This is a guest post by Tamaryn Tobian, founder of Spectacle Creative Media in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can follow her tweets on Twitter. If you want to guest post on my blog, please, check out the guidelines here.

 In the last nine months or so, I’ve learned more things and experienced more life changes than I had pimples during puberty.  That’s what following your gut and jumping into risk with both feet does. Why so many life changes?  I started my own business – a creative communications company.

In truth, it seemed like a crazy idea. In this economy? Especially when I started to count how many other little creative agencies and studios there are in my city. There’s a lot of them. But, I did it anyway.

And I’m happy.

I figured that the chance to do what I love and work with people who inspire me was worth the threat of failing. I decided failure doesn’t have to be this big scary F word. It just makes me work harder.

I have three key things I try to do, every day, to thwart failure: 

Make your own timing.

If you wait for the right moment, you might be waiting forever.  The market will not magically make room for you – you have to carve it out yourself. Sometimes, there is a quicker route, yes. But you learn so much more by digging in and doing it the hard way. And I think, for me at least, when you meet your goals, you appreciate your accomplishments so much more.

Look for ways to grow; don’t try to compete.

In a crowded space, it’s easy to be shut out. It’s a good idea to recognize the efforts of those that have gone before you; they have a lot to teach you. Don’t try to compete with your competitors. Try looking for ways to help them. If you’re sharp-eyed and looking for creative opportunities that give everyone a chance to grow – you’ll make it a lot easier for others in your space to embrace your new venture. It’s a great feeling when they come to depend on you.

Smile. Even when it sucks.

It’s not always easy to stay positive. But the people surrounding you, your clients and your potential clients notice when you can keep a positive attitude. I say this because in this economy, I often struggle with this task. I’m easily discouraged when promising opportunities fall through, as they so often can.  However, I’m hopeful that by keeping my head and heart in the game, I’m carving out a little bit of light in these challenging times.



How about you? What are you doing everyday to prevent failure?