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The Heron

Potomac Financial Group’s Newsletter

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” It goes back centuries presuming that the reason people fail to succeed is because they quit after failing, suggesting that success is achievable if you don’t stop trying. But is just trying repeatedly enough?

I recently read an interesting article published by Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University entitled, Why Do Some People Succeed after Failing, While Others Continue to Flounder? which considers a different approach to thinking about success after failure—is it luck or learning?

Some learn from failed attempts more than others by significantly analyzing the failure. The importance of feedback and the lessons learned from the failure is only valuable if incorporated into future attempts. “Failing well” can be key to success in helping shape future decisions that can lead to growth.

This is on-target (no pun intended) in my personal life of competitive skeet shooting. Even after feeling confident from considerable practicing and strategizing, things still go wrong during competition, and past failures have taught me that straying from my plan for a “quick fix” typically ends in poor results, so I’ve learned to stay the course rather than over analyze in the moment.

We are all hard-wired to avoid failure, especially in the financial world, which can make it easy to abstain from making certain decisions for fear of making a mistake. It’s just important to remember that small failures are inevitable and should be viewed as bumps in the road rather than the end of the road and that learning from them helps to adapt and refine long-term strategies.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss your financial plan, please reach out.

Take care,

Jeremy S. Dvorak, CFP®, CASL®
Potomac Financial Group


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