We’re approaching the end of 2022, and with it, the end of the fifth year that TGR Management has been in business. With the turn of the calendar, I’ve been reflecting on what the past years have taught me – both as a founder and as a CEO. There’s a particular framework – what’s typically called the 4 R’s – that I keep returning to as I consider my own journey.
The 4 R’s are as follows: Risk, Rejection, Resilience, and Reinvention (or Re-Planning). There’s a particular flow through these four concepts that naturally happens as you take on new projects or tasks – it’s a useful framework to understand some of the experience of leadership. As I’ve built my company, I’ve moved through this sequence often. It helps to give it a name and build some context around what you’re observing as you move into leadership in business and in life.
Any new endeavor requires risk. There’s no way to begin a project, start a company, or take a challenge without the element of risk. You may not be sure of your current skills – or, you just might be unsure of the outcome. It’s important to understand that risk is part of the process; it’s not evidence that you’re unprepared or that your idea is faulty. When I began building my company, I experienced the risk that comes with starting a new business. Will I have a service that’s useful? Will I be able to locate my ideal clients? Will I be able to meet their needs once I do?
The moment you set off on a new venture, you’ll experience a variety of opinions from all the folks who surround you. No matter what you’re attempting, some people will be on board immediately and love what you’re doing. These are fantastic allies to have in your corner. Then, there will always be others who disagree with your concept or don’t believe it can work. This is true in professions from sales to project management.
When you’re offering a product or service to the public, some people simply won’t want it. In my own experience, that critical moment can happen when you’re sharing your ideas or when you’re actually selling. When I faced rejection early in my company, I needed to evaluate the reasons why people were saying “no.” Was this the wrong target client? Did I have the wrong service mix or pricing structure? Was I failing to communicate my service so that it could easily be understood? After practice, readjustment, and time, I was able to hone my message – but the journey’s never completed. I’m continually learning, adjusting, and evolving.
The moment you face rejection, there’s a temptation to pack it all in. When your worth is tied to the opinions of others, you’ll quickly feel discouraged in the face of raised eyebrows. However, this is all part of the process. Pick yourself up; dust yourself off; come back to the table, and try again. Listen to criticism, and evaluate it. Is there something you need to be learning from the rejection you’re facing?
Reinvention or Replanning
Sometimes, you simply need to let rejection roll off your back. In some instances, however, you may need to listen and heed the criticism. If you’re consistently hearing “no,” particularly from the clients or customers you’re attempting to serve, it’s time to reevaluate.
When you get it wrong, you’ll need to focus on “failing fast.” You may need to pivot, replan, or even start from scratch. Once you’ve determined that something’s not working, it can be tempting to double down, trying to push the idea of resilience to the limit. Instead, consider that resilience often takes the form of reinvention. Don’t be afraid to scrap ideas or admit to yourself that something didn’t work. It’s not a value judgment on you or your skills; it’s a learning experience. And the more time you sink into a failed idea, the less time you’ll spend on a winning one.
The 4 R’s in Sequence
When I started TGR, I experienced this flow often. When I began, I recognized that the experience was new. It was a risk to offer services like these under my own name and credentials for the first time. I did face rejection, and I did get things wrong – but it was through these experiences that I understood what needed to change. And from there, I was able to reinvent processes or procedures to achieve success. No one said it would be easy, but with a growth mindset like this, you’ll find yourself able to reach your goals much more productively.
One particular experience helped me to “fail fast,” and move more quickly on my way toward success. I was invited to pitch TGR’s services to a potential client, (a risk). About twenty minutes into the meeting, I realized I was not equipped to answer the questions he was asking – and likely wouldn’t receive a followup call (rejection). It was a difficult lesson, but the moment I walked out the door, I practiced resilience and began reinventing – honing in on what I needed to strengthen for next time. Though that particular client didn’t lead to direct business, it furthered my success in a big way.
Tiffany Rosik, founder and chief executive officer of TGR Management Consulting, advises Fortune 1000 companies on aligning business and technology initiatives to achieve growth. Tiffany goes beyond project best practices by coaching Project Team Leaders on team dynamics and techniques to establish a self-sustaining model that creates a consistent experience and produces results. Connect or follow Tiffany Rosik on LinkedIn.