure and stress. This can allow you to lean into the eventual failures, secure in the knowledge that some amount of failure is necessary for growth.

leaning into home inspection

One of my previous jobs was in sales, and I was quite good at it. One of the things that made me good was that I could figure out relatively quickly which customers were going to buy from me, and which ones were just window shopping. I was always happy when I figured out that a client was just window shopping because that allowed me to move on more quickly, not spending a lot of time trying to sell a product to someone who wasn’t going to buy. This allowed me to move on to the next potential customer more quickly and therefore reach the client that was going to buy in a more expedient manner. I knew that I was going to experience many failures (window shoppers) before I reached a success (buying customer).

Embrace the fact that you are going to have some failures. The ultimate goal is to become proficient at identifying the things that are not going to work. This allows you to quickly move on from the failures so that you can test out something new. Hopefully, that next thing will be the idea that gets you closer to success.

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.

Beverly Sills (American Opera Singer)

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Thanks, Joe

pic of me, Joseph Cook Jr, home inspector